Identifying and evaluating teachers’ knowledge in relation to child abuse and neglect: A qualitative study with Australian early childhood teachers
TATE Volume 24, Number 3, ISSN 0742-051X Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Child abuse and neglect are serious social problems that make extraordinary demands on teachers’ knowledge and professionalism. Yet the field of education has been slow to develop a discipline-specific knowledge base about child abuse and neglect for teachers and teacher education programmes and there is a paucity empirical research into teachers’ knowledge in relation to child abuse and neglect. This paper describes a qualitative study of eight purposively selected early childhood teachers. To identify and evaluate their child abuse and neglect knowledge, Grossman's [(1990). The making of a teacher: Teacher knowledge and teacher education. New York: Teachers College Press; (1995). Teachers’ knowledge. In L. W. Anderson (Ed.), International encyclopedia of teaching and teacher education (2nd ed., pp. 20–24). Tarrytown, NY: Pergamon] typology of teachers’ knowledge is used as an analytic framework on which to map the teachers’ interview data. Findings reveal that, in the absence of preservice and inservice education specifically about child abuse and neglect, early childhood teachers held and deployed knowledge in resourceful ways. They used, as a basis, their existing early childhood knowledge and adapted this knowledge by augmenting it with a range of personal and professional knowledge resources to fit their particular challenges and situations. This approach, however competent and innovative, also reveals shortfalls in knowledge. Implications of this research are drawn for child abuse and neglect curriculum development in initial and continuing teacher education including the case for specialist knowledge needed to establish teachers’ professional reputation for dealing capably with cases of child abuse and neglect.
Walsh, K. & Farrell, A. (2008). Identifying and evaluating teachers’ knowledge in relation to child abuse and neglect: A qualitative study with Australian early childhood teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 24(3), 585-600. Elsevier Ltd.