Beyond Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care
Languages of evaluation, 3rd Edition
Routledge – 2013 – 214 pages
Taking a broad approach, Beyond Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care relates issues of early childhood to the sociology of childhood, philosophy, ethics, political science and other fields and to an analysis of the world we live in today. It places these issues in a global context and draws on work from Canada, Sweden and Italy, including the world famous nurseries in Reggio Emilia.
Working with postmodern ideas, this book questions the search to define and measure quality in the early childhood field and its tendency to reduce philosophical issues of value to purely technical and managerial issues of expert knowledge and measurement.
With a brand new Preface to this classic text, the authors argue that there are other ways than the 'discourse of quality' for understanding and evaluating early childhood pedagogical work and relate these to alternative ways of understanding early childhood itself and the purposes of early childhood institutions.
'The authors of this book offer a wonderful provocation for early childhood professionals. Reading it, I found myself encountering new and irresistible ideas—ones that led me to my own playful tangents. The places the authors describe that are ‘beyond quality’ open exciting and challenging possibilities for the field of ECE.' (Elizabeth Jones, Faculty Emerita, Human Development, Pacific Oaks College, California).
'Beyond Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care is a book for reflection, dialogue, and exchange on the ideological, contextual, cultural and existential diversity of childhoods across the globe. It questions modernist Minority (Western) World perspectives and the approach to early childhood education and care to which they give rise.' (Bame Nsamenang, Head, University Cooperation Division, University of Bamenda, Cameroon; and Director, Human Development Resource Centre).
'This is a book that is strongly innovative and uncomfortable for those who would like to see the ideas of quality and assessment consolidated in our society and in contemporary western culture. It is a ‘good book’. Good because it is the product of dialogue and because it offers itself not only for consent, but also for dissent and negotiation by its non-dogmatic tone. Readers will feel welcomed, listened to and respected in their opinions, even when those opinions are in opposition to the authors.’ (Carlina Rinaldi, President, Reggio Children – Centre Loris Malaguzzi Foundation, Italy)
Chapter 1: What this Book is About Chapter 2: Theoretical Perspectives: Modernity and Postmodernity, Power and Ethics Chapter 3: Constructing Early Childhood: What Do We Think It Is? Chapter 4: Constructing the Early Childhood Institution: What Do We Think They Are For? Chapter 5: Beyond the Discourse of Quality to the Discourse of Meaning Making Chapter 6: The Stockholm Project: Constructing a Pedagogy that Speaks in the Voice of the Child, the Pedagogue and the Parent Chapter 7: Pedagogical Documentation: A Practice for Reflection and Democracy Chapter 8: Minority Directions in the Majority World: Threats and Possibilities
Gunilla Dahlberg is Professor at the Institute of Education, Stockholm, Sweden.
Peter Moss is Emeritus Professor of Early Childhood Provision at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK.
Alan Pence is Professor at the School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria, Canada.