Pioneers of Early Childhood Education: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide

By Barbara Ruth Peltzman | Go to book overview
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The educators who built the field of early childhood education have been the subject of many studies including Agnes Snyder's 1972 book, Dauntless Women in Childhood Education, 1856-1931, and the 1992 ACEI sequel, Profiles in Childhood Education, 1931-1960. Previous works, however, do not provide the researcher with primary and secondary sources, information on multicultural educators, nor do they discuss some of the more current educators. Researchers and practitioners frequently need to locate material that is only available in primary sources. They also may want to know what someone else thinks about a method or theory so that there can be a meeting of the minds to help with a decision.

Millie Almy ( 1984) believes that everyone involved with the present and future of the education of young children needs to make judgments about educational trends in light of knowledge about theory and practice. One way to assist researchers and practitioners to make informed decisions is to provide an annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources in early childhood education. This reference book provides biographies and bibliographies of selected pre-modern and modern men and women who have made significant contributions to early childhood education. Individuals and organizations, for example the National Association of Colored Women, were selected because they represent a multicultural perspective on early childhood education. The biographies provide a personal perspective in which to view the primary sources. Information about the pioneers helps the reader to understand the theories and practices discussed in the context of the times in which they were written.

It is impossible to include everything by and about every pioneer. However, the material presented in this resource provides a perspective on each important era in the history of early childhood education.

The biographies are arranged in alphabetical order followed by the primary sources arranged in chronological order. Secondary sources are listed alphabetically according to author and include obituaries, articles, dissertations, and books. Works were chosen because they represent the most interesting and informative sources by and about the pioneers.

The work of the pioneers have influenced, as Bernard Spodek ( 1973) states, current practice in early childhood education. For each, education developed out of. . .a humanist tradition, a concern for young children, for the support of their autonomy and development, and a belief in the importance of the early experiences in the lives of people. It is vital to study the past because, as Spodek informs us, there are striking parallels between historical and contemporary theory and practice. We know that there is very little that is new in education. Time has shown that much of what contemporary theorists and practitioners discover, has its roots in the


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