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Re-situating Canadian Early Childhood Education

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Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw and Larry Prochner

This book presents research exploring the potential for postfoundational theories to revitalize discussions in early childhood education. In the past two decades, postfoundation theories (e.g., postmodern, poststructural, feminist, postcolonial, etc.) have revolutionized the field of early childhood education, but at the same time, little has been written about the value and potential of this movement within the context of Canada. Postfoundational theories have the potential to disrupt normalizing early childhood education discourses that create and maintain social inequities, and to respect differences and diversities. Given the importance of diversity in Canada, it seems relevant to explore further how postfoundational theories might transform early childhood education.
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Foreword—Reconceptualist Her/Histories in Early Childhood Studies: Challenges, Power Relations, and Critical ActivismDaphney L. Curry & Gaile S. Cannella

Rejecting Universalist Perspectives: Listening to Early Childhood Herstories and the Possibilities of Deconstruction

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Foreword

Reconceptualist Her/Histories in Early Childhood Studies

Challenges, Power Relations, and Critical Activism

Daphney L. Curry & Gaile S. Cannella

For the past twenty or thirty years, groups of early childhood researchers and educators around the globe have stood for the reconceptualization of early childhood education, now often referred to as critical early childhood studies. Conceptually and ideologically, the rethought field emphasizes more socially just and diverse ways of knowing, being, and doing (Bloch, 1992; Cannella, 1997; Jipson, 1991; Mac Naughton, 2000; Silin, 1987). Reconceptualist early education is closely aligned with civil rights, equity, and diversity as reconceptualist scholars have challenged, and continue to challenge, dominant ideologies in the field that reinforce Euro-Western assumptions about human beings and life in general. The Enlightenment, modernist attempt to extinguish the premodern through the construction of a belief in science has created a self-named “Western” environment that has legitimated social control and regulation by those in power over “others” (Cannella, 1997; Cannella & Viruru, 2004; Dahlberg, Moss, & Pence, 1999; Shallwani, 2010). Shallwani (2010) explains that “the modern Enlightenment project has been characterized by belief in the power of sciences to discover objective universal truth, belief that the pursuit and attainment of this knowledge can lead to a better life, and belief in a liberal democratic state founded on rationality and knowledge” (p. 232).

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