Foucault and the Early Childhood Classroom

Foucault’s notion of “regimes of truth” provides an understanding of how some discourses operate and network together to reinforce a particular powerful view of the world. These can be in oral or written forms. Early childhood education practices are drawn on the discourse of a document developed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) on developmentally appropriate practice. Statements made in this written discourse have been accepted as factual and produce shared language among early childhood researchers. Foucault’s perspectives of discourse and terms used by him as regimes of truth are used in this article to evaluate the written document that early childhood educators have accepted as authoritative truth. Suggestions for practice include providing a discourse that calls for early childhood teachers to allow time for reflective dialogue and the recognition of multiple perspectives to inform pedagogical knowledge of the social and cultural contexts of the children they teach.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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