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Early Childhood Learning Communities: socio-cultural research in practice, - Essay Example

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The first chapter of the celebrated book on early childhood education, Early Childhood Learning Communities: socio-cultural research in practice, deals with a socio-cultural perspective on early childhood education. …
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Download file to see previous pages Marilyn Fleer. (Ed). Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.: Pearson Education Australia. Summary of the text with supporting quotes The first chapter of the celebrated book on early childhood education, Early Childhood Learning Communities: socio-cultural research in practice, deals with a socio-cultural perspective on early childhood education. The most essential concern of this chapter is to provide the need for rethinking, reconceptualising and reinventing in the socio-cultural perspective on early childhood education. In the opening section of the chapter, the author provides a clear explanation of the unique features of early childhood education. According to the author, the most essential feature that distinguishes early childhood education with other areas of education is that it focuses on child development. Professional knowledge in early childhood education, according to Fleer, is fundamental, especially to realize the ‘expected development’ of a child in this stage. In this introductory chapter of the work, Marilyn Fleer offers guidelines about gathering data on child development, the reification of the term ‘child development’, and mapping our own research questions. Significantly, in the first chapter, the author introduces a socio-cultural perspective of child development, which is the most important element of early childhood education. ...
of culture in determining the principles for defining development and in framing the contexts in which the educators can support the development of the child. The chapter, then, proceeds from ‘child development’ to ‘cultural-historical development of children’. Thus, the author proposes a new term in place of ‘child development’ which represents a static view of children: “the term ‘cultural-historical development of children’ more closely captures the dynamic and complex nature of cultural belief systems… The cultural-historical development of children is a dynamic term supporting a new worldview for early childhood education.” (Fleer, 2006, p. 10). Main points Early childhood education – focus on child development. New foundations – a socio-cultural perspective of child development. Cross-cultural research – cultural practice and child development. From ‘child development’ to ‘cultural-historical development of children’ – a new worldview for early childhood education. Analysis/critique The author effectively highlights the unique feature of early childhood education, i.e. it focuses on child development. Another major issue discussed in the chapter is regarding the new foundations of early childhood education. The chapter provides a clear explanation of the relevance of a socio-cultural perspective of child development in the new context of early childhood education. Based on the evidences from cross-cultural research, the author argues that cultural practice and child development are closely connected. Ultimately, the chapter provides a new worldview for early childhood education which shifts its focus from ‘child development’ to ‘cultural-historical development of children’. READING SUMMARY Reference Kennedy, Anne. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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