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child protection safeguarding child maltreatment teacher education preservice teacher trainee teacher scoping review

What is Known about Initial Teacher Education for Child Protection? A Protocol for a Systematic Scoping Review

Kerryann Walsh , Sarah Howard , Kirstine Hand , Lesley Ey , Angela Fenton , Chrystal Whiteford

Child maltreatment is a serious problem, worldwide. Children and young people who have experienced maltreatment face multiple physical and mental heal.


Child maltreatment is a serious problem, worldwide. Children and young people who have experienced maltreatment face multiple physical and mental health challenges which hinder their success at school and these adverse experiences makes them more challenging to teach than their non-maltreated peers. Increasingly, teachers are considered as an important part of the wider the child protection workforce as they are well-placed to intervene and prevent further harm. To fulfil this role effectively, teachers require requisite training beginning in initial teacher education programs. This paper is a protocol for a systematic scoping review that asks: “What is known about preservice/initial teacher education for child protection?”  Systematic scoping reviews are worthwhile and necessary in fields where research is diverse and needing of synthesis to identify strengths in the body of evidence and identify gaps to set new research directions. We will draw on Askey and O’Malley’s six-stage scoping review methodology to assess the scope, range, and nature of research activity on this topic. We will add an innovative seventh stage involving a commitment to disseminating and applying knowledge generated from the review. The research question has been established, and key terms defined (Stage 1). The search strategy has been devised, and searches have been run (Stage 2). Round 1 screening of titles and abstracts is completed and full text screening is currently in progress (Stage 3). To our knowledge this is the first attempt to systematically map the empirical literature on child protection in pre-service teacher education. When completed, this systematic scoping review will offer a comprehensive, transparent, and replicable way to assess the full scope of empirical research on this important topic of utmost educational relevance.

Keywords: Child protection, safeguarding, child maltreatment, teacher education, preservice teacher, trainee teacher, scoping review

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