Consolidating Theory and Research: Childhood Studies Essay

2926 Words Jun 3rd, 2013 12 Pages
Part one: Essay

This essay will discuss the new theories of Childhood Studies, possible benefits to teachers

and children and how it relates to New Zealand early childhood practice. Let’s begin by

looking briefly at what childhood studies entails.

Childhood studies is a relatively new field of study that seeks to move away from the outdated

theory of seeing children with a ‘social construction’ lens, where a child is a product of a

particular set of culturally specific norms, to a ‘social constructivist’ lens, which focuses on

the child as an individual and how they interact with their own environment. Not as passive

learners, but people, with agency, who contribute to their own development (Clark, R.
…show more content…
2004) & (Poland, M., Paterson, J.,

Carter, S., Gao, W., Perese, L., & Stillman, S. 2010).

Teachers can no longer presume that just because a child is of a certain age or size that the

child's developmental competencies will be at the expected normal level.

From personal experience, I have a child who did not meet toileting self management at four,

but excelled in academics, and all my children were frequently mistaken for older children in

early childhood settings because of their increased height and size. This often led to

unreasonable expectation from other parents of their skill level and behavior.

So in conclusion, Childhood studies urge us to know each child as an individual, so that we

may cater to that child’s best interests and levels of competency. The best way to do this is

work on building sound reciprocal relationships with children and their families (Ministry of

Education, 1996), and by using qualitative methods of recording and presenting and

evaluating children’s learning in Early childhood settings (Ministry of Education, 2009).

Childhood studies allow us to look holistically at a child and its surroundings and work to

meet its needs within that setting, shedding typical expectations and working towards

strengthening skills and

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