Diverse Early Childhood Education Policies and Practices explores issues in early childhood education and teacher preparation in five Asian countries: India, Singapore, China, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. Some observed classrooms in these countries reflect influences that are simultaneously indigenous and colonial, local and global. By highlighting the diverse and often hybrid classroom pedagogies at work in these 21st century Asian classrooms, the discussions in this book take into consideration the influence of globalization on local policies and practices, and the challenge educators face when they are expected to reconcile different and sometimes conflicting cultural and pedagogical world views.
Through a research-driven analysis of key issues such as recent revisions to national early childhood education policies, perceptions on "play-based and child-centered" pedagogy, curriculum and learning materials, and an emphasis on the teaching of values, this book illuminates the diversity of the observed classrooms as well as current trends in early childhood education in parts of Asia. The cross-national perspective serves to expand and diversify the global discourse of early childhood education and teacher education.
"This is a must-read for early childhood teachers, teacher educators, and policy makers interested in understanding how Asian educational systems are embracing change and the ways in which teachers are engaging with these policies in their everyday work. The detailed descriptions of classroom environments, materials and learning activities bring readers into these Asian contexts and show how cultural, colonial, global, and local forces are at work. A highly readable and important book."
--Mindy Blaise, Associate Professor, the Hong Kong Institute of Education
"In this unique book, Amita Gupta portrays specific contexts of early childhood education in five countries in Asia and offers readers concrete meanings of the oft-used word globalization. Despite the geographic distance from the 'west,' she illustrates how shared issues, such as child-appropriate curricula and teacher education, intersect and present similar challenges for early educators across national borders. With clearly documented details, the author illustrates the need for a negotiated space—a 'third space'—where educators may draw on policies and practices from the west, but then choose to interpret and enact them in culturally embedded and ultimately richly hybridized ways."
--Celia Genishi, Professor Emerita, Teachers College, Columbia University
List of Figures
Preface with Chapter Overviews
Chapter 1: Introduction: Expanding the Discourse of Early Childhood Education and Teacher Education
Chapter 2: Country Contexts and Recent ECE Policies
Chapter 3: "Play-based" and "Child-centered" Pedagogy
Chapter 4: Teaching Character, Citizenship and Cultural Values
Chapter 5: Curriculum and Local Funds of Knowledge
Chapter 6: Partnering for Teaching and Learning
Chapter 7: Current Themes in Teacher Education
Chapter 8: Reflections and Recommendations