Academic journal article International Research Journal of Arts and Humanities

Globalization and Early Childhood Education: Urban Families Perceptions

Academic journal article International Research Journal of Arts and Humanities

Globalization and Early Childhood Education: Urban Families Perceptions

Article excerpt

Introduction and Literature Review

Globalization has become an eminent phenomenon in this era and has attracted an extensive attention of the modern world theorists, philosophers and human development practitioners. Globalization is interpreted differently by different authors. Gidden (2011) and O'Byrne and Hensby (2011) have described globalization as universal change, transformation and development. Globalization takes place in various conditions and situations. Globalization is also defined as homogeneity and cross border interaction of two nation states: where ideas and cultural exchange takes place. This phenomenon is widely studied in the west and a few critiques of globalization also argue that it is more a political agenda than a trend (Beck, 2000). It occurs also with changes in practice and principles which belong to different cultures; it also originates with changes in policies and capitalist development, and also with the technological advancement reforms. Hence, the role of globalization is pragmatic in all spheres of life.

Globalization in the educationmilieu can be seen as emanating from the late twentieth century when the strident demand for skilled and well qualified labour hit the capitalist market. At the same time, various international and human development agencies set universal goals of focusing education at all levels and for everyone. These initiatives have embodied and envisaged aspirations and zeal across the globe to keep education as a global agenda then simply increasing statistics. With this, came a number of paradigm shifts in the conceptualisation of education from simply few of formal secular education to a lifelong learning process. Globalization has not only influenced the higher and tertiary level learning but has also influenced its roots of learning in early years of life. In this context, many new initiatives were deployed to cater to the core purpose of education for all and meet the global agenda set for imparting education and to promote early childhood education so that children can be prepared for a more informed and organised adult life and can contribute in country's economic growth and development.

The influence of globalization in early childhood education (ECE) can be witnessed by the representation of global approaches demonstrated in most of the ECE programmes that cater to young children, their developmental needs and their education within the philosophical framework of child centred approach (Pearson & Degotardi, 2009). However, there has been a lot of debate on implications of Western and European strategies on the local settings of countries with less human development index. This is also widely accredited by many critiques that mere adoption of western strategies does not work in the local settings most of the time since eastern cultures are heavily influenced by their own cultures and patterns of living (Kennedy, 2006). Regardless of all the critiques in most of the eastern and low income countries ECE is practiced to meet the global agenda and as a tool that will lead to a better economic growth in future for such nations. The claims on significance of ECE for a better future by social media, international community and local labour market have resulted in increasing enrolment of young children and their participation in the education programmes and in formal schooling. So, not only the international agencies, government and community leaders emphasize and create opportunities to give access and supply education to young children but families and communities too have started showing willingness towards it. The core purpose of such initiatives to invest in young children's education is to harness love for knowledge, develop sense of belongingness with human community regardless of cast, creed, culture and country and to work as advocates of bringing positive change. Thus, families today specifically in the urban settings of low income earning countries have become aware and participate in enrolling their children in programmes that offers complete package of transformation and enhancement of basic life skills. …

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