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Future Directions for EC Education: 10 Concerns

by Colin Gibbs
November/December 2009
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/future-directions-for-ec-education-10-concerns/5019076/

My task is to draw together themes from this Working Forum. I am mindful of not forcing conclusions, but rather allowing the space for us to keep on dwelling in the questions so that, as Michel Foucault (1989) puts it, the ­questions remain permanently open. Lilian Katz (2008) asked: “What are the problems that as early childhood educators we are trying to answer?” Well, these are my ten concerns for early childhood teacher education.

1. A concern about policymakers’ ­pottery wheels
We need policy makers. Policymakers should enable fair and equitable systems for early childhood education. My concern here relates to those who may be seen as potters, and those who may be seen as clay when it comes to early childhood education.

An example: The achievement of Māori is reported as being lower than non-Māori students. In response, recent curriculum documents emphasize enabling the educational systems to function effectively so that Māori students’ achievement will increase. Such an argument suggests that if systems are effective, then achievement will increase. A desirable outcome, except that such increases in achievement are inevitably attributed to policymakers who orchestrated changes in the systems. If, however, Māori students fail to make gains, then teachers are to blame. ...

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