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Early Childhood Curriculum

  • By: Gaile S. Cannella
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Embedded within Enlightenment and modernist discourses of progress, linearity, dualism, and science, Western Euro-American constructions of childhood have dominated curriculum both as defined and practiced. These constructions have focused on human beings from birth to 7 or 8 years of age. The first section of this entry describes the basic influences and content of this dominant curriculum. The second section focuses on postmodern challenges to this universalist view of young children (or reconceptualizations of early childhood curriculum) and places diversity, critical multiculturalism, and equity at the forefront of early childhood curriculum. Finally, the last section briefly describes the most recent influences on curriculum as dominated by adults outside of early education from business groups to citizens who believe that education should be measured quantitatively and ...

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