1st Edition

Disrupting and Countering Deficits in Early Childhood Education

Edited By Fikile Nxumalo, Christopher P. Brown Copyright 2020
    200 Pages
    by Routledge

    200 Pages
    by Routledge

    This powerful edited collection disrupts the deficit-oriented discourses that currently frame the field of early childhood education (ECE) and illuminates avenues for critique and opportunities for change. Researchers from across the globe offer their insight and expertise in challenging the logic within ECE that often frames children and their families through gaps, risks, and deficits across such issues as poverty, language, developmental psychology, teaching, and learning. Chapters propose practical responses to these manufactured crises and advocate for democratic practices and policies that enable ECE programs to build on the wealth of cultural and personal knowledge children and families bring to the early learning process. Moving beyond a dependence on deficits, this book offers opportunities for scholars, researchers, and students to consider their practices in early education and develop their understanding of what it means to be an educator who seeks to support all children.

    1. Introducing the Text and Examining the Emergence, Maintenance, and Expansion of Gaps, Deficits, and Risks Through Early Childhood Policy

    Christopher P. Brown

    2. Dismantling Racialized Discourses in Early Childhood Education and Care: A Revolution Towards Reframing the Field

    Michelle Salazar Pérez

    3. Pláticas on Disrupting Language Ideologies in the Borderlands

    Cinthya M. Saavedra and J. Joy Esquierdo

    4. Rejecting Deficit Views of Children in Poverty in Favor of a Philosophy of Abundance

    Curt Dudley-Marling

    5. A Capability-Oriented Lens: Reframing the Early Years Education of Children with Disabilities

    Maryam Dalkilic

    6. Fighting for The Unity of Care and Education in Early Childhood: Understanding and Disrupting Challenges to Professional Knowledge and Action

    Patricia M. Cooper

    7. Disrupting Standardized Early Education Through Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies with Young Children

    Ranita Cheruvu

    8. Deconstructing Child Rights in Special Educational Needs: Representations of Deficit and Development in Educational Psychology

    Laura Goodfellow and Erica Burman

    9. More-Than-Human Kinship Relations within Indigenous Children’s Picture Books

    Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw And Meagan Montpetit

    10. Listening to and Telling a Rush of Unruly Natureculture Gender Stories

    Mindy Blaise and Tonya Rooney

    11. Disrupting Racial Capitalist Formations in Early Childhood Education

    Fikile Nxumalo


    Fikile Nxumalo is Assistant Professor of Diversity and Place in Teaching and Teacher Education in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, at the Ontario Institute for Studies of Education, University of Toronto.

    Christopher P. Brown is Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Faculty Fellow with The Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis and at the Center for Health and Social Policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. He is also the Past-Chair for the Early Education/Child Development Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association.

    "Nxumalo and Brown have assembled a powerful collection of chapters which identify, disrupt, and offer a range of promising possibilities for countering pervasive deficit discourses long ingrained in early childhood education. Grounded on the understanding that education is never neutral, this timely and critical book unveils the intertwined stronghold of racial capitalism, settler colonialism, and rising environmental vulnerability in early childhood education across contexts. Concomitantly offering critical reflection and real possibilities for transforming early childhood education, it sketches hopeful pathways for negotiating emancipatory and strengths-based possible futures for the profession. Disrupting and Countering Deficits in Early Childhood Education is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding why and how early childhood education can and must change as a matter of justice."Mariana Souto-Manning; Professor of Early Childhood Education and Teacher Education; Teachers College, Columbia University, USA


    "Disrupting and Countering Deficits in Early Childhood Education is a much-needed collection that sheds light on perhaps taken-for-granted rhetoric, practices, and policies that frame children from deficit discourses. The authors not only give a historical look at how concepts such as race, gender, poverty, and language contribute to deficient views of young children, but also how these constructs produce current realities and future possibilities through research practices, policies, and pedagogies. Terms such as at-risk, developmentally appropriate practice, intervention, readiness, achievement and word gaps, and quality childcare are examined alongside stories from various international research communities. This edited book begs readers to ponder ethical questions such as: What is our work as educators producing for the worlds of young children and their more-than-human relationships? And how might we respond differently in producing these lively worlds?"Candace R. Kuby, University of Missouri, USA


    "This is one of the defining reads in critical early childhood studies. Fikile Nxumalo and Christopher P. Brown unpack, challenge and disrupt the dominant discourses in early childhood education with leaders of the field. The collection is a beautifully written and curated collection of important and ground-breaking texts."Marek Tesar, The University of Auckland, NZ


    "This book is an urgent call to action against the suffocating and persistent power of deficit-based thinking, policy and practice that affirms children’s right to a childhood that is not framed and defined by pathologizing discourse, widening gaps, risk factors, and other oppressive labels. Contributors to this volume complicate and deepen the critique of deficit discourse and offer needed alternatives, drawing from an array of critical perspectives, including onto-epistemologies of the global south, decolonial, anti-racist and non-anthropocentric approaches that respect multiple childhoods and honor children and families and their funds of knowledge, resistance and possibilities."Beth Blue Swadener, Arizona State University, USA