Early Childhood is a complex and diverse field. This text is designed to help students understand and engage with current themes in early childhood, supporting the development of critical thinking skills. Key themes such as children's voice, child wellbeing, identities and professional relationships are presented and opened up for the reader through essential theory and selected extracts. Thought provoking activities in all chapters help students to get a deeper understanding of contemporary themes in early childhood, supporting them in assignment writing and in linking theory to practice.
Introduction: Themes and Debates
We believe that study and successful practice are about making connections, identifying themes and asking questions of ourselves, of research and of each other, while recognising the contested nature of many of the themes in the field of early childhood. This book therefore is not designed to ‘provide answers’ but rather it is intended to provoke enquiry and to encourage discussion and reflection among both students and practitioners. Early childhood is a broad field of study, spanning psychology, sociology, education and health and invoking historical and philosophical perspectives. This can generate a plethora of terms and approaches which can appear both confusing and at other times can give rise to simplistic mantras. For example, ...