Childhood Education


(a) Addition of two key concepts to the writer's vocabulary

The showing of schooling as ‘monocultural' and ‘taken-for-granted' practices in schools and centres do not easily support or match those of the children and their families. In universalist truth and monocultural perspective, the culture of one group/class is clearly privileged above the other - where human agency may be frail, especially among those with little power, but it happens daily therefore it deserves our attention'. In such circumstances what is often silenced is the known socio-historical and cultural world of concerned families, the familiar signs and symbols, and established social and cultural practices and beliefs. Until we appreciate the physical existence, experiences, and knowledges of the traditionally marginalized, our concern for child will never be realized. (Nicola Yelland, Critical issues in early childhood education, p 26-32)

The Mosaic Approach, involving a process both the gathering of materials and dialogue, reflection an interpretation of these documents facets of the preschool. It recognizes that children are experts in their own lives and uses range of different ways of documenting children's views and everyday experiences. It is multi-method recognizing the multiple languages of childhood and adopt the participatory approach by involving children. The UN Child Rights convention also recognized the children participation and importance of their views in matters relating to them. (Gunilla Dahlberg & Peter Moss, Ethics and politics in early childhood education: p 158-161)

b) Concept needs more study

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Yelland, in “critical issues in early childhood education” states that children's experiences and expectations are determined by their local communities, particular political and economic strata, and specific ethnic and cultural groups. The mono-cultural approach is ethnocentric and that it ignores the range of life contexts and knowledges experienced by children from diverse cultural, ethnic, linguistic and value contexts. Therefore I want to investigate that the current mono-cultural practices prevailing in the preschools and child care centres, is how much detrimental to the children mental and physical development and effects of parent's resistance in following such practices.

c) Linkage of ideas (a) & (b) to child in surrounding

As the world becomes a global village, few countries can lay claim to a truly homogeneous population. Today, multicultural diversity characterizes most countries, a factor that has enormous implications in early childhood education. Children's experiences and expectations are determined by their local communities and particular ethnic or cultural grouping. Muslim origin Australians living in neighbouring environment have specific cultural sensitivity predominantly female and can not be merged into mono-cultural setup. Therefore they need education services that take into account their diverse cultural, economic and ethnic background.

Community Reflection

a) Central idea a reading: critical issues in early childhood education (Nicola Yelland)

Yelland, in “” portrays that many early childhood educators, researchers and theorists throughout the world are focusing attention on the ecology of childhood. Numerous researchers, as part of an ecological approach to understanding children's development, have explored family characteristics and how they interact with the community at large. In order to truly children, however, we must select a broader orientation. Development can only be fully understood when it is viewed in the larger cultural context.

A child culture may be the mainstream or dominant culture, or it may be one of many subcultures that can found in almost any country. Therefore there is a need for dialogue among early childhood educators, both within their own communities and with colleagues from other countries. This collegial communication deepens early childhood educator's understanding of children's similarities and differences. Therefore, Yelland emphasised that reconceptualists and developmentalists should join together to generate new discourses and to construct actions that actually challenge the power that has been created over children which has led to their being constructed and labeled as ignorant, innocent, and without agency beyond their own developmental explorations.

b) Other proposed reading

The “critical issues in early childhood education” examines research across a range of settings on professional development and school readiness and provides a solid foundation of knowledge the early childhood education field needs by viewing children's native culture in the larger context.

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In agreement to the above study I would refer to the study “Multiple literacies in early childhood” of Jones Diaz, Arthur & Beecher arguing that early childhood educators need to go beyond developmentalist and constructivist models of literacy which categorise cultural and social difference within fixed boundaries as 'add on' inclusions to mainstream views of language and literacy learning. It explored frameworks of poststructural and critical theories, providing contextually effective starting points to maximize children's social and cultural capital. The study identified the significance of popular culture and children's divers literacy practices. It further describes that challenge for early childhood educators is to find out about children's multiple literacies and integrate these into the program.

Jones Diaz, Arthur & Beecher, Multiple literacies in early childhood. Paper presented at AARE, Sydney University, Dec 4-7, 2000 on line: