This Thematic Strand focuses upon the training and education of all professionals working with children as well as issues of professionalism, professional identity, professional development, change and pedagogical practice. The innovation and relevance of this strand relates to the multi-disciplinary and multi-perspective approach taking into account not only the political, cultural, social and economic environment but also the working conditions, the structures and cultures of the contexts in which those professionals work. In addition, the development of this strand includes the perspective of the professionals working with children as well as children’s own perspective, particularly in regard to the so-called caring professions such as nurses, teachers, facilitators, support staff, social workers, etc.
In particular, this strand aims to look at the ways in which the various professionals working with children understand their work, their professional identities and their professional development. Its goal also includes the analysis of the ways in which current challenges in the Portuguese society, as a result of the economic and financial crisis, have been affecting them and their work.
Thus, this strand encompasses a number of sub-themes that will be developed under different strategic research projects: professional learning and development; professional identities; professional knowledge; professional learning communities;
professional educational practice in different contexts; liaison between professional workers, families, local community institutions and organisations; leadership in caring and educational contexts and the analysis of the multi-disciplinary teams working with children (psychologists, social workers, nurses, facilitators, etc).
A mixed-method perspective will be adopted in order to capture the complexity, dynamic and diversity of the issues underpinning the research projects within this strand. It also includes a cross-disciplinary focus including the articulation and joint work with researchers more involved in CIEC other strands as well as international networks in which the CIEC researchers are involved.