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Professional Love: The Heart of Our Work

by Carol Garboden Murray
January/February 2022
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/professional-love-the-heart-of-our-work/5026335/

“Love is the very foundation of relationships and of ethical encounters with and through the other.”
                                                                                          —Lynda Stone

Dr. Jools Page, from the University of Brighton, United Kingdom, has drawn upon the work of care theorist Nel Noddings to develop the concept of professional love. Page researches the intimacies that arise in early education settings and seeks to legitimize love at the foundation of early childhood education and care practices (Langford, 2019). Page attests that teachers are relieved that research on love is at last being conducted, because in the past, love has not been associated with professionalizing the field, even though research has confirmed that loving relationships are essential to developing identity and empathy in young children. 

A Parent’s Perspective on Professional Love

A parent described this scene of dropping off her 3-year-old daughter at school last week.

“I walk up to the center with a knot it my stomach. My daughter is clinging. ...

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