Reconfiguring the Natures of Childhood

By Affrica Taylor

© 2013 – Routledge

176 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415687720
pub: 2013-02-14
US Dollars$53.95
Hardback: 9780415687713
pub: 2013-02-14
US Dollars$160.00

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About the Book

In this fascinating new book, Affrica Taylor encourages an exciting paradigmatic shift in the ways in which childhood and nature are conceived and pedagogically deployed, and invites readers to critically reassess the naturalist childhood discourses that are rife within popular culture and early years education.

Through adopting a common worlds framework, Reconfiguring the Natures of Childhood generates a number of complex and inclusive ways of seeing and representing the early years. It recasts childhood as:

  • messy and implicated rather than pure and innocent;
  • situated and differentiated rather than decontextualized and universal;
  • entangled within real world relations rather than protected in a separate space.

Throughout the book, the author follows an intelligent and innovative line of thought which challenges many pre-existing ideas about childhood. Drawing upon cross-disciplinary perspectives, and with international relevance, this book makes an important contribution to the field of childhood studies and early childhood education, and will be a valuable resource for scholars, postgraduate students and higher education teachers.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Rousseau’s Legacy: Configuring Nature’s Child 2. Representing Nature’s Child 3. Educating Nature’s Child 4. Assembling Common Worlds Childhoods 5. Enacting Common Worlds Childhoods Conclusion: Towards Common Worlds Pedagogies

About the Author

Affrica Taylor is Associate Professor of Education, University of Canberra, Australia.

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.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Elementary
EDUCATION / Preschool & Kindergarten
EDUCATION / Research
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography