Construction of early childhood and ECCD service provisioning in India

Aruldoss, Vinnarasan (2011) Construction of early childhood and ECCD service provisioning in India. In: Sigamani, P and Khan, N U (eds.) Reinventing public management and development in emerging economies. Macmillan, New Delhi, pp. 298-319. ISBN 9780230332737

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There has been a growing recognition among scholars in childhood studies that childhood is a social construction. Several historical and cross-cultural studies conducted across the world validate this argument, and whereby explains the variability that exist in the descriptions of childhood. These constructions not only differ at the cultural or temporal level, they also differ at the individual or institutional level. In a contemporary society, individuals, professionals, service institutions and policy communities – all construct their own version of childhood based on their subjective understandings, experiences and theoretical perspectives. At the policy level, therefore, these constructions have a significant role to play in the designing of services, institutions and pedagogy for early childhood intervention. This paper critically examines the model of early childhood constructed in the policy provisioning of early childhood care and development (ECCD) in India. Drawing on literatures mostly from the Euro-American context, at the outset, the paper elaborates the shift that took place in the ontology of children. The distinctions between child development theories, which chiefly inform the policy community, and the social constructionist approach, which is considered as an alternative, are then analyzed as central to early childhood service provisioning. The paper problematizes the policy documents, while doing so, it picks up few key issues and (re)open up the debates on ‘developmentally appropriate practices’ and ‘play-based education’. The paper concludes by suggesting that oversubscription of child development theories or total obscurity of social constructionist perspectives not augurs well for policy formulation. Further it stresses that there is a need to understand what children’s lived experiences are in the early childhood institutions, what parental constructions are on early childhood service provisioning and, how that can be incorporated to establish clear policy goals.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1101 Child study > LB1139.2 Early childhood education
L Education > LG Individual institutions (Asia. Africa. Oceania) > LG021 Asia > LG060 India. Pakistan. Bangladesh. Burma (Republic of the Union of Myanmar). Sri Lanka. Nepal
Depositing User: Vinnarasan Aruldoss
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2014 14:05
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2014 14:05

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