Curriculum in Early Childhood Education: Re-Examined, Rediscovered, Renewed

Curriculum in Early Childhood Education: Re-Examined, Rediscovered, Renewed

Curriculum in Early Childhood Education: Re-Examined, Rediscovered, Renewed

Curriculum in Early Childhood Education: Re-Examined, Rediscovered, Renewed


Curriculum in Early Childhood Education: Reexamined, Rediscovered, Renewed provides a critical examination of the sources, aims, and features of early childhood curricula. Providing a theoretical and philosophical foundation for examining teaching and learning, this book will provoke discussion and analysis among all readers. How has theory been used to understand, develop, and critique curriculum? Whose perspectives are dominant and whose are ignored? How is diversity addressed? What values are explicit and implicit?

The book first contextualizes the historical and research base of early childhood curriculum, and then turns to discussions of various schools of theory and philosophy that have served to support curriculum development in early childhood education. An examination of current curriculum frameworks is offered, both from the US and abroad, including discussion of the Project Approach, Creative Curriculum, Te Whriki, and Reggio Emilia. Finally, the book closes with chapters that enlarge the topic to curriculum-being-enacted through play and that summarize key issues while pointing out future directions for the field. Offering a broad foundation for examining curriculum in early childhood, readers will emerge with a stronger understanding of how theories and philosophies intersect with curriculum development.


Our plans for this volume came from many conversations together as we revitalized our early childhood education-focused master’s degree program. We are situated within a large metropolitan area, and many of our undergraduate alumni remain close by after they finish their degrees. On the one hand, an administrative push for program growth led us to consider drawing these alumni back for more coursework. On the other hand, we believed strongly that ongoing professional development and support for teachers were vital to their work in the classroom. We focused our graduate program and coursework revitalization on teachers still within their first several years of teaching. These are teachers who have survived the hectic pace of the first years of induction, and they are still honing their craft. in addition, we believe that as they navigate the waters of the early-career teacher, new questions will continue to arise.

We planned new coursework framed always around our own sensibility about what teachers need to do their jobs. We all spent several years in the classroom ourselves, and we are dedicated to helping others grow to become effective practitioners. Thus, we designed one course as an advanced examination of early childhood curriculum. It is from the issues and ideas we have discussed in this course that we found the idea to collect readings into one source that could serve as the backbone for expanding discussions into the history, nature, endeavors, and problems of curriculum.

Our thesis is that advanced examinations of curriculum should focus on, first, the underpinnings of what is done in the name of curriculum in the field. We want to provoke an examination of the links between theory and philosophy, educational aims and values, and curriculum planning and enactment. Therefore, we have focused one section of the volume on links between theorizing about curriculum and developing curriculum, examined from various vantage points. Second, we . . .

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