Infant and toddler educare: A challenge to neoliberalism

Margaret SIMS, Elise ALEXANDER, Mari Anneli NISLIN, Karma PEDEY, Lavinia TAUSERE-TIKO, Nina SAJANIEMI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We contend that the conventions, practices and philosophies underpinning working with infants and toddlers provide an alternative way of viewing early childhood work, and such a perspective may well help to challenge the ‘wicked problem’ of neoliberalism. It is in this context that we propose that a deeper understanding of the perspectives of those professionals working with our youngest children in a range of different countries may inform a wider resistance to neoliberalism across all of early childhood. We seek, in this article, to share the voices of early childhood professionals reflecting on the manner in which they understand work with infants and toddlers, and how this relates to their understanding of issues related to education and care. We hope this exploration will lead us into further refining our argument that infant and toddler pedagogy has the potential to challenge the hegemony of neoliberalism in early childhood. Our dream is to steer early childhood away from the tyranny of standardisation, accountability and economic rationality into a space where children are valued for being, where individuality and diversity flourish, where learning academics is one (relatively unimportant) element amongst many others and where relationships and participation (and dare we say, happiness) reign supreme. Copyright © 2018 he Authors. Licensee: AOSIS. This work islicensed under the CreativeCommons Attribution License.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbera594
JournalSouth African Journal of Childhood Education
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

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neoliberalism
infant
childhood
individuality
happiness
license
hegemony
attribution
rationality
responsibility
participation
learning
economics
education

Citation

Sims, M., Alexander, E., Nislin, M., Pedey, K., Tausere-Tiko, L., & Sajaniemi, N. (2018). Infant and toddler educare: A challenge to neoliberalism. South African Journal of Childhood Education, 8(1). Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v8i1.594

Keywords

  • Infants
  • Toddlers
  • Neoliberalism
  • Infant and toddler pedagogy
  • Professionalisation