I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator working in a leadership role in Ontario, Canada. I would like to share my learning journey with other educators, colleagues, pre-service educators, students and all others who are passionate about learning and teaching in the early years.
I embarked on my formal learning journey thirty years ago by completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology. This led to an interest in working with children so I obtained a diploma in Early Childhood Education a few years later. After many years working in a variety of roles in the early learning profession, in many different geographical locations, I felt stagnant in my thinking. I wanted to feel inspired and fulfill my goal of becoming a lifelong learner so I began my MPEd journey.
My aha moment came in my first semester of the MPEd program at Western University. By taking the time to research interdisciplinary perspectives in Early Childhood Education I was beginning to grasp the missing link, the bridge between past and present practice in early childhood education in Ontario. While there is no one right perspective it was helpful to understand how we landed in our current theoretical place in Ontario's early years pedagogy. I also realized how revolutionary our learning has been and how we must continue to transform our practice. Or, as Peter Moss stated "The educator needs to adopt pedagogical approaches and practices that support the purposes of education, the values of diversity and democracy, the ethics of care and encounter, and an attitude of researching and experimenting (2010, p. 16).
I have watched so many educators, myself included, work so hard to promote the importance of early childhood education, to attempt to understand the political impact of our profession, and to continue to stay positive in a insufficiently compensated and demanding, yet rewarding career.
We are in a period of transformation in early childhood education in Ontario. As educators we need to be armed with knowledge of our practice to advocate for our profession. As competent and capable educators we can share our perspectives with others to encourage revolutionary thinking and learning in education. I truly feel that early childhood education is at the forefront of the transformation of education.
I hope by sharing my learning journey that I can help others understand why we have reached this place in early childhood education. I hope my moment of aha will help shed some light for others, struggling to make sense of our ever changing world in early childhood education.
My journey has helped me understand how little I know and how much I have yet to learn. I find this both exciting and inspirational. I look forward to adding more thoughts and resources to this website as I continue to engage with a community of learners.
“Evolutionary change is incremental and takes place gradually, over time. Slow, gradual change often takes place to ensure the survival of the organization” (McNaughton, 2018).
Thoughts by Amit Dasgupta:
“When we think revolutionary change, we envision complete overhaul, renovation and reconstruction. Change is fundamental, dramatic and often irreversible. From an organizational perspective, revolutionary change reshapes and realigns strategic goals and often leads to radical breakthroughs in beliefs or behaviours” (McNaughton, 2018).
Sir Ken Robinson's Education Revolution - Animation
Sir Ken Robinson - Bring on the learning revolution!
The view of childhood has changed and evolved through recent history. A revolution in learning is necessary to
transform early childhood education. Join me on my learning journey, guided by multi-disciplinary research
conducted by those with a passion for supporting children, families and educators in the early years.
Dr. Patrick Ryan developed a paradigm to support researchers in understanding the view of modern childhood. Children are viewed through many different lenses and Ryan's model of modern childhood walks us through the history and evolution of our perspective of how children learn and interact with the world (2008).
Dr. Peter Moss explains the importance of society's move away from neoliberalism towards a place of democracy. Moss speaks to the use of a postfoundational paradigm in early childhood education, one that values research, democracy, subjectivity, and experimentation (2010).
Join me as I journey through my thoughts around why it is so challenging to change our thinking in North America.
The historical view of childhood can be best described in the Landscape of Modern Childhood by Dr. Patrick Ryan.
Developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) has and continues to be the dominant discourse in the U.S. and Canada, including Ontario.
Sociocultural theory recognizes that humans' experiences are influenced by culture, community and environments. The context for learning is not the same for any two individuals.
Social constructivism supports the co-construction of knowledge between educator, children, family and colleagues. Multiple perspectives are sought in knowledge creation.
The Mosaic Approach, Te Whariki, the Swedish Preschool Curriculum, and the Reggio Emilia Approach.
Historical timelines in early childhood education have been researched by other educators.