Engaging with critical theories and the early childhood curriculum
Curiculum in Early Childhood Education: Re-examined, Reclaimed, Renewed
School of Education / Edith Cowan Institute for Education Research
This chapter is an introduction to critical theories and their application to early childhood curriculum. It begins with a review of the work that has been conducted using critical theories to investigate and question taken-for-granted early childhood practices. In doing so the chapter highlights what makes a theory critical and shows how some theoretical orientations have been applied to the early childhood curriculum. The focus then shifts from a review to an examination of some of the most recent efforts to trouble and remake early childhood curriculum. The chapter suggests that more diverse forms of critical theorizing in their efforts to dismantle the logic of dualisms inherent in Western thought (e.g., male/female, adult/child, theory/practice, global north/global south) help toward understanding how curriculum has the potential to be transformative. This chapter concludes by reasserting the importance of critical theory for contemporary early childhood practice.