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Images of childhood: Perception and practice in early childhood education
Canadian Children (2005)
  • Reesa Sorin, James Cook University

When we speak of childhood, we are speaking of adults' constructions of a time in life that no longer exists for the adult. Children do not generally have a voice in these strongly contested viewpoints. Historically, children were viewed as either evil (being the product of parents' intimacy), innocent and in need of care and nurturing, or miniature adults, who existed alongside their elder counterparts. Policy and practice in Early Childhood Education leans strongly toward the image of the child as innocent, and in need of adult protection, as adults grapple with decisions involving the child's best interests. On closer examination, however, there are multiple views of childhood, which are not mutually exclusive. This paper uses a template of ten constructions of childhood (Sorin & Galloway, 2005) presented at the first international conference on Childhood in Oslo in 2005, to explore current perception and practice in early childhood education. It challenges practitioners to apply the template to their own taken-for-granted notions of children and childhood and to reconsider what is possible in early childhood perceptions and practices. As this template is still relatively new and fluid, it invites discussion and feedback to the author. Comments can be sent to:

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Citation Information
Reesa Sorin. "Images of childhood: Perception and practice in early childhood education" Canadian Children Vol. 30 Iss. 2 (2005)
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