One size doesn't fit all: Patterns of pre-primary teacher policy engagement

Document Type

Journal Article


Early Childhood Australia


Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


Education, Fogarty Learning Centre




This article was originally published as: Barblett, L. (2003). One size doesn't fit all: Patterns of pre-primary teacher policy engagement. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 28(2), 27-32. Original available here


In Western Australia the non-compulsory early years of school are administered by the compulsory schooling sector. Consequently, the ways in which pre-primary teachers are asked to account for their work have changed. Pre-primary teachers are asked to implement a school development plan and provide evidence of accomplishment of the school priorities. Such requirements have unsettled teachers, as they believe the 'one size fits all' application of school policies does not capture the essence of early childhood pedagogy and practice. This paper draws on qualitative and quantitative data collected during a study that investigated pre-primary teacher accountability from the policy level to the practicalities of classroom life. The study suggests that policies pertaining to the early years need to be written in such a way that meets the needs of the system, but also fits with the cultures of pre-primary teachers' classrooms.