Politics in the Playground: The World of Early Childhood in New Zealand

Author(s): Helen May

NZ Non Fiction

This lively account of early childhood education and care in postwar New Zealand is a follow-up to the author's earlier study. "Discovery of Early Childhood, which traced the origins of institutional care for young children in Europe and New Zealand. The evolution of systems of care and the increasing importance of preschool are documented. Because children are central to New Zealand's social history, this book also serves as a remarkable record of social movements. The postwar search for security, the radicalism of the 1960s and 1970s, the impact of feminism, and the role of the state in social issues are charted through their role in early childhood education. The language of the debate has shifted from 'social progress' in mid-century, to the economic terminology of the 1990s, and some cautious consideration of the young child citizen in the 2000s. Contents: Psychology and Freedom; Psychology of Disorder; Getting Ahead; Politics of Early Childhood; Demanding Childcare; Working with Children; Indigenous Rights ad Minority Issues; Winds of Reform; Measures of Quality; 'Blue Skies' in the 'playground'; References; Abbreviations; Glossary; Index. First published in 2001; this revised edition 2009.


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Helen May is the Dean of the University of Otago College of Education. She began her career as a primary school teacher in the mid-1960s, worked in childcare in the 1970s, and began tertiary teaching in the 1980s. During the early 1990s she worked with Margaret Carr on the development of Te Whariki, New Zealand's first national curriculum for early childhood education. In 1995, she was appointed to the first New Zealand professorial chair in Early Childhood Education at Victoria University Wellington and in 2005 she was appointed Professor of Education at the University of Otago. She has published six books as sole author.

Part 1: Growth and Expectation -- 1 Psychology and Freedom -- 2 Psychology of Disorder -- 3 Getting Ahead -- Part 2 Challenge and Constraint 1960s-1980s -- 4 Politics of Early Childhood -- 5 Demanding Childcare -- 6 Working with Children -- 7 Indigenous Rights and Minority Issues -- Part 3 State Interest and Devolution 1980s-1990s -- 8 Winds of Reform -- 9 Measures of Quality -- Part 4 Strategic Directions -- 10 'Blue Skies' in the 'playground'.

General Fields

  • : 9781877372681
  • : Otago University Press
  • : Otago University Press
  • : March 2009
  • : 210mm X 148mm
  • : New Zealand
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Helen May
  • : Paperback
  • : 2nd Revised edition
  • : 372.210993
  • : 368