Dr Elizabeth Wood - Policy frameworks in early childhood education: Changes and challenges
Date / Time: 14 June 2012 3-4pm
Venue: Faculty of Education TC2.27
Dr Elizabeth Wood is Professor of Education at the University of Exeter. Elizabeth has recently been appointed to a Chair in Education at the University of Sheffield, commencing in October 2012. Her expertise lies in early childhood and primary education, specifically the role of play in learning and development; play, curriculum and pedagogy; teachers’ knowledge, beliefs and practices. Her recent research for ‘Education International’ focused on issues of equity and diversity in the policies of teachers’ unions and she is currently developing her work on critical policy analysis within early childhood education.
A significant change in the last 20 years has been the intensification of national policy frameworks in ECEC and the inclusion of this phase in international policy goals and aspirations. However, it is only recently that researchers within this field have begun to take a critical view of policy discourses, the ways in which these circulate at national and international levels, and the risks and challenges of policy-borrowing. In this presentation I will outline recent policy changes in England, and discuss their impact in four key areas: learning and development; play as education; pedagogy and curriculum. I will consider the challenges that practitioners face as they do not just ‘enact’ policy, but enact their own ways of working within and beyond these frameworks in ways that are relevant to children, families and communities. Drawing on current developments in ECEC in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, I will also consider the implications of policy for equity and diversity.
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