Contesting schoolification through snapshots of pedagogy-in-participation in early childhood development centres in South Africa
Keywords:Early Childhood Care and Education, Peadagogy in Participcation, Snapshots from South African Play Centres, Schoolification
Educational research confirms that early childhood education can impact positively on the lives, well-being, safety, growth, development and academic performance of young children in the birth to 4 years age group. In South Africa (SA), Early Childhood Development (ECD) has been recognised and identified as a critical nodal point for the country's social and economic transformation and development. However, ‘schoolification’ has become an epidemic which has promoted standardisation of education, reduces teacher autonomy and envisions ECD Centres as preparation for school rather than preparation for life. This article attempts to contest schoolification, using snapshots of pedagogy in participation for early years in South Africa. The study investigated the perceptions of practitioners and centre managers of 10 well-resourced and 8 under-resourced centres in 5 of the 9 provinces in SA. This article forms part of a larger funded project on Transformation Pedagogy. The most illustrative examples from the data collected were used to elicit alternative quality practices for pedagogy in participation. The findings encourage practitioners and policy makers to reconceptualise ECD as a co-constructive process. The article offers recommendations for teacher preparedness and child-centeredness, by provoking a reconceptualization that involves making schools children-ready rather than making children school-ready.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Dr K Bipath, Mrs Hantie Theron
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