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Policy reforms in initial teacher education in Australia have typically omitted the early childhood sector. This chapter adopts a cultural-historical perspective to explain this persistent neglect. Obvious explanations, such as the location of early childhood education outside the compulsory education sector, are noted. It then argues that recent policy attention to early childhood education internationally makes this neglect increasingly difficult for teacher education policy-makers to sustain. Five emerging dimensions of teaching in the early childhood sector in Australia, including regulatory demands to increase the supply of degree-qualified teachers, are offered as evidence for the likelihood of teacher education policy reform reaching into early childhood education in the near future. The chapter concludes with proposals for research directions urgently needed to inform such reforms.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Book Chapter

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