Forming Ethical Identities in Early Childhood Play: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Forming Ethical Identities in Early Childhood Play

1st Edition

By Brian Edmiston


224 pages

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Paperback: 9780415435482
pub: 2007-10-18
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Through compelling examples, Brian Edmiston presents the case for why and how adults should play with young children to create with them a 'workshop for life'.

In a chapter on 'mythic play' Edmiston confronts adult discomfort over children's play with pretend weapons, as he encourages adults both to support children's desires to experience in imagination the limits of life and death, and to travel with children on their transformational journeys into unknown territory.

This book provides researchers and students with a sound theoretical framework for re-conceptualising significant aspects of pretend play in early childhood. Its many practical illustrations make this a compelling and provocative read for any student taking courses in Early Childhood Studies.


‘[This book] is a welcome addition to the literatures on play, moral

development, and postmodern theorizing in early childhood education … It is a terrific example of postmodern scholarship that does not sacrifice complexity for clarify and readability.’ - J. Amos Hatch, University of Tennessee

‘This book is designed to provoke thought … it dislocates itself from traditional approaches and subverts the language of play.’ - Tina Bruce, Roehampton University

‘An extraordinary theoretical tour de force.’ - Maureen Kendrick, University of British Columbia

"In this thoughtful, stimulating analysis of the ethical dimensions of children’s play, Edmiston argues for the value of mythic play, in which children confront issues of good and evil by enacting heroes and villains of classic and contemporary tales." – CHOICE, September 2008, Vol. 45 No. 11

Table of Contents

1. Ethics in Play 2. Mythic and Everyday Play 3. Playing with Possible Selves and Identities 4. Co-Authoring Ethical Selves and Identities 5. Play as Ethical Pedagogy

About the Series

Contesting Early Childhood

This groundbreaking new series questions the current dominant discourses surrounding early childhood, and offers instead alternative narratives of an area that is now made up of a multitude of perspectives and debates.

The series examines the possibilities and risks arising from the accelerated development of early childhood services and policies, and illustrates how it has become increasingly steeped in regulation and control. Insightfully, this collection of books shows how early childhood services can in fact contribute to ethical and democratic practices. The authors explore new ideas taken from alternative working practices in both the western and developing world, and from other academic disciplines such as developmental psychology. Current theories and best practice are placed in relation to the major processes of political, social, economic, cultural and technological change occurring in the world today.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Preschool & Kindergarten
EDUCATION / Research