Early Learning and Development provides a unique synthesis of cultural-historical theory from Vygotsky, Elkonin and Leontiev in the twentieth century to the ground-breaking research of scholars such as Siraj-Blatchford, Kratsova and Hedegaard today. It demonstrates how development and learning are culturally embedded and institutionally defined, and it reflects specifically upon the implications for the early childhood profession. Divided into parts, with succinct chapters that build upon knowledge progressively, the everyday lives of children at home, in the community, at pre-school and at school are discussed in the context of child development and pedagogy. The book explicitly problematises the foundations of early childhood education, inviting postgraduates, researchers and academics to drill down into specific areas of international discourse, and extending upper-level undergraduates beyond the fundamental underpinnings of their learning. Ultimately Early Learning and Development offers new models of 'conceptual play' practice and theory within a globally resonant, cultural-historical framework.
Marilyn Fleer holds the Foundation Chair of Early Childhood Education at Monash University, Australia.
Part I. Learning and Development in Play: 1. A political-pedagogical landscape; 2. Parallel conceptual worlds; 3. Teacher beliefs about teaching concepts; 4. Valued curriculum concepts in early education; 5. Teacher knowledge of subject matter concepts; 6. Empirical and narrative knowledge development in play; 7. Children building theoretical knowledge in play; Part II. Cultural-Historical Theories of Play and Learning: 8. Cultural-historical programs that afford play development - play as a leading activity; 9. Theories about play and learning; 10. The imaginative act as conceptual play; Part III. Learning and Development as Cultural Practice: 11. Views on child development matter; 12. A revolutionary view of development; 13. Children's development as participation in everyday practices across institutions; 14. A cultural-historical view of play, learning and development.