Academic journal article Australian Journal of Early Childhood

Editorial

Academic journal article Australian Journal of Early Childhood

Editorial

Article excerpt

As professionals in the field of early childhood education, our most obvious starting point for our work is young children. The potential exists however, for forces other than the pedagogical to displace children from the centre of our thoughts; and perhaps in recent times it has become all too easy to lose sight of the child in our rush to serve them in the context of a changing economic, political and social landscape. In this unthemed edition, a number of articles remind us to consider the experience of childhood from the child's perspective.

Grey writes from the children's viewpoint exploring how young children's autobiographical memories are linked to their developing sense of self and their cultural communities. Further, children's abilities to recall autobiographical memories are linked to their earliest literacy practices, shaping their awareness of narrative and serving as a base for more formal literacy acquisition.

Boardman considers the issues related to provision of full and half day kindergarten programs in the context of changing family and work practices. Her research suggests that educators consider children to experience benefits and limitations with regard to the development of social skills, programming issues and transition to prep in both circumstances. Further research is required to determine how these issues impact on the quality of children's educational experiences.

Cronin and Diezmann highlight the need for educators to be aware, and supportive of, giftedness in young children across a variety of forms and cultural contexts by presenting early education from the perspective of two gifted Aboriginal children. They suggest that the girls' learning needs are at risk given the challenges involved in recognising their cultural backgrounds and acknowledging their parents' goal for them to cross cultural boundaries by participating in a formal educational setting.

Based on the generally accepted premise that children learn through play, and with a focus on education from the child's perspective, Sandberg explores children's conceptions of teachers' ways of relating to their play. Finding that children tend to view teachers as necessary to play primarily as support persons, Sandberg urges us to re-consider how adults orientate themselves to children's play in the context of early education with an emphasis on considering how the children might interpret adult play interactions. …

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