Generating visionary policy for early childhood education and care: Politicians' and early childhood sector advocate/activists' perspectives

Kathryn Bown, Jennifer Sumsion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
351 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article contributes to the global conversation about generating a 'vision' in early childhood education and care (ECEC) policy by reporting on an investigation of influences on politicians' policy decisions in ECEC in Australia. This article is inspired by the provocations of social and political theorists who question the status quo and how society might be imagined, using policy as a potential method by which to achieve better futures. Guided by this broad agenda, this article reports on an empirical study that sought 1) politician participants' visions for ECEC policy and; 2) early childhood sector representatives' views on how visionary policy might be generated and, conversely, their perceptions of how visionary policy comes to be impeded. In Australia, an apparent impediment to achieving visionary policy is the perceived fragmentation of the ECEC sector, a policy problem regularly raised in ECEC literature globally and reflected in the findings of the study reported here. Following the work of Sara Ahmed, we question the cultural politics of characterizing the ECEC sector as fragmented and how this description might also be inscribed on the surfaces of individual and collective bodies as a totalizing and disciplining strategy. The practice of 'Agonism' is proposed as a potentially generative conceptual tool for examining the material effects of being characterized as 'fragmented', and for reconfiguring political and public spaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-209
Number of pages18
JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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