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Early childhood services: theory, policy and practice

Early childhood services: theory, policy and practice

Penn, Helen

This book explores the relationships between theory, policy and practice in early childhood services. Although primarily focused on the UK, it draws on contributions from Europe and further afield to explore the strengths and limitations of present practices and suggests ways in which new initiatives might be developed. The book considers six interlinked themes: How do young children learn? What assumptions are made about children as learners? What should young children be learning? What is an appropriate approach to curriculum for young children? Where should young children learn? What arrangements are made for them? What kinds of spaces do children inhabit? Who should help them learn? What role do adults take in supporting children's learning? Children as participants and knowledgeable persons. What contribution can children themselves make to the plans that are made for them? Developing practice - how does practice, particularly embedded practice, change or develop?The book will be important reading for students undertaking courses in early childhood studies, early years education, social policy and child welfare as well as academics, researchers and policymakers in these fields

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
All formats and editions (2)
Published Buckingham: Open University Press, 2000

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Statement of responsibility: edited by Helen Penn
ISBN: 0335232531, 9780335203291, 9780335232536
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: vi, 201 p. : ill.
Subject: Early childhood education Europe.; Early childhood education Great Britain.; Child care services Europe.; Child care services Great Britain.
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. Dawson Books. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Other formats: Also available in printed form.


  1. Introduction: Early childhood services: theory, policy and practice
  2. Part one: How do children learn: early childhood services in a global context
  3. Towards a global paradigm for research into early childhoodTwo sides of an eagles featherUniversity of Victoria partnerships with Canadian first nations communities
  4. Part two: What should children learn: approaches to the curriculum
  5. Te Wharikicurriculum voicesThe future of infant education
  6. Part three: Where should children learn: space and segregation
  7. The Frankfurt kindergartens
  8. Part four: Who should help children learn: a natural or an unnatural profession
  9. The parameters of trainingIs working with young children a good job?
  10. Part five: Children as participants
  11. Discipline and normalization in the nurserythe Foucaultian gazeWhat is the use of children's playpreparation or social participation?The rights of young children
  12. Part six: Research and practice
  13. Everything is a beginning and everything is dangeroussome reflections on the Reggio Emilia experienceResearch and practiceis there a dialogue?Index.

Author note

Helen Penn is a policy-maker turned researcher and her work crosses the boundaries between the two. She is a consultant to a number of local authorities, national and international voluntary organizations, and works overseas as well as in the UK. She is also an academic researcher in the field of early childhood.