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Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Care and Education

Critical Questions, New Imaginaries and Social Activism: A Reader


Marianne N. Bloch, Beth Blue Swadener and Gaile S. Cannella

Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Care and Education is a foundational text, which presents contemporary theories and debates about early education and child care in many nations. The authors selected are leading contributors in discussions about critical early childhood studies over the past twenty years; the editors are long-time scholars in the reconceptualizing early childhood movement. Audiences include students in graduate courses focused on early childhood and primary education, critical cultural studies of childhood, critical curriculum studies and critical theories that have been contested and debated and drawn from over the course of two decades.
The book is filled with recent scholarship by leading authors in the reconceptualization and rethinking of childhood studies and early childhood fields, who discuss foundational debates, new imaginaries in theory and practice and activist scholarship. A must-read for graduate students and professionals interested in beginning or continuing critical interrogations of current early childhood policy and reforms globally.
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Chapter Sixteen: Our Story of Early Childhood Collaboration: Imagining Love and Grace



Our Story of Early Childhood Collaboration: Imagining Love and Grace

Denise Proud and Cynthia à Beckett

We present our friendship that spans three decades as an example of the way strong bonds grow through shared understandings born out of working with young children in early childhood settings. Stories that are included in education texts help teachers explain themselves and their teaching practises. Fleet, Patterson, and Robertson (2012) provide current examples of the way individual teacher stories clarify key ideas in the book. The reader becomes connected to key ideas through being able to relate to the writers on a personal basis. Whether there are differences or similarities, there is a relational starting point, a meeting place for things to begin. The reader is thus guided from the personal to the larger arguments. Van Manen (2002) provides another example of this process as each writer in the edited volume shares his/her personal teaching experiences before detailing ideas. This is the way we use our personal experiences. Our stories focus first on our social context, to help the reader appreciate the multiple layers we inhabit. This process exposes our similarities, differences, and our ongoing relationship of decolonizing through our intercultural friendship. In our case we met as early childhood advisors after coming directly from working in kindergartens in different states of Australia. We argue that working with young children is a position of grace. In our research project in 2001, we explored our views...

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