Policy and the image of the child: a critical analysis of drivers and levers in English early years curriculum policy

Lewis, Zoe (2018) Policy and the image of the child: a critical analysis of drivers and levers in English early years curriculum policy. Early Years: An international research Journal.

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Abstract

Using a post-structuralist framework, this article seeks to analyse the ways in which English early years curriculum policy has led to different constructions of young children. Although policy is often presented as being logical and factual, policy making can also be seen as a value-laden process in which meanings are socially constructed and can therefore be deconstructed and reconstructed.
In this article, I analyse the different interests that are served by curriculum policy, the intentions of policy makers and how policy levers and drivers might combine to produce potentially conflicting images of the child. I conclude that these conflicting images create tensions between policy makers’ pursuit of cost efficiency and the rights of young children in early years settings. However, post-structural analysis suggests that these are political decisions and things do not have to be this way. Those working in early years can challenge policy makers’ constructions of young children, to adopt a more ethical rights-based approach to early education.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: early years curriculum school readiness early childhood education post-structuralism policy
Subjects: X200 Research and Study Skills in Education
X300 Academic studies in Education
X900 Others in Education
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Study of Practice and Culture in Education (C-SPACE) > Re-thinking Childhood
Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Education and Social Work
UoA Collections > REF2021 UoA23: Education
Depositing User: Zoe Lewis
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2018 08:52
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2018 08:52
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6199

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