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5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES, *pedagogy
The current future-focused, outcomes driven early childhood policy climate presents a danger that early years pedagogy will lose sight of the ‘present’ child. Increasingly policy support for early childhood education is built around an emphasis on preparing children for school and positioning it as a key element in enhancing society through preparing future citizens to become productive members of society. The measurable outcomes discourse, in emphasising product, renders invisible the critical contribution of the processes of everyday practice to children’s development. To challenge and counteract the strong outcome discourse early years professionals must have confidence in their pedagogy. However, research suggests that those working in the early years may lack the language and strategies for supporting their educational practice. Using the bio-ecological model of development and drawing on the capabilities approach this paper calls for a shift in policy and pedagogical discourse from measuring competencies towards enhancing capabilities, from assessing outcomes towards providing rich, day-to-day learning opportunities. Such a shift in narrative could weaken the neo-liberal, outcome language of early childhood policy and refocus on supporting an early childhood pedagogy that would explicitly reflect current understanding of what is most beneficial to children’s development and well-being and provide a powerful potential for change.
Hayes, N. & Filipović, K. (2018). Nurturing ‘buds of development’: from outcomes to opportunities in early childhood practice. International Journal of Early Years Education, vol. 26, no. 3, pg. 220-232. https://doi.org/10.1080/09669760.2017.1341303