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International Perspectives in the Early Years

International Perspectives in the Early Years

Edited by:

December 2013 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
'This informative and wide-ranging book argues persuasively for the value of multiple perspectives, both international and disciplinary, in the study and practice of early childhood education, because they feed our imaginations and provoke us to think. And while illustrating the many differences that exist between countries, it highlights the shared issues confronting us, wherever we live.' - Emeritus Professor Peter Moss, Institute of Education, University of London

Stemming from original research in the field, a range of expert contributors explore the key themes and debates surrounding international perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC).  Drawing on studies carried out in Norway, Mexico, France, Hungary and many more countries, the book covers a wide range of topics including: 

  • the relationship between early childhood and primary education
  • gender and play in ECEC
  • curriculum
  • inclusion
  • early interventions
  • working with families
  • place-based learning

With case studies, detailed suggestions for further reading at different levels and discussion points, this is a key text for students of Early Years at all levels, from Foundation Degree to Masters, as well as current early years practitioners.

Linda Miller is Professor Emeritus of Early Years, The Open University. 

Claire Cameron is Senior Reader in Education at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London.
Linda Miller and Claire Cameron
International Perspectives: Themes And Issues
Pamela Oberhuemer
Seeing Early Childhood Issues Through A European Lens
Yoshie Kaga
The Relationship Between Early Childhood And Primary Education
Tullia Musatti, Donatella Giovannini, Susanna Mayer, Group Nido LagoMago
How to Construct a Curriculum in an Italian Nido
Anne-Marie Doucet-Dahlgren
The French Approach To Family Intervention With Families With Young Children
John Bennett
The Roma Early Childhood Inclusion (RECI) Research Project
Margaret Kernan and Kathia Loyzaga
Space And Place As A Source Of Belonging And Participation In Early Years Services In Chiapas, Mexico
Bronwen Cohen and Wenche Rønning
Place-based Learning in Early Years Services: Approaches and Examples from Norway and Scotland
Claire Cameron
Perceptions of Using the Outdoors in Early Childhood Education and Care Centres in England, Hungary and Denmark: Some Questions About the Recruitment of Male Workers
Roger Hancock, Ann Cameron and Ayshe Talay-Ongan
Agency and Children’s Well-being
Claire Cameron and Linda Miller
International Perspectives: Using The Lens Of 'Other' To Consider What We Learn

covers interesting topics relevant to the modules i am teaching

Mrs Sarah Collyer
Childcare Department, Brooklands College
November 20, 2015

A good overview of international perspectives. particularly useful for 3rd year Childhood Studies students who are considering going on to a PGCE primary course.

Mrs Felicity Kyffin
School Of Education, Bangor University
July 3, 2015

A useful text for students through all modules.

June 12, 2015

Useful book for undergraduate early years students

Miss Lorna Wardle
School of Education, Nottingham Trent University
June 12, 2015

A good overview of some international perspectives - linked to research throughout.

Mrs Justine Gallagher
Social Work and Communities, Northumbria University
October 28, 2015

A useful text to signpost students through all modules.

Mrs Karen Sullivan King
Early Years, Great Yarmouth College
May 5, 2015

This book contextualises current issues within the early years and brings various perspectives to these themes. Excellent for the module 'comparative education'.

Miss Jo Button
Education , South Devon College
August 27, 2015

Interesting boo for those taking on the Foundation Phase as their area of interest and/or research.

Mrs Gail Parker
SWWCTE, University of Wales, Trinity St David
April 29, 2015

Good general text for the comparative element of the module.

Mrs Jan Gourd
Faculty of Education, University of St Mark & St John
December 19, 2014

Book Review
International perspectives in the early years by Linda Miller and Claire Cameron (Eds.)
Pearl D’Silva
New Zealand Tertiary College
Miller and Cameron’s (2014) edited book, titled International perspectives in the early years, is a useful resource for early childhood practitioners, as well as students enrolled in qualifications in early childhood education. The editors have carefully compiled research from a range of countries to publish a comprehensive record of early childhood education across Europe and the United States of America. The book consists of two parts, exploring themes related to the larger purview of early childhood education.
Part One considers notions of Care, Education and Intervention in early childhood settings across some European countries. The underlying focus around each of the five chapters within this section is the diversity and richness within early childhood systems and structures across Europe. In Chapter Two, the looks at the similarities and differences between early childhood systems of education across the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western parts of Europe, are discussed with a focus on current issues within specific countries in these areas. The chapter made an interesting read because it highlights themes that are now not only pertinent to Europe, but have become global issues. Goals and aspirations for early childhood programs are seen as similar, in spite of the differences between each country’s policies governing the sector. The chapter also explores relevant issues around staffing, in relation to prerequisite qualifications necessary to teach in the sector, the presence of males in the workforce and professional development.
Another chapter that was particularly note-worthy is Kaga’s discourse on the relationship between early childhood and primary schools (Chapter Three). The author looks at three models of relationship between the two sectors, arguing that healthy and positive relationships serve the interests of the young child. The models she refers to highlight, school readiness, ready school and a strong and equal partnerships. The author advocates the importance of the third model, wherein both sectors work harmoniously together to: (a) recognise and acknowledge ECE as vital to education; (b) facilitate effective transitions from early childhood to primary school, not just for the children’s well-being, and also to support administration, policies and curriculum across the sectors; and (c) a “unified approach to learning” (p. 39), acknowledging that key dispositions and attitudes to learning are nurtured in the early years. She concludes with some practical ideas that could help facilitate the transition and make it more viable for all stake-holders in the early childhood sector.
Doulcet- Dahlgren (2014) highlight the French model of early childhood education services, which upholds the idea of nurturing a strong community between parents and early childhood professionals to support parents and
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children. Another chapter examines the commitment of the Italian municipal centres called nido in advocating a holistic curriculum that incorporates socio-cultural experiences for children under the age of three. The authors reaffirm that learning does not occur in isolation, but through a shared experience and shared ‘meanings’ set out for infants and toddlers in the centres.
Part Two of the book is titled ‘Children’s Spaces’ and explores international perspectives on practices within early childhood settings. The themes running through these five chapters within this section carry important messages in relation to the role of the early childhood professional in nurturing children’s sense of space and place, well-being, belonging and agency. Kernana and Loyzaga (2014) highlight early childhood education centres sometimes doubling up as havens for children, especially for those children that are vulnerable due to socio-political and economic factors. In an interesting piece of research, the authors seek to understand concepts such as belonging and self-identity among indigenous migrant children living in urban Mexico. In particular, they showcase the extraordinary efforts of one specific non-governmental organisation that works to support young children in building a positive identity and sense of belonging by drawing on their family histories and indigenous culture into daily activities and experiences. Cohen and Ronning (2014) examine the relevance of “local economic activities and the unique history, culture, and tradition” (p. 112) in informing pedagogical practices situated within the early childhood curriculum. Drawing on examples from Norway and Scotland, the authors argue that place-based learning offers children rich opportunities to develop holistically, to construct their own learning and to inform their sense of identity and belonging. I particularly enjoyed reading Hancock, Cameron and Talay-Ongan’s work on the importance of play in promoting agency and, thus, a sense of well-being among young children. Drawing from videos highlighting family life across Peru, Turkey, the USA and the UK, the authors aimed to understand how agency is promoted not just through play, but also through positive experiences provided by the parents to build on children’s interests. The authors urge early childhood professionals to draw from the messages gained through the research to guide their interactions with children, thus empowering them to be independent and confident learners.
The book is enjoyable to read and provides interesting insights into early childhood. Each chapter concludes with a summary of the chapter and prompts to enable the reader to reflect on the topic in their own contexts. I also liked each chapter having a list of recommended readings, categorised to suit students across all levels of study. The language used through the book was simple but profound and would appeal to students and early childhood practitioners. The diversity of examples and experiences that the book offers to the reader is enriching and provides opportunities for further reflection and research.
Miller, L., & Cameron, C. (Eds.). (2014). International perspectives in the early years. London, UK: Sage Publications Ltd.

Dr Christopher Naughton
Early Childhood Education, New Zealand Tertiary College
December 17, 2014

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