Segments and stutters: early years teachers and becoming-professional

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There has been extensive research and analysis of the professionalization of early childhood educators/teachers. The recent promotion of a teacher-led workforce in England has further focused discussions on the modelling of early years teachers as professionals. In this article, the author develops an alternative analysis using the concepts of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari to explore professionalization as a process of becoming. English policy focus has been on constituting early years teachers as reflective and rational subjects, and moving towards a narrower view of professional identity where school-ready discourses are prevalent. The author’s research with early years teachers reveals a complex negotiation and interchange with the demands of professional identity. This is analysed through Deleuze and Guattari’s concepts of segmentation to refer to the forms of power which order early years teachers’ professional identity, and stuttering to develop the forms of resistance and negotiation that suggest a more fluid model of becoming. In particular, the analysis focuses on how stuttering opens up beyond the limits of a discourse analysis to suggest embodied and material forms of practice that are central to early years teaching. This methodology allows a move beyond the binary nature of humanist thought which posits mind-matter and culture-nature, towards a politics of possibility in which emerging early years teachers are engaged with an embodied and material world.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


  • Early Years Teacher
  • teacher training
  • Deleuze and Guattari
  • becoming-professional
  • segmentarity
  • stutters


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