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Leading across boundaries: how early years leaders support interprofessional working Jan Georgeson and Jane Payler Plymouth University and University of.

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Presentation on theme: "Leading across boundaries: how early years leaders support interprofessional working Jan Georgeson and Jane Payler Plymouth University and University of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leading across boundaries: how early years leaders support interprofessional working Jan Georgeson and Jane Payler Plymouth University and University of Winchester

2 Theoretical underpinnings Holland and Lave ◦ Social Practice Theory/ figured worlds; ◦ Integration of individual emotion, motivation and agency into CHAT ◦ Improvisation and innovation within constraints/affordances by particular persons in particular contexts Dreier ◦ Learning as trajectories of participation in social practice ◦ Resources and constraints of contexts ◦ Personal action potency of individuals in context ◦ Institutions enable personal action potency (Payler and Georgeson, 2013)

3 Boundaries Socio-cultural differences that give rise to discontinuities in interaction and action … … carry learning potential. (Akkerman and Bakker, 2011:139/132) Boundary crossing competence: ability to function competently in multiple contexts.. …cultural brokers and complex tools serve as boundary objects..[..].. serve as recontextualising agents - a sort of bridge – between social practices. (Walker and Nocon, 2007:178/182) Relational agency: professionals have to recognise others’ motives and the resources they bring to the boundaries and work to expand object of activity (Edwards, 2010:14)

4 Figured worlds socially organized and reproduced, which means that in them people are sorted and learn to relate to each other in different ways. distribute people by relating them to landscapes of action; thus activities related to the worlds are populated by familiar social types and host to individual senses of self. (Urrieta, 2007:108)

5 Nurseries as Figured Worlds

6 Investigating Interprofessional Practice: data collection Survey of Early Years practitioners (52) ◦ Ratings, multiple choice questions and open ended comments ◦ range of career trajectories/experience/settings 5 case studies ◦ Interviews with 5 practitioners, 6 graduate leaders and 5 parents (435 mins) ◦ Video data from child-practitioner interactions over 8 days (510 mins) ◦ Children’s IEPs

7 Research Question How confident do early years professionals feel about leading interprofessional practice? SURVEY + CASE STUDY INTERVIEW

8 Survey – 52 respondents Children’s Centre Community Pre-school Indep Pre- school Private Day Nursery Other Day N’s working in

9 Findings: Survey Mixed responses from practitioners with similar years of experience, in same type of setting Staff in Children’s Centres were generally more positive and more confident Staff in private day nurseries and community preschools generally less positive & least confident But picture is complex; wide range of comments within each setting type

10 Confidence in leading How confident do you feel about taking a lead role in multi-agency working? Overall, less confident than with taking on a leadership role in general. Lack of opportunity/experience Lack of knowledge Lack of status I have never had to do this so anything that you have to do for the first time is daunting. (Children’s Centre practitioner) Sometimes confused about legislation, processes involved (Independent Preschool practitioner) Each agency (for example, social workers, police) have their own agenda and sometimes in meetings it can be hard to say what your professional opinion is (Day Nursery practitioner)

11 Confidence in leading How confident do you feel about taking a lead role in multi-agency working? 15 practitioners rated their confidence same or higher than leadership in general: (12 confident/very confident) Experience Knowledge Status – or at least contacts I am a confident person. I've also now been working for long enough in the sector to have experience which helps in being a leader. I've made mistakes and had to learn from them which in the end builds understanding (Community Preschool practitioner) Training and own studying and knowledge. (Private Day Nursery practitioner) Due to my years of experience in childcare and the amount of professionals I have worked with. (Independent Preschool Practitioner)

12 Case study 1: Bounded practice Pre-school playgroup; pack away setting in a community centre “Although we’re on a children’s centre site, we have no links to them – they’re completely separate, we purely share a building.” Manager is experienced and has been at the setting for 6 years

13 Leading within the boundary As manager I have to oversee all key people to see that they are keeping up with their cases. I would see it as my role to be up to date with all children here so that I can be feeding back to other practitioners. As manager I have greater knowledge and they need that knowledge to back things up. Just supporting the whole staff network reminding them that this is the situation, giving them best tips of how to deal with [O] because her speech has affected her behaviour because she couldn’t express herself. Modelling good practice; I work very much on the floor. I’m not a manager with an office, so I’m role modelling all the time.

14 Managing geographical constraints I have double problems because I’m in [county] and some of my children will access [city] services. That makes my life hugely complicated because depending on where your postal address is, depends on where I can refer you. I’m really good and I know off the top of my head all the [county] agencies, but [city], it’s a different thing. They [children’s centre] can only help some of my families. If I have someone who does need help from a family support worker, even though they would know [family support workers] really well, I can’t refer them here. (Manager).

15 Acting in figured world lack of direct access to other children’s service professionals. where possible, the preschool manager fostered relationships with other agencies to enhance access to knowledge and services. I’m not on any mail shots [for City services so] we’ve had to form [contacts with City schools] ourselves independently to help our children. It’s never been provided to me.

16 Acting in figured world lack of direct access to other children’s service professionals. where possible, the preschool manager fostered relationships with other agencies to enhance access to knowledge and services. little understanding by some other agencies of contemporary preschool practice and professionalism. Cultural brokerage through relational agency Personally I know I have high standing. The setting, and the work that I’ve done, schools take me seriously. Speech and Language? They wouldn’t know me. There is no direct communication with us at all. Personally I know I have high standing. The setting, and the work that I’ve done, schools take me seriously. Speech and Language? They wouldn’t know me. There is no direct communication with us at all.

17 Case study 2: Brokerage from outside Garden Private Day Nursery dependent on filtering and advisory role of Early Years Advisory Teacher to access support of other agencies for children. “boundaries policed by external agencies who owed their own position to the structural apparatus of special education” (Thomas and Loxley, 2007) Figured world of external agencies = > reinforced boundaries With the Early Years Advisory Teacher, if something needs doing, she tends to go off and do it herself and come back and might tell us. She doesn’t support us in doing it ourselves. (Manager)

18 Case study 3. Learning potential of boundaries The manager suggested that the Keyperson should ask to attend Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) sessions at the health centre with the family so that she could see how best to support Daniel. Well received (with some surprise) by the SLT; unusual situation - early years staff not routinely invited to SLT sessions. Her time to attend had to be funded by the pre-school. Building bridges: Guided by the Manager, early years practitioner pushed against the boundaries around services to create a new opportunity for interprofessional working. Flexing boundaries => increasing personal action potency I actually started doing photos of all his areas he liked to play with and choice of milk and water to give him choice and help in gesturing. Going to SLT helped me because she was actually quite firm with him. She wouldn’t give him the drink until he chose a picture and gave it to mum. We needed to be a bit more structured (Keyperson).

19 Summary Leading IP practice needs confidence= knowledge + experience + status Leaders support staff by ◦ recontextualising knowledge ◦ offering opportunities to cross boundaries ◦ using relational agency to act beyond boundaries Cultural brokers - or gatekeepers?

20 Conclusions Historic arrangements, resourcing and perceptions constrain action External structures and constraints reinforce boundaries => reduce affordances in personal action potency Flexing boundaries => increasing personal action potency => developing boundary crossing competence.

21 References Akkerman, S.F. and Baker, A. (2011) Boundary Crossing and Boundary Objects. Review of educational Research 81: ) Dreier, O. (1999) ‘Personal Trajectories of Participation across Contexts of Social Practice’. Outlines, Vol. 1, pp5-32. Dreier, O. (2002) ‘Learning in Personal Trajectories of Participation’. Proceedings of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology Conference, Canada. Edwards, A. (2010) Being an expert Professional Practitioner; the relational turn in expertise. Professional and practice –based learning. Vol. 3 Dordrecht: Springer. Holland, D. and Lave, J. (2009) Social Practice Theory and the Historical Production of Persons. Actio: An International Journal of Human Activity Theory. 2, Payler, J. and Georgeson, J (2013) Personal action potency: Early years practitioners participating in interprofessional practice in early years settings International Journal of Early Years Education Payler, J. and Georgeson, J (2013) Multiagency working in the early years: confidence, competence and context. Early Years: an international Research Journal 33 (4) Thomas, G. and Loxley, A. (2007). Deconstructing Special Education and Constructing Inclusion. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Urrieta, L. Jr. (2007). “Figured Worlds and Education: An Introduction to the Special Issue.” The Urban Review 39(2), Walker, D. and Nocon, H. (2007). “Boundary-Crossing Competence: Theoretical Considerations and Educational Design.” Mind, Culture, and Activity, 14(3)

22 Forms and procedures travelling between contexts Variety of transferable artefacts mentioned in survey and cases ◦ Referral forms ◦ CAF (Common Assessment Framework) ◦ Reports and recommendations from other agencies But require knowledge of system (including relational agency) Poor substitute for face to face contact


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