To Teach or Not to Teach in the Early Years: What Does this Mean in Early Childhood Education
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Pedagogy in the early years has often been constructed as a choice between child-centered, play-based, or teacher directed learning. Child-centered learning is often characterized as “following the child’s interests.” This chapter examines this under-theorized notion by re-visiting constructivist theory, re-examining the differences between constructivism and critical social constructionism and in the process explores many underpinning beliefs about knowledge in early years pedagogy. Examples of critical social constructionist pedagogy, drawn from some of the “big ideas” in the Social Sciences are provided in an attempt to blur the boundaries between the binaries that have dogged educational reform in the early years for decades.
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