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Storying Learning in Early Childhood

When Children Lead Participatory Curriculum Design, Implementation, and Assessment


Elizabeth Quintero

Storying Learning in Early Childhood documents philosophical, research, and critical questions about notions of childrens’ experiences and learning potential that heavily influence the profession. Critically created, child-centered curriculum and assessment collaborations focus on contexts of homes, schools, and communities. This book brings into focus policy issues, economic issues, and political realities that affect us all as we engage in curriculum and assessment. Patterns of findings under the foci of critical, responsive curriculum and authentic assessment for all children have illustrated new questions, provoked new trajectories of informants, and reiterated connections to dynamic issues in early childhood internationally. The work involved in curriculum and assessment points to international discussions about what is «quality» in early care and education and who has the power to decide. These international dynamics highlight the inevitable connections among programs for young children, policies, and politics. Further consideration regarding multiple histories, strengths, and needs of young children also illustrate little-discussed refugees and migrating people around the world – and their children – who are growing and experiencing life wherever they are living in a variety of situations with or without support.
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Chapter 1. Introduction: What Is and What Could Be…


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While it is encouraging that, in the United States and internationally, early care and education is becoming a frequent topic of conversation in policy and political discussions, we still have a long way to go. There is a vast lack of knowledge about the intricacies of early care and education in most arenas, and not much agreement on how to carry out the complex job of actual implementation. How may I paint a picture of the realities of our current world in early childhood studies in 2015? There is evidence that shows:

And why does this matter? There are many reasons we should tune in to these realities. Probably the best two reasons that most readers will agree with are that we can do better, and that children are depending on us to do so.

The research described in this book documents a combination of philosophy, research, and critical questions about notions of child development that still heavily influence the profession, and examples of the learning potential of all children through their human relationships and their experiences. Through an ongoing 5-year qualitative study, we focused on the contexts of homes, schools, and communities, and critically created child-centered curriculum, and assessment collaborations. Families, children, and their teachers contributed unending support and a treasure trove of ideas. And this work that crosses boundaries of home, school, and community brought into focus policy issues, economic issues, and...

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