Performative accountability and early childhood teaching

Year: 2012

Author: Kilderry, Anna

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


This paper reports on the findings from a PhD study that investigated influences affecting early childhood teacher decision making at the preschool level in Victoria, Australia.  A critical discourse analysis of preschool teacher interviews and curricula related policies found that developmentally appropriate practice was a dominant discourse influencing teacher decision making and, despite no government-mandated curricula framework at the time, teachers were held accountable for their curricula practice. Critical theory was the underpinning framework used for the study and it enabled taken-for-granted understandings to be uncovered within early childhood policies and teacher interviews. The concepts of power, authority, and accountability were examined in policy and in interview transcripts, and subsequently, various forms of control and obligation were brought to the forefront.