Guide Early Childhood Studies: A Multiprofessional Perspective

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Content reviews revealed that 30 of these included concrete analyses. In general, multi-professionalism in medical or nursing contexts takes two or three professions into account. In social work, sometimes healthcare professionals, therapists and caregivers also belong to the multiprofessional team with social workers and administrative workers.

The framework that is the most comprehensive in our understanding of the concept is that of school development and child day care. Here framework-setting occupational groups in the fields of housekeeping, building services, politics, public services and administration, as well as parents and others concerned are considered part of a multi-professional team [21] , [22].

Obstructive factors originate in professional practices, and are normally the result of poor knowledge, and of presuppositions about other professions that are culturally predetermined or reproduced on a daily basis [23] , [24]. In teaching and learning contexts these can have an effect on personal, interpersonal or organisational levels. A failure to appreciate one's own professional role in practice, as well as a lack of occupational safety, can have a negative impact on a personal level [25].


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A lack of team spirit, different bodies of knowledge, language in engineering, for example, the phrase "state of technology" is used instead of "state of research" and modes of thought have an obstructive effect on an interpersonal level [26] , [27]. Varying working styles and attitudes to work, unrealistic expectations of groupwork, and a lack of agreement in relation to teamwork can all be obstacles to joint learning [23]. Sometimes power and interpretative hierarchies arise between individual professions and their respective focal points [8] , [10].

On an organisational level other tasks, understandings of situations and targeted activities [28] , [29] complicate collaboration. Promotive factors for multi-professional teaching and learning can have an impact on personal and organisational levels, and can also affect joint learning processes. On a personal level, the heterogeneity of individuals' practical knowledge, training and professional socialisation must be made known and also compatible.

To this end, there needs to be a common language and open interaction. For the latter, time and space need to be made available.


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As for joint learning processes, the important issue is the imparting of knowledge regarding tasks, authority and responsibilities of the professions involved. Upon becoming better acquainted with one another, those involved are able to correct erroneous presuppositions. Promotive factors in inter-professional training lie in the joint and positive learning experiences. They also enable participants to share experiences, they eliminate differences in status, offer opportunities for reflexion, prepare participants for collaborative teamwork, and help cultivate all of the above [23] , [16] , [4] , [6].

Once the factors are established, the question arises of which promotive and obstructive factors also apply to teaching and learning contexts of HP and NHP, and which are the additional specific factors. This is where the exploratory investigation begins. The results of the research are used for comparison and to classify the statements of respondents. The leading research hypothesis for the survey was that, on the one hand, a large number of the promotive and obstructive factors are also relevant to this context and that, on the other hand, due to the broader group of actors, some factors need to be qualified and new ones also apply.

The qualitative exploratory survey should contribute to reducing the research gap regarding joint learning of HP and NHP, which are expected to have an effect on the chain of care. Previous research approaches have only looked at the joint learning of two or three HP. For that reason, an exploratory, qualitative and written survey for teachers was developed for the joint learning of these occupational groups. It was carried out from The explorative approach takes the lacking, specific didactical concepts for this particular educational setting into account. The teachers were contacted by e-mail.

Using the existing literature as a base, the teachers were presented with 6 written questions that related to key didactic issues of multi-professional teaching and practice. The questions were each subdivided into 3 questions to allow for descriptions of the phenomenon of multi-professionalism, as well as assessments of promotive and obstructive factors in teaching and learning. For example: "In your interactions with students, in which contexts do you notice their different multi-professional backgrounds?

Please give examples. Asking about concrete situations makes it easier for respondents to recall concrete experiences. The teachers formulated their answers giving examples in sentence form using the Word template, and then sent them back via e-mail. The survey data was assessed by means of a Mayring content analysis using a deductive summarising technique [30] , in which statements were paraphrased and condensed into categories.

To synthesise the processed data, dimensionally summarised requirements for a didactic concept were then deduced.

Department of Childhood Studies

These requirements are considered significant for supporting all professions in the same way, integrating them into the learning process and maintaining everybody's interests in the overall process. The presentation of the results is based on indicators of properties, and of promotive and obstructive conditions. The teachers asked in advance to provide information about their professions. Some assigned themselves more than one profession because they had additional qualifications. The number of profession assignments in Table 1 [ Tab. Next, specific factors of multi-professionalism from the perspectives of the teachers are presented.

BSc (Hons) Childhood Studies - University of Bristol - the student experience

These go beyond the general influencing variables stated in the literature. The perception and description of the phenomenon of multi-professionalism for most of the teachers is characterised by the essential need that all teachers feel to find a balance between tediousness and individually specific expertise. Content also needs to be relevant for all occupational fields. The teachers emphasise that different levels of knowledge lead to different expert roles, which the teachers then need to incorporate into their teaching.

These varying levels of knowledge and heterogeneous fields of relevance become apparent, for example, in different content-relevant categories of dealings with the phenomenon of dementia. The results show that students use profession-specific categories when they discuss and present course content, and also use profession-specific assessment criteria: "if a student has a background in nursing science, she will initially use technical terms when describing an example, and reasons using concepts from her specialised background" Teacher 6.

Therefore the students, depending on the learning content, are sometimes experts and sometimes novices in individual fields of knowledge. Each profession plays both roles in the programme. It depends on which field of knowledge is being focused on, and on how deep and broad the professional previous knowledge is. This is described by Teacher 3 using the following example: "there are big differences in knowledge about and openness towards economic thinking and technical solutions to support care work.

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This can be seen in their openness towards knowledge and notions that are foreign to their fields. They also must accept content that may only be marginally directly relevant to their occupational groups. At the same time, students have to accept that when it comes to content that is specific to their fields, they will "only" update their levels of knowledge. The multi-professionalism of students is seen in the results, and especially in the differences: They have different conceptions and skills with regard to scientific work and the understanding of their professions.

Their working styles vary in terms of autonomy, research skills, processing of content as well as presentation techniques. For all profession-related differences, the reference value of the number of students in each cohort around 15 is not sufficient to be able to indisputably attribute these differences to the disciplines that the students were initially trained in. The survey showed that from a didactic perspective and from the teachers' point of view , individual professions can be capitalised by establishing specific profession-related anchors that serve as connecting factors.

For example, the PICOS schema was mentioned by teachers as being a profession-related anchor for medicine and nursing, and sometimes for therapists, in research-related topics. Outside of medicine and nursing, that is, in non-health professions there is no need for this. This is due to profession-specific research logic and the complexity of research questions.

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BSc Childhood Studies

Another example from the results is the subject of relationship structures. In this regard relationship dynamics and early childhood relationship experiences serve as an anchor for psychologists, educators and social workers. An anchor for architects and engineers is social design.

Depending on the learning content, teachers and students can address profession-specific aspects as novices or experts, discuss them together in a problem-solving way with the occupational groups, and externalise profession-specific matters of fact. According to the teachers, for the fostering of multi-professional learning processes it is important to create opportunities for the different students to make specific contributions based on their profession-related individual experiences, actions and expertise.

For example, "in discussions during the seminar, nursing concepts that are very familiar to most students are mentioned. Students from other disciplines ask about the concepts and wish to have them explained.

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In this context, the explanation helps everyone develop a common understanding of the concept. Often it becomes obvious that seemingly shared fundamental knowledge was not as clear as it was thought to be. Dealing with complex problems and joint project work were also rated as particularly suitable in the results. Joint learning is further promoted through a targeted and animated changing of roles, which involves students with expert knowledge also becoming teachers for certain content. Here the issue is about knowing concepts from other professions and making one's own view of problems compatible.

The BA Hons in Early Childhood Studies involve the in depth study of theoretical perspectives on the young child and provides strands relating to health and well being, professional communication and relationships, managment and professional experience. The degree is aimed at both males and females and is offered on a full time and part time basis.

It is designed to give students a broader understanding of how young children think, learn and develop. It takes account of developments within the field of early childhood and reflects the multi-professional and multi-disciplinary nature of contemporary early years services.


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The course identifies and promotes best practice in caring for and educating young children and provides a strong theoretical underpinning of such practice. Teaching and Learning A substantial part of the teaching and learning process is related to the student's workplace experience. Students have the opportunity of working in a variety of settings and with children of varying ages between 0 and 8 years.

ECE1 Integration of theory and practice is central to the line of development of the degree. You will consider childhood in all its diverse forms, child and adolescent development, health, care, social welfare and education services for children and young people from a multidisciplinary perspective, both nationally and globally. It is an interdisciplinary degree and programme units are drawn from a variety of different disciplines including psychology, social policy, health, education, sociology, law and social work.

This means that you will encounter variety both in content and in teaching style. Our childhood studies courses consists of a core curriculum of mandatory units and a choice each year of a number of additional units that you select from the range of units offered within the faculty and University. Childhood studies at Bristol benefits from the expertise of lecturers and researchers with international reputations who come together to teach this programme, united by their common interest in children.

Teaching and learning approaches are varied and include lectures, seminars and work in groups on real-life problems and issues. Observation visits will form an integral part of some units.