Advertisement

Traditions of Democracy in Education

Chapter
  • 522 Downloads
Part of the International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development book series (CHILD, volume 24)

Abstract

A central claim in this book is that over the last three decades, a dominant economic and market discourse has shaped ECEC policy and practice both in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally. Problems and inequities emerging from this approach have run directly counter to aims for a socially just society where educational opportunities for all children and families are equitably realised. Helen Penn (2009, 2012, 2013) has been a constant and vociferous critic of education markets and for-profit ECEC and the problems when a quest for profits collides with the best interests of children and families. Following writers (e.g., Carr & Hartnett, 1996; Dahlberg, Moss & Pence, 1999; Moss & Petrie, 1997; Penn, 2012; Prout 2003) who ask critical questions about the kind of society these discourses sustain, this book turns to an alternative vision of a democratic society and the role that ECEC policy and practice might possibly play in promoting democratic values. Ideas for an alternative vision are analysed within an overarching frame of democracy, going back to Athenian origins of democracy and including recent writers on meanings and traditions of democracy in education. I take core ideas from John Dewey (1915) that democracy is something that has to be made and remade by each generation and of the capacity of education to build democratic society rather than reproduce society. Henri Giroux (1992) takes these ideas further in emphasising social criticism and struggle in his definition of democracy, while Michael Apple (2005) emphasises a commitment to “thick” collective forms of democracy. A section on democracy in Aotearoa New Zealand’s educational traditions and history harks back to 1939, after the great depression, when Aotearoa New Zealand’s Prime Minister Peter Fraser in a speech penned by Clarence Beeby the future Director General of Education famously pronounced on a vision of education as a public good and a right of the child citizen, of schools as public institutions and a public responsibility (May, 2003). Not encompassed within this vision was ECEC, which has never in Aotearoa New Zealand been treated as a public responsibility or child’s right. I use these arguments to discuss core characteristics of policy and practice for an ECEC system founded on democratic values and to set a framing for analysis in subsequent chapters. These set a scene for the book’s conclusion, which examines what conditions might be needed for an integrated and democratic ECEC system in Aotearoa New Zealand and countries that share a market approach to ECEC provision.

Keywords

Future General Managers Athenian Origins Citizen Children UN Convention On The Rights Of The Child (UNCROC) Free Early Childhood Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Alderson, P. (2012). Young children’s human rights: A sociological analysis. International Journal of Children’s Rights, 20, 177–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Apple, M. (2005). Education, markets, and an audit culture. Critical Quarterly, 47(1–2), 11–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aristotle. (1981). Politics. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin.Google Scholar
  4. Bertens, H. (1995). The idea of the postmodern: A history. London, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Biesta, G., & Lawy, R. (2006). From teaching citizenship to learning democracy: Overcoming individualism in research, policy and practice. Cambridge Journal of Education, 36(1), 63–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brennan, D. (2007). The ABC of child care politics. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 42(2), 212–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Carr, M., Davis, K., & Cowie, B. (2015). Continuity of early learning: Learning progress and outcomes in the early years. Report on the literature scan. Retrieved from https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/ECE/continuity-of-early-learning-literature-scan
  9. Carr, M., Mitchell, L., & Rameka, L. (2016). Some thoughts about the value of an OECD international assessment framework for early childhood services in Aotearoa New Zealand. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 17(4), 450–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carr, W. (1991). Education for citizenship. British Journal of Educational Studies, 39(4), 373–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Carr, W., & Hartnett, A. (1996). Education and the struggle for democracy. Buckingham, PA: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Clark, A., & Moss, P. (2011). Listening to young children: The mosaic approach (2nd ed.). London: National Children’s Bureau.Google Scholar
  13. Cleveland, G., & Krashinsky, M. (2002). Financing ECEC services in OECD countries. OECD Occasional Papers. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  14. Dahlberg, G., Moss, P., & Pence, A. (1999). Beyond quality in early childhood education and care: Post modern perspectives (1st ed.). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  15. Dewey, J. (1915). School and society. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  16. Dewey, J. (1916, 1944). Democracy and education. New York: The Free Press, MacmillanGoogle Scholar
  17. Dewey, J. (1939). Creative democracy. The task before us. Retrieved from http://www.beloit.edu/~pbk/dewey.html
  18. Einarsdottir, J. (2007). Research with children: methodological and ethical challenges. Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 15(2), 197–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Farrar, C. (2007). Power to the people. In Raaflaub, K., Ober, J., Wallace, R., Cartledge, P., & Farrar, C. Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece. Berkeley; Los Angeles; London: University of California Press. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pp9pt
  20. Freeman, M. (2011). Human Rights. Cambridge, UK: Polity.Google Scholar
  21. Giroux, H. (1992). Border crossings. Cultural workers and the politics of education. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment in Early Education. (2013). To assess, to teach, to learn: A vision for the future of assessment. [Technical Report]. Retrieved from www.gordoncommission.org
  23. Gundara, J. S. (2011). Ancient Athenian democratic knowledge and citizenship: Connectivity and intercultural implications. Intercultural Education, 22(4), 231–241.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14675986.2011.617416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hughes, P., & MacNaughton, G. (2000). Consensus, dissensus or community: The politics of parent involvement in early childhood education. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 1(3), 241–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Karmenerac, O. (2017). Doctoral thesis under examination. Constructions of teachers’ professional identities in early childhood policies and practice in Aotearoa New Zealand.Google Scholar
  26. Lansdown, G. (1994). Children’s rights. In B. Mayall (Ed.), Children’s childhoods: Observed and experienced (pp. 33–44). London: The Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  27. Marshall, T. H. (1950). Citizenship and social class and other essays. Cambridge, UK: The Syndics of the Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  28. McDonald, G. (2002). Dr CE Beeby. The quality of education. SET, 2, 25–27.Google Scholar
  29. Mitchell, L. (2007). A new debate about children and childhood. Could it make a difference to early childhood pedagogy and policy? (Doctoral thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/handle/10063/347
  30. Mitchell, L. (2010). Constructions of childhood in early childhood education policy in New Zealand. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Education, 11(4), 328–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mitchell, L. (2011). Enquiring teachers and democratic politics: Transformations in New Zealand’s early childhood landscape. Early Years. International Journal of Research and Development.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09575146.2011.588787.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Moss, P. (2009). There are alternatives! Markets and democratic experimentalism in early childhood education and care. [Working Paper No. 53]. The Netherlands: Bernard Van Leer Foundation and the Bertelsmann Stiftung.Google Scholar
  33. Moss, P. (2012). Need markets be the only show in town? In E. LLoyd & H. Penn (Eds.), Childcare markets. Can they deliver an equitable service? (pp. 191–207). Bristol, UK: The Policy Press.Google Scholar
  34. Moss, P., Dahlberg, G., Grieshaber, S., Mantovani, S., May, H., Pence, A., et al. (2016). The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s International early learning study: Opening for debate and contestation. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 17(3), 343–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Moss, P., & Petrie, P. (1997). Children’s services: Time for a new approach. London: Institute of Education, University of London.Google Scholar
  36. Moss, P., & Petrie, P. (2002). From children’s services to children’s spaces. London: RoutledgeFalmer.Google Scholar
  37. Noonan, R. (2001). Early childhood education - A child’s right? In B. Webber & L. Mitchell (Eds.), Early childhood education for a democratic society. New Zealand Council for Educational Research Annual Conference October 2001 (pp. 61–68). Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Council for Educational Research.Google Scholar
  38. Ober, J. (2008). Democracy and knowledge: Innovation and learning in classical Athens. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. OECD. (2001). Starting strong. Early childhood education and care. Paris: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.Google Scholar
  40. OECD. (2006). Starting strong 11: Early childhood education and care. Paris: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. OECD. (2016). International Early Learning and Child Wellbeing Study (IELS). Retrieved from: http://www.oecd.org/edu/school/international-early-learning-and-child-well-being-study.htm
  42. OECD. (2017). The International Early Learning and Child Well-being Study (IELS) – The study. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/edu/school/the-international-early-learning-and-child-well-being-study-the-study.htm
  43. Penn, H. (2009). International perspectives on quality in mixed economies of childcare. National Institute Economic Review, 207(7), 8389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Penn, H. (2012). Childcare markets. Do they work? In E. LLoyd & H. Penn (Eds.), Childcare markets. Can they deliver an equitable service? (pp. 18–42). Bristol, UK: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  45. Penn, H. (2013). The business of childcare in Europe. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 22(4), 432–456.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1350293X.2013.7883300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Press, F. (2016). Premium services. At what cost? Rattler, 119, 11–13.Google Scholar
  47. Press, F., & Woodrow, C. (2009). The giant in the playground: Investigating the reach and implications of the corporatisation of child care provision. In D. King & G. Meagher (Eds.), Paid care in Australia: Politics, profits, practices. Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Prout, A. (2003, September 3–6). Children, representation and social change. Paper presented at the European Early Childhood Education Research Association 13th Annual Conference on Quality in Early Childhood Education, “Possible childhoods: relationships and choices”, Strathclyde University, Glasgow.Google Scholar
  49. Prout, A. (2005). The future of childhood. London: RoutledgeFalmer.Google Scholar
  50. Raaflaub, K. (2007). Introduction. In K. Raaflaub, J. Ober, & R. Wallace (Eds.), Origins of democracy in ancient Greece (pp. 1–21). California: University of California Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Renwick, W. (1998). Clarence Edward Beeby (1902–98). Prospects, XXVIII, 2, 335–348.Google Scholar
  52. Rigby, E., Tarrant, K., & Neuman, M. J. (2007). Alternative policy designs and the socio-political construction of childcare. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 8(2), 98–108.  https://doi.org/10.2304/ciec.2007.8.2.98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Smith, A. (2007). Children and young People’s participation rights in education. The International Journal of Children’s Rights, 15(1), 147–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Smith, A. B. (2016). Children’s rights. Towards social justice. New York: Momentum Press.Google Scholar
  55. Sumsion, J. (2012). ABC Learning and Australian early education and care. In E. LLoyd & H. Penn (Eds.), Childcare markets. Can they deliver an equitable service? (pp. 209–225). Bristol, England: The Policy Press.Google Scholar
  56. Tisdall, K. (2015). Participation, rights and ‘participatory’ methods. In A. Farrell, S. Kagan, & K. Tisdall (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of early childhood research (pp. 73–88). Los Angeles: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. United Nations. (1990). Convention on the Rights of the Child. Retrieved from http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm
  58. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR). (2014). Mid year trends 2014. Retrieved from http://www.unhcr.org/54aa91d89.html
  59. Wagner, P., Heise, N., Goller, M., Hocke, N., & Bender, N. (2016, personal communication). [The OECD’s International Early Learning Assessment: A statement on Germany’s participation in the OECD survey].Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationThe University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations