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Hope for the Future: New Possibilities for Sustaining a Reflexive Approach

Chapter in book
Authors Naomi McLeod
Tarja Karlsson Häikiö
Pernilla Mårtensson
Published in Empowering early childhood educators : international pedagogies as provocation / edited by Naomi McLeod and Patricia Giardiello.
Pages 222-244
ISBN 9781138309647
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Oxon England, New York USA
Publication year 2019
Published at School of Design and Crafts
Academy of Music and Drama
Pages 222-244
Language en
Keywords early childhood education, empowerment, reflexiivity, quality, UN Convetion for the rights of the child,
Subject categories Children, Pedagogy, Learning


As a stimulation for questioning output driven views of ECE, throughout this book we have presented different international pedagogies as provocation with the intent of empowering early childhood educators through challenging and deconstructing ideas and understandings around the purpose of education, so a more participatory and respectful approach to learning can be reconstructed and embedded. At the heart of empowering educators in their pedagogical understanding we have established the need for reflexivity, through internal questioning and wisdom (phronesis), an awareness of power (politics) and a focus on ‘what is right?’ (ethics). Each chapter has explored the democratic, ethical and socially just nature of early childhood education and the educator’s engagement in this entangled, rhizomatic process, as developed by Deleuze (2004), so children’s learning and development can be promoted from a rights-based perspective as framed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Within this shifting paradigm of humanising education, our final chapter offers a methodological sustainable framework for professionalism, grounded on and in ethically responsible educational practice involving open communication with equal rights for all participants and a commitment to self-awareness and consciousness (Vandenbroeck, Urban and Peeters, 2016). This involves a shared power balance that is respectful of both educator professionals and children and takes a ‘bottom up’ approach (Katz, 2012) as a way of empowering educators in their knowledge base of early childhood. Rather than relying on training for generating changes in practice and enhancing the quality of practice, Pascal and Bertram (2018, 2012) turn this idea upside down noting the need to start directly with practice so the complexity of the real world is revealed (Robson, 2011) and training is viewed rather as inquiry as part of everyday practice.

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