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Thinking about Practice in Integrated Children's Services: Considering Transdisciplinarity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 August 2012


Integrated service delivery in the early childhood education and care sector is burgeoning as a direct result of government agendas in Australia that privilege services for young children and families, especially those considered most vulnerable and at risk. In many cases this means reviewing and revising current practice to work more collaboratively with other professionals. This paper reports the findings of one aspect of a larger Australian study entitled: ‘Developing and sustaining pedagogical leadership in early childhood education and care professionals’. The focus of this paper is the understandings and practices of professionals in both Queensland and Victoria working in integrated Children's Services across the education, care, community and health sectors. The notion of transdisciplinary practice is also explored as a way to sustain practice. Qualitative data collection methods, including the ‘Circles of Change’ process, the ‘Significant Change’ method and semi-structured interviews were used. The findings indicate concerns around professional identity, feeling valued, role confusion and the boundaries imposed by funding regulations. Working in a transdisciplinary way was generally considered a useful way to move practice forward in these settings, although the ramifications for leadership that this approach brings requires further consideration.

Research Article
Copyright © The Authors 2012

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