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Critical Examinations of Quality in Early Education and Care

Regulation, Disqualification, and Erasure


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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Gaile S. Cannella, General Editor

For many years, the field of Childhood Studies has crossed disciplinary boundaries that include, but are not limited to, anthropology, art, education, history, humanities, and sociology by addressing diverse histories, cultures, forms of representation, and conceptualizations of ‘‘childhood’’. The publications in the Rethinking Childhood series have supported this work by challenging the universalization of childhood and introducing reconceptualized, critical spaces from which increased social justice and possibilities are generated for those who are younger.

This newly named Childhood Studies series in the global twenty-first century is created to continue this focus on social justice for those who are younger, but also to broaden and further explore conceptualizations of privilege, justice, possibility, responsibility, and activism. Authors are encouraged to consider ‘‘childhood’’ from within a context that would decenter human privilege and acknowledge environmental justice and the more-than-human Other, while continuing to research, act upon, and transform beliefs, public policy, societal institutions, and possibilities for ways of living/being in the world for all of us. Boundary crossings are of greater importance than ever as we live unprecedented technological change, violence against living beings that are not labeled human (through experimentation, industrialization, and medicine), plundering of the earth, and gaps between the privileged and the marginalized (whether rich/poor, human/nonhuman). Along with continued concerns related to social justice, equity, poverty, and diversity, some authors in the Childhood Studies series will choose to think about, and ask questions such as:...

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