Why Contest Early Childhood?
Peter Moss provides an accessible introduction to some alternative narratives and diverse perspectives increasingly heard in this field and discussed the importance of paradigm, politics, and ethics. He introduces readers to thinking that questions the mainstream approach to early childhood education and offers rich examples to illustrate how thinking is being put to work in practice. The key topic discussed includes dominant discourse in today’s early childhood and what is meant by ‘dominant discourse,’ and why politics and ethics act as beginners in children’s education. Reggio Emilia provides a typical case of an alternative narrative that matches the opinion of renowned thinkers, for example, Michael Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, and theoretical positions such as posthumanism
In early childhood education, universal standards, regulations, and rules still establish the framework for practices. Powerful economies and neo-liberal politics govern the educational institutions for young children. Peter Moss is trying to come up with the idea of what if the locals came together to create an educational project which responds to their children and fosters values that promote a harmonious relationship between human and more than the human worlds we live in. We can see how the author frames his ideas in the field by questioning dominant discourse and narrating stories of encounters, entanglements, and complexities. For Moss, the dominant discourse is ‘the way that certain perceptions or stories claim to constitute the single elements of behaving, thinking and talking about a particular topic, subject or field’ (80). He gives us three ideas to think of the importance of narrative or stories, some’s dominance, and the likelihood of resistance cases manifested through dominion. Moving away from the story of calculations, competition, and managerialism, he advocates for democracy and experimentation, which is about the diversity and complexity, movements, and flight lines.
This book intends to move the reader to reflect critically and be open to new perspectives. The book does not have a formal introduction but begins by describing dominant discourse in early childhood education. It continues by exploring alternative narratives and ends with future possibilities. Moss weaves the book’s concepts together by using the story of ‘The Emperor’s New clothes.’ In Moss’s analogy, the emperor represents dominant discourse, illustrating the dos and don’ts of powerful early education ideologies. From this perspective, the two dominant discourses are the story of the markets and the story of quality and high returns, both governed by neo-liberal forces.
A positive side of this subject is the availability of other narratives on childhood that reflect childhood values, understanding, and practices. These stories that priorities politics and ethics over managerial and technical procedures (politics and ethics as the first practice is the subject of Chapter 3). First, political questions are posed, such as the purpose for our children and what education means to them, and the…and politics of choice always guide political decisions.
Another reason for contesting early childhood is because, in Foucault’s word, that all are dangerous. However, Foucault explains even in cases where the proponents of contesting fully support the mission, there are always some risks associated with the decision. The argument emanates from the constant existence of power relationships geared towards governance and winning control over other people. Indeed, together with Gilles Deleuze, Foucault explains the paths followed in human technologies to attain a particular trajectory. Interestingly, these assertions continue to gain ground by becoming invasive, powerful, pervasive, and with more controlling effects. Behavior but our desires fears, and pleasures; of forming those same ways, we think about things and ourselves: capable in short of governing soul. Early childhood has not escaped this process.
To conclude, however suitable they may be, few books will change the world of early childhood education and remove no alternative dictatorship. The Resistance movement will confront the tyranny of no alternative narratives by creating an international network that acts as an alternative to storytelling that finally leads to new ways of thinking. The many individuals and organizations are linked to and inspired by the early childhood education in Reggio Emilia; many practitioners, students, and academics are actively engaging with alternative narratives, exploring different paradigms and theories. I hope that existing discourse will experience transformation to become a form of narrative that in…
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