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Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Care and Education

Critical Questions, New Imaginaries and Social Activism: A Reader


Marianne N. Bloch, Beth Blue Swadener and Gaile S. Cannella

Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Care and Education is a foundational text, which presents contemporary theories and debates about early education and child care in many nations. The authors selected are leading contributors in discussions about critical early childhood studies over the past twenty years; the editors are long-time scholars in the reconceptualizing early childhood movement. Audiences include students in graduate courses focused on early childhood and primary education, critical cultural studies of childhood, critical curriculum studies and critical theories that have been contested and debated and drawn from over the course of two decades.
The book is filled with recent scholarship by leading authors in the reconceptualization and rethinking of childhood studies and early childhood fields, who discuss foundational debates, new imaginaries in theory and practice and activist scholarship. A must-read for graduate students and professionals interested in beginning or continuing critical interrogations of current early childhood policy and reforms globally.


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Section IV: Social Action and Activism(s)


Social Action and Activism(s) Section IV Twenty Critical Qualitative Research and Rethinking Academic Activism in Childhood Studies Gaile S. Cannella Most critical reconceptualist scholarship (from a range of fields, including scholarship in early childhood education/care/studies over the past 20 years) has not resulted in the elimination of patriarchy or intersecting forms of oppression. Systemic and institutional oppressions and perspec- tives that continue to support injustices, as performed upon particular individuals, groups, non- humans, knowledges/ways of being, and the environment, have intensified (Cannella & Lincoln, 2009, 2012; Ellsworth, 1989). Further, reasons for the lack of transformative impact of critical scholarship have been examined. A continued oppressive condition can be understood as em- bedded within backlashes against diversity (e.g., moves to discredit feminisms), reinscriptions of oppressive forms of knowledge/action (e.g., evidence-based discourse practices, movements toward exclusionary quality ratings), and the corporatization of knowledge (e.g., transformation of higher education toward profit-oriented managerial and entrepreneurial functions, curriculum profiteer- ing). These example performances represent just a few of the technologies that have been employed to disqualify, muzzle, and make invisible critical scholarship and the public actions that can accom- pany that work (Cannella & Lincoln, 2012; Cannella & Miller, 2008; Lincoln & Cannella, 2004). During the 1980s, 1990s, and early part of the 21st century, scholars from around the globe and in a range of fields attributed much of these anti-critical reinscriptions and lack of critical transformations to the increasing dominance, and globalization, of western neoliberalism—most commonly associated with capitalism that privileges free markets, profiteering, and managerial...

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