Deconstructing and Transgressing the Theory—Practice dichotomy in early childhood education

Educational Philosophy and Theory 39 (3):275-290 (2007)
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Abstract

This article theorizes and exemplifies reconceptualized teaching practices, both in early childhood education (ECE) and in a couple of programs within the new Swedish Teacher Education (since 2001). These programs are tightly knit to the last 12 years of reconceptualized early childhood education practices in and around Stockholm, built on deconstructive, co‐constructive, and re‐constructive principles, inspired by poststructural and feminist poststructural theories. The aim is foremost to work towards a dissolution and/or transgression of the modernist theory‐practice binary that dominates ECE and teacher education practices, where theory is meant to be applied to practice. Student teachers, as well as pre‐school teachers, use what I have conceptualized as deconstructive talks, as a possibility of making visible the dominant discourses of childhood, identity, learning, play, and gender in the performed and documented teaching practices. In teacher education, students’ narratives are also deconstructed. The aim is to transgress teaching‐as‐usual; i.e. dominant and normative ways of thinking and acting in teaching and learning situations. I will suggest an ethics of ‘resistance’, affirmation and becoming, inspired by Derridean deconstructionist thinking, as a professional attitude and reflexive mode for teachers, teacher students and teacher educators.

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