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‘The thing that keeps me going’: educator resilience in early learning settings

Beltman, S., Dobson, M.R., Mansfield, C.F. and Jay, J. (2019) ‘The thing that keeps me going’: educator resilience in early learning settings. International Journal of Early Years Education . In Press.

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Educators in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) have experienced changes in policies, accountability and curriculum. Concerns arise for educators regarding rapid staff turnover, pressure of expectations, and burnout. Although increased research has examined teacher resilience, less has focused on the perspectives of ECEC educators and what helps them continue in their work and maintain wellbeing. We examine perceptions of Australian early childhood educators about the challenges they face and the personal and contextual resources they harness to cope and demonstrate professional resilience. An ecological framework is used to understand educators’ experiences and perspectives of macro-, micro- and personal-system level challenges and resources. Fourteen leaders and educators were interviewed, with data coded deductively to identify personal and contextual challenges and resources at each system level. Inductive coding revealed key themes relating to each system. Findings showed that the educators experienced several macro-system level challenges. In the micro-system, relationships acted both as challenges and supports. In the personal-system, the focus was on resources as individuals used a variety of specific strategies to maintain physical and mental wellbeing. The paper concludes with implications for the ECEC sector relating to the different system levels.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright: © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
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