Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education

Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education

Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education

Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education


"This book is a valuable contribution to the creation of a more critical and theoretically diverse approach to early childhood policy and practice. Through many vivid examples and a varied cast-list of authors, both academics and practitioners, it shows the potential of this approach for pedagogical work in early childhood institutions and the education of the early childhood workforce."
Professor Peter Moss, Institute of Education, University of London, UK.

"In the era of No Child Left Behind in the U. S., you might think that the landscape of educational research and practice has been transformed into a row of 'scientific' models and unvarying curricular scripts. Nicola Yelland's volume will persuade you that, in contrast, the landscape in early childhood education is varied and full of unconventional angles. The authors examine virtually every significant aspect of curricular practice and postmodernist theory, while challenging readers to be skeptics themselves – to engage with risky ideas on the way to transformative actions."
Celia Genishi, Professor of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, USA.

This book challenges long-established beliefs about early childhood education. It offers readers the opportunity to think about the aspects of their profession that are fundamental to providing effective and equitable educational opportunities for young children in the 21st century. Well-known contributors explore issues that are not only 'critical' in terms of being fundamental to early childhood education, but also 'critical' in that they present alternative ideas and use frameworks that are not traditional to the field. Organized in three parts, the book considers:

  • Contemporary views of early childhood education and teaching
  • The rethinking of early childhood practices
  • The emergence of new technologies and multiliteracies
The chapters in the book focus on aspects of early childhood education that have for a long time been accepted as truisms, or have been too hard to deal with and thus often ignored. For example, they include a consideration of issues that range from examining play that might be sexual in focus or learning how to cope with traumatic events in young children's lives, to the ways in which popular culture and new literacies impact on what young children are interested in and how they can be engaged in learning with information and communications technology.

Essential reading for students in all early childhood studies programmes, as well as early childhood practitioners who want to engage in more reflective practices around their work.

Yarrow Andrew, Chelsea Bailey, Mindy Blaise, Elizabeth Brooker, Sheralyn Campbell, Gaile Cannella, Richard Johnson, Anna Kilderry, Jackie Marsh, Jeanette Rhedding Jones, Leonie Rowan, Sharon Ryan, Jonathan Silin, Jennifer Sumsion, Daniel Walsh, Nicola Yelland


At the dawn of the new century it was inevitable to reflect on the state of the world and our lives in them. One of the most obvious manifestations of the change from one century to the next was the apprehension that surrounded the actual event. We were prepared for the ultimate disaster when it was predicted that our daily activities that relied so much on computer networks, would fail, public transport systems would be thrown into chaos and capitalism and commerce would disintegrate as records were lost and business halted. All because at another dawn, that is when computers were created, the systems were made with only two spaces for recording or acknowledging the date and somehow computers might be confused about whether it was 1800 or 1900 instead of 2000. In retrospect, we know that none of this did in fact happen but there was money to be made from promoting Y2K bug salvations. These events and many others epitomized the changes that had occurred in the western world over the course of the century, and in particular, those which have escalated during the past 20 years. Events of the past two decades have served to illustrate how different our lives have become and additionally this reminds us that the world that our children are growing up in is changing at an even faster rate. Such rapid growth was illustrated in Moore's Law (Intel Research, 2004) that the capacity and capabilities of silicon integrated circuits double approximately every two years and mirror the ways in which the content and structure of our lives are constantly multiplying at a tremendous speed.

In such new contexts, issues around globalization have highlighted the need to extend boundaries of existence, together with a recognition of diversity across contexts, cultures, identities, commerce and production. The role of new technologies in everyday activities has reshaped our lifeworlds, so that some jobs have been obliterated and many new styles of living have been created. While we have had to adapt to the changing times, new generations have been inducted into new systems as citizens, workers and consumers. As societies have been characterized by these massive changes and the world at . . .

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