Regulation, Disqualification, and Erasure
Edited By Gaile S. Cannella, Michelle Salazar Pérez and I-Fang Lee
Chapter Six: The Dangers of the Neoliberal Imaginary of Quality: The Making of Early Childhood Education and Care as a Service Industry
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The Dangers OF THE Neoliberal Imaginary OF Quality
The Making of Early Childhood Education and Care as a Service Industry
Discussions on quality in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) are omnipresent in the 21st century. One quick example of how the issue of educational quality has grown to become of importance to all can be seen by using Internet search engines. Using Google type in ‘quality early childhood and care’ as keywords, and you will get more than 72,200,000 results. When I try this same set of keywords in Traditional Chinese, more than 2,040,000 results appear on my computer screen in less than one second. Trying the same set of keywords in two different languages highlights the fact that concern for quality provision in ECEC is widespread regardless of cultural boundaries.
Quality certainly matters. However, discussions about the ways in which the notions of quality should be understood, measured, and classified are often narrowly politicized with a neoliberal political and economic rationality to address the issues of equity and equality for all children across multiple sociocultural and geopolitical locations.
Take the series Starting Strong (OECD, 2001, 2006, 2012) as one example. In the series of international reports on the reviews of the ECEC systems in numerous Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, it has been strongly emphasized that quality...
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