Progress towards defining family learning for a children's workforce: in a post-Brexit Scotland

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Recent reviews of a Scottish children's workforce have highlighted the importance of providing a flexible workforce which can communicate with a variety of different stakeholders, including parents and families, and is degree-qualified (Dunlop, 2015; Siraj and Kingston, 2015). In Childhood Studies, individuals undertaking a lead practitioner qualification are now required to have knowledge and skill in working with vulnerable families, and for Allied Health Professions and Community Educators, it is now common for professionals to seek Honours level qualifications to enable professional registration (SSSC, 2015). Yet less is known about the skills and competences of other practitioners working with children in family learning who are not professionally registered (e.g. musicians), and as such, their understandings and interpretations of the family learning process remain under-researched. This paper will discuss initial findings from a systematic literature review which seeks to analyse policy definitions and workforce competences needed for those working with families to provide family learning. A sociomaterial mapping method (cf. Fenwick, Edwards and Sawchuk, 2011) will be introduced to 'follow' recent developments in family learning (e.g. policy, professional learning and education spheres) and 'order' (Law, 2004) increasingly complex definitions of family, learning and care in the context of a post-Brexit Scotland. Particular focus progress made since the publication of 'A Review of Family learning: Supporting Excellence and Equity' (Education Scotland, 2016) which indicated that "there remains scope for targeted research on the definitive impact of family learning in Scotland" (p.45). Colleagues from each aspect of the longitudinal study will respond to the research question in the context of their literature review: (1) What are the current definitions of family learning across different sectors? This paper will conclude by foregrounding the remaining papers in the symposium.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2017
EventScottish Educational Research Association Annual Conference : Educational Futures in a Changing Landscape: Bridging Boundaries or "Mind the Gap"? - University of the West of Scotland, Ayr, United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Nov 201724 Nov 2017


ConferenceScottish Educational Research Association Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleSERA Conference 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • family learning
  • early learning and childcare
  • competences
  • health
  • community


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