Convergent and Divergent Ways of Professional Development: The Case of RODACIE Practitioners

Cătălina Ulrich, Ecaterina Vrăşmaş, Mihaela Stîngu
2014 Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences  
This study attempts to explore the process of professional development of RODACIE (Romanian Danish Center for Integrated Education) team. Set up in 2012 as an innovative centre for early education in Bucharest, RODACIE grounds on both Romanian and Danish values and quality education trends. RODACIE also represents a professional development laboratory, nurtured by the involvement of experts and trainers from both countries. The paper discusses material from ongoing action-research project in
more » ... ch the authors are involved. It gives voice to practitioners, inspired and challenged by multiple and sometimes conflicting practices. Practices are shaped by cultural differences and various understanding of development and care, health and nutrition, freedom and guidance, nurture and culture, body and mind, autonomy and discipline, competition and cooperation, etc. From a professional development perspective, the seven members of the staff are in an unique condition. They are simultaneously exposed to RODACIE on-the-job-training and they are enrolled as students in the Early Education Master degree program at the University of Bucharest. The coordinator of the center and seven early education practitioners have different professional backgrounds and age ranging from 28 to 50 years old. Their double exposure represents a complex and challenging opportunity to reflect on from different perspectives. Data collected (since October 2012) by weekly site observations, monthly photo analysis, focus groups and individual interviews, policy documents and critical incidents analysis provide rich insights. At one hand, subjects reflect on their own professional development and critically compare the types of learning experiences (gained by on the job training and by attending the master degree academic program). At another hand, mature reflective practitioners focus on their double affiliation (to RODACIE project learning community and the academic community as master students) and provide rich ideas on how universities can improve their provisions on adult and continuing education.
doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.07.673 fatcat:fwis3xyy4va4vdgqapz4a3gadq