Penn State

Gail Boldt - Professor of Education, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Care and Education Critical Questions, New Imaginaries and Social Activism: A Reader

Author: Marianne N. Bloch/ Beth Blue Swadener / Gaile S. Cannella

Book Description:

 The Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Research, Theory and Practice (RECE) movement has been central to my professional, intellectual and personal development over the past twenty years. This is a movement that began in the late 1980s with discussions among early childhood academics who wanted to break away from NAEYC's dependence upon normalizing theories of child development and who drew from feminist, queer, post-colonial and post-structural perspectives as critical in considering early childhood policy and practices as well as the experiences of young children around the world. This group was especially concerned with perspectives on child development that normalized the cultural practices and beliefs of dominant cultural groups at the expense of pathologizing children and their families who were in the minority and/or who live in poverty.  In 1994, as a first year doctoral student, I traveled from Honolulu, HI, where I lived, to Durham, New Hampshire for my first RECE conference with my advisor, Joe Tobin, who was one of the founders of RECE, and presented my first academic paper there.  In the years since, RECE has functioned -- as it was intended to -- as a group that provided me with mentors, that shepherded me through my first job search, provided venues for publication, and opportunities for international collaboration.
This book, Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Care and Education: Critical Questions, New Imaginaries and Social Activism, represents the contemporary thinking of many who are active participants in the movement as well as giving a good overview of the kinds of concerns that frame the work of our community.

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