Educating in a time of (Im)possible and (im)probable policy futures

Year: 2019

Author: Hunkin, Elise, Westbrook, Fiona

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract:
We live in ‘dangerous times’ (Riddle & Apple 2019) characterised by the slow death of capitalism, unprecedented social upheaval, inequity and escalating climate disaster. Yet, early childhood education policy remains mired in neoliberal policy pathwaysthatperpetuatea global standardisation and homogenisation agenda at odds with our changing world and the potential role of education in it.

In this paper, we review New Zealand and Australian Early Childhood quality policy assemblages and how they sit within the Global Education Reform Movement and agenda (Sahlberg 2016). We question: how can policy pathways be shifted in ways that encourage us to interpret quality through a lens of possibility? How can educators balance - and perhapsevenpush back against- compliance and accountability policy demands by embracinganuncertain future? We argue that since early childhood settings are typified by creative, democratic, relational and complex teaching and learning encounters they are also uniquely placed to embrace the opportunities of supporting childrentoimagine, prepare for and bring into fruitionan(im)possible and(un)knowable future.

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