The capable child as a threshold concept for inclusive early childhood education and care

Waters-Davies, Jane and MacDonald, Natalie The capable child as a threshold concept for inclusive early childhood education and care. In: Inclusive Pedagogies for Early Childhood Education: Respecting and Responding to Differences in Learning. Taylor & Francis. (In Press)

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In this chapter we explore the process and outcomes of professional learning for a group of pre-school staff working in targeted early childhood education and care across an area identified as socio-economically deprived. In particular, we attend to voices of the small minority of research participants who maintained a deficit view of the capability of children in their care, despite the professional learning demonstrating the ability of young children to develop working theories through playful engagement with adults who are responsive to their exploration and thinking. Reflecting on such views we explore barriers to inclusive working that may lie deeply within even the most practiced and experienced ECEC staff. We recognise that the construction of the capable, agential child may be a privileged conceptualisation, and that a default construction of the dependent, deficit child may be in evidence across many ECEC practice contexts. The notion of the threshold concept (Meyer and Land 2003) is explored, where a threshold concept can be seen as akin to a portal that opens up new and previously inaccessible ways of thinking. We consider the extent to which the conceptual construction of the capable child is a threshold concept in the study and practice of early childhood education and care and argue that this underpinning construct impacts upon decisions and actions in practice that shape the inclusive - or otherwise - nature of early childhood and care.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Education and Humanities > Academic Discipline: Childhood, Youth and Education
Depositing User: Jane Waters
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2021 15:31
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2023 11:09

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