When early childhood and school meet: exploring possibilities for the relationship between early childhood education and care and compulsory schooling

Year: 2012

Author: Henderson, Linda

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


This paper explores the possibilities, both actual and potential, for the Early Childhood Education a Care (ECEC) and compulsory schooling (CS) relationship drawing on empirical data from a participatory action research project involving three early childhood teachers working in an Australian independent school. I first discuss the integration of ECEC and CS within recent policy shifts at both a local, national and supra-national level where discourses of life-long learning have positioned ECEC within educational processes aimed at fostering coherence for children across the different phases of education. Presenting the findings of the project, I illustrate how the ECEC and CS relationship within this context was constituted in discursive practices produced through discourses of schooling. Examining the early childhood teacher's responses to this subjectification I draw on the concept 'affect' from the work of Deleuze and Guattari to highlight the manner in which disruption and dissensus provided opportunity to explore new ways of living the ECEC and CS relationship. Based on these findings, I argue that the Australian independent school sector, which has integrated ECEC and CS for some time now, can provide significant insight when thinking about possibilities for the ECEC and CS relationship within current policy agendas.