International Journal of Early Childhood

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 137–154 | Cite as

Transforming Early Childhood Systems for Future Generations: Obligations and Opportunities

Original Article

Abstract

In a rapidly shifting twenty-first century context, early childhood education and care (ECEC) must consider contextual, scientific, and policy realities in order to realize its social obligations to young children. The current status of ECEC globally bears both good and bad news; many countries are paying attention to the importance of the early years, yet challenges remain related to quality, inequity, and sustainability. Given the surging importance of ECEC and the many challenges at hand, a new strategy is needed to suit the current context. Systems research represents one promising and exciting method for addressing a new set of global issues. This mode of inquiry takes the ECEC system as its unit of analysis, addressing far more than individual classroom pedagogy or even clusters of programs. Systems research advances the thinking that in order for an early childhood system to exist, in addition to quality programs, there must be a solid infrastructure that supports the programs. An emerging systems approach to ECEC considers sociocultural and temporal variables and transcends traditional domains.

Keywords

Future Transformation Systems Early childhood education and care Research Policy International 

Résumé

Dans le contexte d’un vingt-et-unième siècle en mutation rapide, l’éducation et la garde des jeunes enfants (EGJE) doivent tenir compte des réalités d’ordre contextuel, scientifique et politique afin de remplir leurs obligations sociales envers les jeunes enfants. L’état actuel de l’EGJE à l’échelon mondial comporte de bonnes et de mauvaises nouvelles : beaucoup de pays prêtent attention à l’importance des premières années mais des défis demeurent relativement à la qualité, l’inégalité et la durabilité. Étant donné l’importance croissante de l’EGJE et les nombreux défis à affronter, une nouvelle stratégie est nécessaire pour s’adapter au contexte actuel. La recherche sur les systèmes est une méthode prometteuse et passionnante pour faire face à une nouvelle série de problèmes mondiaux. Ce mode d’enquête prend le système d’EGJE comme son unité d’analyse et examine beaucoup plus que la pédagogie de classes individuelles ou même de regroupements de programmes. La recherche sur les systèmes soutient l’idée selon laquelle, pour qu’un système à la petite enfance existe, outre des programmes de qualité, il faut une infrastructure solide à même de soutenir ces programmes. Une approche systémique de l’EGJE émergente tient compte de variables socioculturelles et temporelles et transcende les domaines traditionnels.

Resumen

Dentro del contexto de un siglo XXI en pleno cambio, la educación y atención a la primera infancia (EAPI*) debe tener en cuenta realidades contextuales, científicas y políticas, para poder responder a sus obligaciones sociales frente a los niñas y niños pequeños. Globalmente, la situación actual de la EAPI genera, paralelamente, novedades positivas y negativas; en muchos países se está prestando atención a la importancia que tienen los primeros años, pero los desafíos siguen ligados a la calidad, desigualdad y sostentabilidad. Dada la importancia creciente de la EAPI, y los múltiples desafíos que se presenta, se necesita una estrategia nueva que esté a la medida del contexto actual. La investigación de sistemas representa un método alentador y fascinante para abordar una serie de temas nuevos en todo el mundo. Este modo de indagación toma al sistema de EAPI como su unidad de análisis, yendo mucho más allá que el abordaje de la pedagogía individual del aula, o hasta de grupos de programas. La investigación de sistemas propone que, además de programas de calidad, para que exista un sistema de primera infancia debe haber una infraestructura sólida que apoye a los mismos. Un enfoque de sistemas al EAPI que está surgiendo tiene en cuenta las variables socioculturales y temporales, sobrepasando los campos tradicionales.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Child Study CenterYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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