Teacher education and 'other people's children': Marjorie and 'Sally's' dilemmas

Year: 2013

Author: Whitehead, Kay, Krieg, Susan

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

 As recently as 2006 Lisa Delpit (2006 p. 28) argued that American education is grounded in ‘liberal middle class values and aspirations', thereby maintaining the status quo and marginalizing black, poor and minority group children, that is ‘other people's children'. A similar situation occurs in Australia and from early childhood settings through to schools, white middle class educators grapple with the dynamics of inequality in their work with other people's children. Likewise, teacher educators are implicated in these struggles as they prepare a future generation of early childhood professionals to work for social and educational change.
Looking back and then forward, we explore the preparation of early childhood educators to work with other people's children. Firstly, we focus on Marjorie Hubbe who attended the Adelaide Kindergarten Training College (KTC) between 1911 and 1913, and then Sally (pseudonym) who has recently graduated from a contemporary university with a degree in Early Childhood Education. We provide brief overviews of the KTC and contemporary courses of study and then interrogate Marjorie and Sally's perspectives of their work with other people's children. We use Marjorie's practicum reports, lesson plans and reflections of her experiences at Grey Ward Free Kindergarten. Sally's written reflections and an interview transcript are the basis for our discussion of her perspectives. In essence, we are using an historical lens to trace threads of continuity and change in early childhood teacher education.