The College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE) regulates registered early childhood educators (RECEs) in Ontario, Canada. The CECE distributes numerous communications to RECEs, whereby the text (both implicitly and explicitly) works to situate ECEs within a particular professional identity. This research study applies discourse analysis to code and categorize text from 66 communications disseminated by the CECE to RECEs. I identify five key discourses as well as several discursive strategies used to reinforce the discourses that contribute to the construction of a professional identity for Ontario RECEs. This study also employs two theoretical frameworks, feminist theory and critical race theory (CRT), to examine “what is not being said” by the CECE about the realities of RECE working conditions. I offer a counter-discourse to provide a narrative account of how particular RECE working conditions and real life professional experiences collide with the five discourses, and create a professional crisis in a current patchwork system.
Keywords: professional identity, discourses, constructionism, feminist theory, critical race theory (CRT)