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Critical Examinations of Quality in Early Education and Care

Regulation, Disqualification, and Erasure

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Edited By Gaile S. Cannella, Michelle Salazar Pérez and I-Fang Lee

Quality rating systems discourses and practices are increasingly dominating early childhood care and education around the globe. These rating systems are constructed with the assumption that universally appropriate environments can be constructed for all those who are younger. This deterministic, ratings, and measurement oriented perspective is consistent with neoliberal discourses that privilege competition, accountability, consumer materialism, and notions such as human capital; this contemporary neoliberal condition does not support concern for the common good, democracy, equity, justice, or diversity (unless the support can facilitate new forms of capitalist gains). Ultimately, this is not a positive situation for those who are younger. The chapters in this book have two goals: (1) to provide the reader with an opportunity to engage with some of the specific problems that result from putting forward ‘quality’ as a dominant construct, and (2) to generate conversations and locations from diverse knowledges and multiple ways of being that could lead to the rethinking of quality, understandings of quality as a narrowing construct/practice, and/or going beyond (and outside of) notions of quality.
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Chapter Nine: Qualities of Inuit Early Childhood Education in the Era of the Anthropocene

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CHAPTER NINE

Qualities OF Inuit Early Childhood Education IN THE Era OF THE Anthropocene

MARY CAROLINE ROWAN



Quality is a term that is used frequently in the field of early childhood education (ECE) as an overarching goal to be attained. Chandler (2012), for example, has published four editions of her book Administering for Quality. Baker and Manfredi/Petitt (2004) have written a volume titled Relationships, the Heart of Quality Care. Quality is a term that is used to reference almost every aspect of ECE. Yet Dahlberg, Moss, and Pence (2007) remind me that

the language of quality is not only a technology of normalization, establishing norms against which performance should be assessed, so shaping policy and practice. It is also a technology of distance, claiming to be able to compare performance anywhere in the world, irrespective of context. And it is a technology of regulation, providing a powerful tool for management, to govern at a distance through the setting and measurement of norms of performance. (p. ix)

In contrast to universalizing maneuverings of quality as a strategy of homogenization, described above, I propose thinking of qualities from Inuit perspectives. This is not to suggest that there could be a knowable Inuk or a singular notion of quality in Inuit early learning and childcare. As Briggs (1998) elucidates, “I do not expect to find totalizing systems in any cultural world” (p. 10). I will propose, however, that...

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