Overlapping Realities: Exploring How the Culture and Management of an Early Childhood Education Centre Provides Teachers with Opportunities for Professional Dialogue
This research project investigated teachers' use of professional dialogue in one EC education centre in New Zealand. The qualitative case study highlighted the teachers' understanding of professional dialogue, the perceived purposes for professional dialogue and the cultural and organisational opportunities for professional dialogue. The theoretical understanding of dialogue was drawn from educational and organisational literature. The term professional dialogue was also supported in the literature and captured the identity and ethos of the EC teachers' role as a professional. Cultural historical activity theory was the conceptual framework which informed the methodology and was used for the data analysis. Multiple perspectives were acknowledged in a collective understanding of professional dialogue. The research found that issues of time are important: the timing of the dialogical space and the lack of time for professional dialogue. In addition, opportunities for professional dialogue within an education centre are limited, social and ad hoc conversations support a team approach to professional dialogue, and the presence of student teachers enhance teachers' professional dialogue.