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The Capability Approach and Early Childhood Education Curricula

An Investigation into Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices


Antoanneta Potsi

This book explores the Capability Approach (CA) as an alternative critical lens through which to regard early childhood education (ECE) curricula. The CA framework is a counter narrative to the narrow instrumentalism that reduces education to a mere process of academic skills acquisition for a future workplace. Primarily the book draws on the example of the Greek case. Criticizing the «bit role» that the front-line implementers play in the curriculum design and planning procedure it argues that efficient curriculum development can only occur when a zymosis between the pedagogues’ beliefs, practical experience, and theoretical knowledge is accomplished. Evidence shows that beliefs define the educators’ practices into the pedagogical context. The issues discussed are unlikely to be confined to this country alone and will have resonances on other contexts.


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Chapter 1: Developing a common language


19 Chapter 1: Developing a common language The school must be a spearhead into the future classless society. (Olof Palme, 1968) 1.1 Greek educational system In order to understand the dynamics of the development of early childhood edu- cation and specifically pre-primary school in Greece, it is important to be famil- iar with the essential information provided in this section. This book does not aim to describe the Greek education system. However, a brief overview of both the administrative organisation and the structure of this system is necessary be- fore the debate on early childhood education can continue. Greece’s educational system is highly centralized and its administrative organ- ization can be distinguished into four levels: national, regional, prefectural, and the single school unit. Education is divided into three levels of study: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Mandatory schooling lasts 10 years and consists of 1 year in pre-primary school (nipiagogeio), 6 years in primary school (dimotiko), and 3 years in lower secondary school (gymnasio). Primary education is composed of pre-primary schools (nipiagogeia) and primary schools (dimotika scholeia). Pre-primary school may optionally enrol children who reach the age of 4 on De- cember 31st of the year of registering. Nevertheless, attendance of pre-primary school is mandatory for all children who reach the age of 5 on December 31st of the year of registering. Attendance of primary school (dimotiko scholeio) is also mandatory. Children who reach the age of 6 on December 31st of the year of registering have to enrol in primary...

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