Dr. Geoff Taggart (Lecturer in Early Years Education at the University of Reading’s Institute of Education) has recently completed his latest book chapter. The chapter, titled ‘Cultivating ethical dispositions in early childhood practice for an ethic of care: a contemplative approach’ is published in a book entitled ‘Theorising feminist ethics of care in early childhood practice: Possibilities and dangers’.

Can you teach people to be caring or can you only leave it to chance? Drawing on Geoff’s experience as teacher educator and current research in care ethics, the chapter argues that a semi-therapeutic training environment in which group work is prioritized can foster a gender-neutral caring disposition in early childhood education students.

One reason for the absence of caring skills or dispositions from training programmes for early years practitioners, as Geoff argues, is due to the highly gendered nature of early years work and so caring skills and dispositions are thus seen as completely natural and intrinsic to women and so do not need to be taught. This chapter argues the opposite. It shows how the capacity to engage in professional ethical care is conditioned by one’s early attachment experiences, a key theme in child development.

The book, edited by Rachel Langford, will be published and released by Bloomsbury Publishing on 13 June 2019. To pre-order this book, click here.

This is a fantastic example of research-informed scholarship by an experienced teacher educator here at the IoE. The chapter will, no doubt, have positive impact on many of our own teacher trainees as well as those at other institutions. Many congratulations, Geoff!