From bad to worse? Troubling development in preschool settings

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At the end of Jake's first day of school his teacher called him the 'worst kid in the class'. A year later, when he was not 'progressed' to Year 1, the pattern of Jake's school development seemed to be set. As I write, Jake is in Year 4, and many of the predictions his Prep teacher made on that first day seem accurate-he has not had a history of successful learning or social experience at school. As I discuss elsewhere (Hill et al., 2002), Jake has had periods of very successful learning and progress though, which indicate that the 'developmental pathways' that children tread are socially constructed, rather than reliant on innate 'abilities' or 'natural' traits. For Jenks, 'development', or 'progress towards an adult state over time', is 'the primary metaphor through which childhood is made intelligible' (1996, p. 36). Psychological notions of development, however, are far more complicated and troublesome than such a metaphor encourages us to believe
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of Early Childhood
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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