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Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Care and Education

Critical Questions, New Imaginaries and Social Activism: A Reader


Edited By 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 Nine: Ki te Whai ao, ki te ao Marama: Early Childhood Understandings in Pursuit of Social, Cultural, and Ecological Justice



New Imaginaries Related to Authors’ Scholarly Work and Praxis Ki te Whai ao, ki te ao Marama: Early Childhood Understandings in Pursuit of Social, Cultural, and Ecological Justice

Cheryl Rau and Jenny Ritchie

To critique the academy is to unlock unseen places, delve beneath the layers, generate spaces of openness and create new possibilities. Reconceptualizing early childhood education exposes inequities and diminished rights. In the early childhood community in Aotearoa/New Zealand, colonial impositions have dislocated Indigenous tamariki and whānau Māori (Māori children and families), forcing them from their traditional positionality to the margins. In our work we have sought to privilege a pathway of Māori occupation at the center, where merging paradigms of anticolonial tensions, heartfelt voices, multiple literacies, and politicized commitment are powerful. In this chapter we will offer a retrospective revisioning in service of the kaupapa (philosophy) of rights and possibilities that can be accessed through a commitment to praxis, activism informed by reflection, and a politicized commitment to social, cultural, and ecological justice.

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