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Re-situating Canadian Early Childhood Education

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Edited By 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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11 Taking Children’s Rights and Participation Seriously: Cross-national Perspectives and PossibilitiesBeth Blue Swadener, Lacey Peters, & Sonya Gaches

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Cross-national Perspectives and Possibilities

Beth Blue Swadener, Lacey Peters, & Sonya Gaches

Researchers, practitioners, and early childhood community members are increasingly incorporating children’s voices into their work related to the establishment, strengthening, and understanding of sociological, political, and educational systems situated within the field of early childhood (Clark, 2005; Habashi, 2008; Lundy, 2007; Swadener & Polakow, 2011). Many positive outcomes have resulted from children’s participation in research and from more authentically including children in the planning and enactment of various projects, as well as working with children as co-researchers and consultants (Berson, 2009; Blanchet-Cohen & Elliot, 2011; Clark, 2011; Gunn, 2008; Lundy, 2006, 2007; Mac Naughton, Hughes, & Smith, 2007; Soto & Swadener, 2005). Undertakings such as these bring needed attention to the inclusion of children in decision-making processes that are directly affecting aspects of their lives. Further, the need for strategies that encourage children’s unmediated voices is increasingly evident—particularly for children who are members of marginalized groups in their societies.

This chapter foregrounds the voices and participation of children as a means of resituating early childhood theory and practice. Drawing from a range of literature and research experiences, we ask a basic question—What are our obligations to children, vis-à-vis a child’s-rights framework, in the context of resituating early childhood education and research in Canada and beyond? As U.S.-based researchers, we acknowledge the possible irony of writing a chapter focused on children’s rights-based research, as the United States is now the...

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