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Decanonizing the Field


Edited By João M. Paraskeva and Shirley R. Steinberg

Curriculum: Decanonizing the Field is a fresh and innovative collection that is concerned with the totalitarian Western Eurocentric cult that has dominated the field of curriculum studies. Contributors to this volume challenge dominant and counter-dominant curriculum positions of the Western Eurocentric epistemic platform. At a time when the field laudably claims internationalization as a must, arguments presented in this volume prove that this «internationalization» is nothing more than the new Western expansionism, one that dominates all other cultures, economies and knowledges. Curriculum: Decanonizing the Field is a clarion call against curriculum epistemicides, proposing the use of Itinerant Curriculum Theory (ICT), which opens up the canon of knowledge; challenges and destroys the coloniality of power, knowledge and being; and transforms the very idea and practice of power. The volume is essential reading for anyone involved in one of the most important battles for curriculum relevance – the fact that there is no social justice without cognitive justice.
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Chapter 22. Early Education as a Gendered Construction


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Shirley R. Steinberg

Resting at the basis of a patriarchal system is the marginalization of women’s work—and early childhood education, of course, is women’s work. Various scholars have used such phrases as “the ideology of domesticity” and “the culture of romance” to refer to women’s responsibility for unpaid work at home and their acquisition of status by way of their relationships with males. In the ideology of domesticity and the culture of romance, women’s work revolves around the home and family, both in and outside the home. In such a context, women’s work outside the home reflects women’s assumed-to-be innate ability to nurture, to care for children, and to cultivate a homelike atmosphere. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with this culturally sanctioned ethic of caring—indeed, such an ethic can be used to humanize workplaces, schools, and society in general. Problems emerge, however, when such caring is viewed as an essential essence of womanhood and the sole quality needed to achieve success as an early childhood educator (Lutrell, 1993; Rubin, 1994; Sidel, 1992).

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