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Living Stories

Nontraditional College Students in Early Childhood Education

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Susan Bernheimer

In Living Stories: Nontraditional College Students in Early Childhood Education, Susan Bernheimer takes the reader into her journey with a group of nontraditional college students. Bernheimer’s struggle to find a meaningful approach to teaching the students about early childhood development and care is infused with the insights and wisdom that come from listening to, and valuing, the remarkable stories of her students’ lives. This book offers a powerful new road map for early childhood teacher preparation through a relational pedagogy that honors students’ life experiences and that leads to deep reflection and learning. The approach is embedded in students’ strengths and knowledge and is successfully inclusive of an increasingly diverse student demographic. Bernheimer provides an inclusive model of education that builds upon the strengths of all students. 

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Gaile S. Cannella, General Editor

For many years, the field of Childhood Studies has crossed disciplinary boundaries that include, but are not limited to, anthropology, art, education, history, humanities, and sociology by addressing diverse histories, cultures, forms of representation, and conceptualizations of ‘‘childhood’’. The publications in the Rethinking Childhood series have supported this work by challenging the universalization of childhood and introducing reconceptualized, critical spaces from which increased social justice and possibilities are generated for those who are younger.

This newly named Childhood Studies series in the global twenty-first century is created to continue this focus on social justice for those who are younger, but also to broaden and further explore conceptualizations of privilege, justice, possibility, responsibility, and activism. Authors are encouraged to consider ‘‘childhood’’ from within a context that would decenter human privilege and acknowledge environmental justice and the more-than-human Other, while continuing to research, act upon, and transform beliefs, public policy, societal institutions, and possibilities for ways of living/being in the world for all of us. Boundary crossings are of greater importance than ever as we live unprecedented technological change, violence against living beings that are not labeled human (through experimentation, industrialization, and medicine), plundering of the earth, and gaps between the privileged and the marginalized (whether rich/poor, human/nonhuman). Along with continued concerns related to social justice, equity, poverty, and diversity, some authors in the Childhood Studies series will choose to think about, and ask questions such as: What does...

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