Early Childhood Education and Care: A Sociocultural Approach celebrates the ideas of children, families and teachers. Drawn from research conducted with preschool teachers from the City of Casey, Victoria. Australia, this book highlights how sociocultural theory can be used in practice.
The City of Casey has one of the highest populations of children aged 0-4 in Australia. In a commitment to best practice, the City of Casey Managed Kindergartens embarked on a research project to develop new understandings of children's development.
Early Childhood Education and Care: A Sociocultural Approach traces the development of this project and, through teacher examples and commentary, shows how ideas from sociocultural theory can be and are realised in practice. This text provides a strong introduction to the key ideas emerging from sociocultural theory. It is suitable for students, trainee teachers and practitioners interested in extending their thinking around key approaches to early childhood education and care, including observations, and programming and planning.
In the words of Marilyn Fleer, who wrote the Foreword for this interesting book:
"Sociocultural or cultural-historical theory has provided a useful framework for teachers, researchers and policy developers to imagine new and different possibilities for early childhood education. As a profession we have for too long recycled our practices and beliefs. Many of these practices and beliefs are Western in their origin. However, Australia is a culturally and linguistically diverse community and many early childhood practices may not be culturally relevant for all children and their families. The teachers who participated in the research that sits under this important book have questioned many common assumptions and practices for their cultural bias and have developed new approaches and tools.
Early Childhood Education and Care: A Sociocultural Approach represents a powerful and contemporary framework for action. As Vygotsky argued, thinking differently about something we know well, is not easy. But, as the teachers have shown through the pages of this book, the rewards are enormous."
List of contributors
Introduction Developing Early Childhood Education and Care: A Sociocultural Approach
Chapter 1: Theoretical and philosophical informants to early childhood education and care
Foundational theories and philosophies in early childhood education and care
Contemporary theories and philosophies in early childhood education and care
Chapter 2: Beliefs and Values in Early Childhood Education and Care
Chapter 3: Principles of Practice
Principle of practice one: Development and learning
Principle of practice two: Observing for learning
Principle of practice three: Planning, pedagogy and play
Principle of practice four: Professional learning and reflection
Appendix Sample research and documentation by City of Casey educators