Beyond Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care

Languages of evaluation, 3rd Edition

By Gunilla Dahlberg, Peter Moss, Alan Pence

© 2013 – Routledge

214 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415820226
pub: 2013-03-18
US Dollars$53.95
Hardback: 9780415819046
pub: 2013-03-18
US Dollars$160.00

Look Inside e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Taking a broad approach, Beyond Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care relates issues of early childhood to the sociology of childhood, philosophy, ethics, political science and other fields and to an analysis of the world we live in today. It places these issues in a global context and draws on work from Canada, Sweden and Italy, including the world famous nurseries in Reggio Emilia.

Working with postmodern ideas, this book questions the search to define and measure quality in the early childhood field and its tendency to reduce philosophical issues of value to purely technical and managerial issues of expert knowledge and measurement.

With a brand new Preface to this classic text, the authors argue that there are other ways than the 'discourse of quality' for understanding and evaluating early childhood pedagogical work and relate these to alternative ways of understanding early childhood itself and the purposes of early childhood institutions.


'The authors of this book offer a wonderful provocation for early childhood professionals. Reading it, I found myself encountering new and irresistible ideas—ones that led me to my own playful tangents. The places the authors describe that are ‘beyond quality’ open exciting and challenging possibilities for the field of ECE.' (Elizabeth Jones, Faculty Emerita, Human Development, Pacific Oaks College, California).

'Beyond Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care is a book for reflection, dialogue, and exchange on the ideological, contextual, cultural and existential diversity of childhoods across the globe. It questions modernist Minority (Western) World perspectives and the approach to early childhood education and care to which they give rise.' (Bame Nsamenang, Head, University Cooperation Division, University of Bamenda, Cameroon; and Director, Human Development Resource Centre).

'This is a book that is strongly innovative and uncomfortable for those who would like to see the ideas of quality and assessment consolidated in our society and in contemporary western culture. It is a ‘good book’. Good because it is the product of dialogue and because it offers itself not only for consent, but also for dissent and negotiation by its non-dogmatic tone. Readers will feel welcomed, listened to and respected in their opinions, even when those opinions are in opposition to the authors.’ (Carlina Rinaldi, President, Reggio Children – Centre Loris Malaguzzi Foundation, Italy)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: What this Book is About Chapter 2: Theoretical Perspectives: Modernity and Postmodernity, Power and Ethics Chapter 3: Constructing Early Childhood: What Do We Think It Is? Chapter 4: Constructing the Early Childhood Institution: What Do We Think They Are For? Chapter 5: Beyond the Discourse of Quality to the Discourse of Meaning Making Chapter 6: The Stockholm Project: Constructing a Pedagogy that Speaks in the Voice of the Child, the Pedagogue and the Parent Chapter 7: Pedagogical Documentation: A Practice for Reflection and Democracy Chapter 8: Minority Directions in the Majority World: Threats and Possibilities

About the Authors

Gunilla Dahlberg is Professor at the Institute of Education, Stockholm, Sweden.

Peter Moss is Emeritus Professor of Early Childhood Provision at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK.

Alan Pence is Professor at the School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria, Canada.

About the Series

Routledge Education Classic Edition

The Routledge Education Classic Editions Series celebrates Routledge's commitment to excellence in scholarship, teaching and learning within the field of education. Written by experts, these books are recognized as timeless classics covering a range of important issues, and continue to be recommeded as key reading for education students and professionals in the area. With a new introduction that explores what has changed since the books were first published, where the field might go from here and why these books are as relevant now as ever, the series presents key ideas to a new generation.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Elementary