The benefits of new and different perspectives on child development

“In calling for new and different perspectives on child development, it is possible not only to change the way we think about children and how they learn but also to change the nature of the early childhood institution. For instance, Hedegaard and Chaiklin (2005) suggest that in homes and communities children’s knowledge is presented informally ‘and often not formulated explicitly’ (p.40). However, ‘knowledge presented in school is dominated by the societal aspects of practice and is formulated through demands for activity in school and at examinations’ (p.40). For instance, teaching professionals are expected to teach children to read and write, and many governments shape how this will be assessed and monitored. However, how this plays out in practice can and does vary. Yet in many western heritage communities we find early childhood centres where staff expect developmental milestones and plan their programmes accordingly. Institutionalized learning becomes a form of cultural practice, which is taken for granted as teh way one ‘does school’ or ‘does early childhood education’. Making these values and assumptions explicit is important in contesting their privileged and monocultural status within culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Through normalizing difference rather than recognizing only one cultural developmental trajectory, expectations in relation to development can be problematized immediately.”

Ref: 138 Marilyn Fleer (2006) ‘The cultural construction of child development: creating institutional and cultural intersubjectivity’ International Journal of Early Years Education 14(2)June: 127-140


About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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