Practitioners' perspectives on their role in sustaining relationships with children

Patricia Thomson, Angela Lindsay (Research group member), Derya Asi (Research group member), Tracey Joyce (Research group member), Megan McKenzie (Research group member)

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Supporting children through nurturing relationships, rather than adult dominated ones should be the key focus. From this perspective, practitioners’ understanding and perceptions of their role in establishing and maintaining such relationships is an important aspect worthy of deeper exploration. Every practitioner has different experiences, thoughts, and beliefs; each idea is important to discover what kind of mental boundaries shape adult’s connection to young children. Therefore, in this study, we would like to realise how practitioners’ perceptions can be influenced by mental boundaries while building relationships with children.
    ‘How do practitioners describe their role in forming and sustaining relationships with children in early year settings?’ will be our research question.
    Participants (approximately 30) have been recruited based on non-random sampling from practitioners currently studying in BA Childhood Practice Programme. They have been asked to identify three adjectives to describe their role and explain reasons for their choice through a short anonymous survey. We have analysed our initial data based on the content analysis and our initial analysis indicated that practitioners mostly reported about their nurturing/caring roles in relationships with children. Being trusted and responsive adults within those relationships have also been identified as mostly repeated adjectives by practitioners. As data collection is still in process, further details will be presented and discussed during the conference.
    This study will provide an insight into practitioners’ perceptions regarding their professional role and will be helpful in raising awareness of this aspect of their role to identify potential mental boundaries they might have.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2021
    EventContemporary Childhood Conference: Borders and Boundaries - University of Strathclyde (virtual event), Glasgow, United Kingdom
    Duration: 9 Sept 202110 Sept 2021


    ConferenceContemporary Childhood Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


    • practitioners
    • relationships
    • young children


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