Advertisement

Social Justice Dimensions of Starting School

  • Bob Perry
Chapter
Part of the International perspectives on early childhood education and development book series (CHILD, volume 9)

Abstract

Most people involved with early childhood education would claim that they are working towards social justice, especially for the children. In this chapter, the concept of social justice is explored, in general, and in early childhood, in particular. The chapter then moves to consider the process of transition to school and how it can provide both opportunities and challenges in terms of social justice. Using a rights-based and strengths-based methodological approach, the tensions created when the notion of social justice for all involved is enacted during transition to school processes are considered. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the accompanying General Comment 7, which emphasises the relevance of the CRC for young children, has declared that every child has a right to an education from birth through primary school. However, declaring something and enacting it are often different things. In both developed and developing countries, there are many young children who do not have access to such quality education and for whom transition to school serves mainly to reinforce their position, and that of their families, at the bottom of the social and economic ladders.

Keywords

Early Childhood Down Syndrome Social Justice Intellectual Disability Early Childhood Educator 
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. Bankston, C. L., III. (2010). Social justice: Cultural origins of a perspective and a theory. The Independent Review, 15(2), 165–178.Google Scholar
  2. Bernard van Leer Foundation. (2006). A framework for successful transitions: The continuum from home to school. Early Childhood Matters, 107, 23–28.Google Scholar
  3. Blackmore, J. (2006). Social justice and the study and practice of leadership in education: A feminist history. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 38(2), 185–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bourdieu, P. (1991). Language and symbolic power. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. A. (1998). The ecology of developmental processes. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Theoretical models of human development (5th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 993–1029). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  6. Brooker, L., & Woodhead, M. (2008). Developing positive identities: Diversity and young children. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bryk, A. S., & Schneider, B. (2002). Trust in schools: A core resource for improvement. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Dana, N. F., & Yendol-Hoppey, D. (2005). Becoming an early childhood teacher leader and an advocate for social justice: A phenomenological interview study. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 26, 191–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). (2009). Belonging, being and becoming: The early years learning framework for Australia. http://www.deewr.gov.au/EarlyChildhood/Policy_Agenda/Quality/Documents/Final%20EYLF%20Framework%20Report%20-%20WEB.pdf. Accessed 5 June 2012.
  10. Department of Education, Training and the Arts. (2007). Foundations for success. Brisbane: Department of Education, Training and the Arts.Google Scholar
  11. Dockett, S., Einarsdóttir, J., & Perry, B. (2009a). Researching with children: Ethical tensions. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 7(3), 283–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dockett, S., & Perry, B. (2007a). Transitions to school: Perceptions, expectations, experiences. Sydney: University of NSW Press.Google Scholar
  13. Dockett, S., & Perry, B. (2007b). Trusting children’s accounts in research. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 5(1), 47–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dockett, S., & Perry, B. (2009). Readiness for school: A relational construct. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 34(1), 20–26.Google Scholar
  15. Dockett, S., & Perry, B. (2012). “In Kindy you don’t get taught”: Continuity and change as children start school. Frontiers of Education in China, 7(1), 5–32.Google Scholar
  16. Dockett, S., Perry, B., Campbell, H., Hard, L., Kearney, E., Taffe, R., & Greenhill, J. (2007). Early years curriculum continuity for learning project: Final report (Adelaide, Department of Education and Children’s Services). http://www.earlyyears.sa.edu.au/files/links/final_lit_review.pdf. Accessed 6 June 2012.
  17. Dockett, S., Perry, B., Kearney, E., Hampshire, A., Mason, J., & Schmied, V. (2009). Researching with families: Ethical issues and situations. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 19(4), 353–365.Google Scholar
  18. Dockett, S., Perry, B., Kearney, E., Hampshire, A., Mason, J., & Schmied, V. (2011). Facilitating children’s transition to school from families with complex support needs. Albury-Wodonga: Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education, Charles Sturt University. http://www.csu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/154899/Facilitating-Childrens-Trans-School.pdf. Accessed 3 May 2012.
  19. Durand, T. M. (2010). Celebrating diversity in early care and education settings: Moving beyond the margins. Early Child Development and Care, 180(7), 835–848.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fraser, N. (1997). Justice interruptus: Critical reflections on the ‘postsocialist’ condition. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Graue, E. (2006). The answer is readiness – Now what is the question? Early Education and Development, 17(1), 43–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Harcourt, D., Perry, B., & Waller, T. (2011). Researching young children's perspectives: Ethics and dilemmas of educational research with children. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Howard, P., Cooke, S., Lowe, K., & Perry, B. (2011). Enhancing quality and equity in mathematics education for Australian Indigenous students. In B. Atweh, M. Graven, W. Secada, & P. Valero (Eds.), Mapping equity and quality in mathematics education (pp. 365–378). Dordrecht: Springer SBM NL.Google Scholar
  24. Hyland, N. E. (2010). Social justice in early childhood classrooms: What the research tells us. Young Children, 65(1), 82–87.Google Scholar
  25. James, A., & Prout, A. (Eds.). (1997). Constructing and reconstructing childhood (2nd ed.). London: Falmer.Google Scholar
  26. McCashen, W. (2005). The strengths approach. Bendigo: St. Luke’s Innovative Resources.Google Scholar
  27. Meisels, S. (1999). Assessing readiness. In R. C. Pianta & M. Cox (Eds.), The transition to kindergarten (pp. 39–66). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
  28. North, C. E. (2006). More than words? Delving into the substantive meaning(s) of ‘social justice” in education. Review of Educational Research, 76(4), 507–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Perry, B. (2011). Evaluation of the Implementation of Education Queensland’s Pre-Prep Curriculum Strategy Foundations for Success in Cape York and Torres Strait Islander Communities. Brisbane: Education Queensland. http://deta.qld.gov.au/indigenous/pdfs/evaluation-implementation-foundations-for-success-17112011.pdf. Accessed 12 July 2012.
  30. Perry, B., Dockett, S., Mason, T., & Simpson, T. (2007). Successful transitions from prior-to-school to school for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. International Journal for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood, 5(1), 102–111.Google Scholar
  31. Pianta, R. C., & Cox, M. (Eds.). (1999). The transition to kindergarten. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
  32. Rinaldi, C. (2006). In dialogue with Reggio Emilia: Listening, researching and learning. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Rogoff, B. (2003). The cultural nature of human development. Oxford: New York.Google Scholar
  34. Saleebey, D. (Ed.). (2006). The strengths perspective in social work practice (5th ed.). Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  35. Sanagavarapu, P., & Perry, B. (2005). Concerns and expectations of Bangladeshi parents as their children start school. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 30(3), 45–51.Google Scholar
  36. Schoorman, D. (2011). Reconceptualizing teacher education as a social justice undertaking. Childhood Education, 87(5), 341–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Simpson, L., Clancy, S., & Howard, P. (2001). Mutual trust and respect. In S. Dockett & B. Perry (Eds.), Beginning school together: Sharing strengths (pp. 56–61). Canberra: Australian Early Childhood Association.Google Scholar
  38. United Nations. (1989). Convention on the rights of the child. New York: United Nations. http://www.unicef.org/crc/crc. Accessed 5 August 2012.
  39. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). (2006). A Human-rights approach to education for all. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0015/001548/154861E.pdf. Accessed 2 August 2012.
  40. Woodhead, M., & Moss, P. (2007). Early childhood and primary education: Transitions in the lives of young children. Milton Keynes: The Open University.Google Scholar
  41. Young, I. M. (2011). Justice and the politics of difference. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationCharles Sturt UniversityAlbury-WodongaAustralia

Personalised recommendations