Childhood Pedagogy

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a) Two Key Concepts in the Readings

The supplied readings on ‘interrupting dominant images' (Christine & Marie), exploring three themes of dominant childhood images - where ‘Child as Embryo Adult' has added a new concept in my vocabulary. It defines that children are raw material from which a socially accepted adult will be shaped and childhood is the time of preparation for ‘life'. “Preparation for life” implies that childhood is not a life - which positions the teacher as magic facilitator, creating appropriate environment for development of a child: where a child move from irrationality to the rationality of adulthood (Christine & Marie p 29-30).

The second value added concept in my vocabulary is ‘Children have a strong sense of wellbeing' (Belonging, being & becoming: The early years learning framework in Australia, p 30). Wellbeing includes both physical and psychological aspects consisting of good physical health; feelings of happiness, satisfaction and social functioning. It influences the way children interact in their environments. A strong sense of wellbeing provides children with confidence and optimism which enhance their leaning potentials. It also encourages the development of children's inherent aptitude, a sense of agency and a desire to interact with responsive others.

b) Concept needs more study

In ‘interrupting dominant images: critical and ethical issues' (Christine & Marie), the three dominant concepts of children's images remained largely uncontested leading question of their appropriateness for use in early childhood practices. Therefore, there is need for in-depth study on the necessasity to work for an alternate conceptual framework for distinguishing shared understandings and making practice-based judgments including the interests of marginalized groups about tradition of ethics in early childhood.

Beliefs we hold about children, and the images of childhood on which we draw, affect our understanding and implementation of our role as early childhood professionals in many ways. For example, they underpin our interactions with children, are embedded in our responses to children's ideas and behaviour, and are influential in the choices we make in relation to overall curriculum and pedagogy. Therefore we should consider the prevailing ethical culture of all social groups and should not apply one principle to all as emphasised by universalist!

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

When a childhood teacher creates friendly environment with his students and demonstrate trust and confidence to them, s/he will always find them responsive in the same manner. For example encourage them to recognise their individual achievements and share it with other children and families, it will develop confidence and spirit of cooperation and collaboration amongst them. While developing such environment, the teacher must consider the culture and origin of his students might be they do not belong to same culture and/or origin therefore they should not be treated on universal yardstick.

Community Reflection

a) Central idea a reading: ‘interrupting dominant images' (Christine & Marie)

The three dominant traditional models of children's images are inadequate for considering alternative ethical positions in the field of childhood; therefore it is time to revisit the strategies which can be adopted to interrupt these dominant images and creating possibilities for the development of new relations. Possibilities for interruption and interrogation of the dominant images are: teaching, advocacy work and research.

In this article we discuss advocacy as tool of interrupting held beliefs of dominant images. A range of advocacy work can be undertaken by early childhood educators. The advocacy work ranges from questioning images of childhood, pointing key questions for instance who produces these images and the claims and interests they serve. Our field knowledge and experiences, together with cultural artifacts (such as books, movies, rituals, institutions) and our professional resources, inform our understanding of the notion of childhood: what it is, what it means, and what it should be like. Through advocacy tools such as political activism, lobbying and use of media critiquing these images and encouraging debate for developing new images will be more effective. The advocacy work can be undertaken with other stakeholders such as health and welfare workers, since images of childhood are also central to their professional work.

Advocacy profoundly can influence the way we argue our case to politicians, policy-makers, and public. Yet, until relatively recently, the beliefs and images that contribute to particular constructions of childhood in the field of early childhood have remained largely unexamined and uncontested. They have tended to lurk as self-evident truths, encompassing a set of assumptions about shared values in relation to children and childhood, parents and parenting, education and schooling.

b) Other proposed reading

Understand early childhood pedagogy is multifaceted, hence can not be focused on one aspect instead linked with other neighbouring environments of childhood. Therefore while revisiting childhood critical pedagogy as an ideal framework from which to view early childhood curriculum practice and research can be situational - based instead of problem-based. For situation-based pedagogy and child development I am glad to refer Sue Docket's (university of Western Sydney) article “Situation-based pedagogy and child development in early childhood teacher education”, which in agreement to Christine & Marie's concept of practice-based. The author emphasised on situation-based approach differentiating from problem-based learning-where decisions dictates for most appropriate alternatives, rather than trying to find a correct solution (p 4).

Sue Docket, ‘Situation-based pedagogy and child development in early childhood teacher education'. School of education and early childhood studies, university of Sydney. URL: