Governing Early Childhood Education through Play

Joanne Ailwood

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Play serves as a significant nodal point in the discursive relations of early childhood education. The aim of this article is to ask how play has come to appear so necessary to early childhood educational settings and how this perceived necessity governs the behaviour of both adults and young children. To do this the author make use of concepts provided through Foucault's notion of governmentality, or the conduct of conduct. The article begins with a thematic overview of some of the dominant discourses of play. It then considers some critiques of play discourses in early childhood education. Following this, it considers how play has been produced as a technology of governmentality in early childhood educational settings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)286-299
    Number of pages14
    JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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