Educating child practitioners: A (re)turn to the university disciplines

Joan Christine Forbes, Elspeth McCartney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper analyses a specific disjunctive policy space in Scotland involving the current key children's social and educational policy agenda, Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC), and a recent national report on teacher education, the ‘Donaldson Report’. In four main parts, the paper first introduces and applies in policy review and analysis a capitals frame to identify the policy–practice discontinuities currently inherent in the ‘GIRFEC-child practitioner education’ policy space, exemplified by the Donaldson Report. Then, the same capitals frame is applied to examine the capitals resources demanded in the particular ‘child–child practitioner education’ policy space previously delineated. Next, examples of policy disconnects amongst current child practice and practitioner education policy production and implementation, which warrant a concerted integrative cross-sector project to ensure coherent social and intellectual capital relations at all levels, are discussed. Finally, the paper calls for the governing professional registration bodies and universities involved in the education of child-sector practitioners to engage in the redesign of university programmes underpinned by principles of transdisciplinarity and transprofessionalism. The methodology is policy sociology and policy text analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-159
Number of pages16
JournalDiscourse : studies in the cultural politics of education
Issue number1
Early online date7 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • social and intellectual capital; children's public policy; children's practitioner education; policy discourses and pratices; policy sociology
  • children's public policy
  • children's practitioner education
  • policy discourses and practices
  • policy sociology


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