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Storying Learning in Early Childhood

When Children Lead Participatory Curriculum Design, Implementation, and Assessment

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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 7. Through the Lens of Migrant Families

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THROUGH THE LENS OF MIGRANT FAMILIES

Clearly, all the issues discussed in this book relate to all children. Because of specific aspects of the issues and the urgent conditions under which many migrant families live, it is important to show how these issues affect migrant families and their young children. Throughout the discussions of the overlapping and intersecting issues, the findings show that context is of supreme importance in terms of children’s experience, safety, relationships, and learning. Thus, context—demographic, social emotional, cultural, cognitive, and needs-based perceptions—underlies all curriculum initiatives, assessment practices, policy, and access. These realities are highlighted by the complexities of many children in the United States and across the world whose families have had to emigrate from their historical homelands.

Sadly, no international migration institution or mechanism manages the rights of people who move between countries. At the national level, policies tend to focus overwhelmingly on the legal exclusion of unauthorized migrants. As population and poverty trends continue to further divide the world into stark categories of overpopulated, young, and poor states on one hand, and wealthy, aging, and declining population states on the other, migratory pressures will only intensify, making the need for a policy framework to guide this ← 129 | 130 → phenomenon ever more urgent. These needs for policy considerations directly affect education.

To begin, I would like to bring back a critical comment by Helen Penn (2011) about an often-heard rationale for the funding of...

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