A final version of this manuscript will be published as: Pacini-Ketchabaw, V. & Pence, A. (Forthcoming, 2011). The Investigating Quality Project: Innovative Approaches in Early Childhood. In N. Howe and L. Prochner (Eds.), New directions in early childhood education and care in Canada. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.
Excerpt from the chapter:
This chapter is an overview of the Investigating Quality Project five years into its history. It has numerous starting points. One was the work of Dahlberg, Moss and Pence (2007), Beyond Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care, which, although first published in 1999, was initially discussed in the early 1990s--and those discussions also had their antecedents. Another starting point was the first author's exposure to post-structuralist thought as a doctoral student in the mid-1990s. These experiences and others ultimately led to a collaborative project entitled Investigating Quality Project (IQP) (Pence & Pacini-Ketchabaw, 2009), the intent of which was to explore what might lie beyond British Columbia's (BC's), and more broadly Canada's, contemporary worlds of early childhood practice, training, research, policies, and governance. The intent, from the beginning, was to engage these various sectors/worlds of early childhood care and education in the investigation itself. Another intent was to identify where, internationally, some of the most innovative and rigorous work was taking place, to bring those innovators to BC and Canada to discuss their work, and to explore those possibilities in a BC context.
Principal sources of inspiration included Sweden, Northern Italy, and Aotearoa/New Zealand, but there were other international guests as well who brought into the IQP forums held in Victoria, BC additional issues of culture and context, social equity, pedagogical innovation, democratic engagement, documentation, assessment, participatory development, and more. The intent throughout was not replication, but inspiration, and to bring ideas into engagement with action in a Canadian context.
The chapter commences with a brief review of the Canadian context as seen through the lens of the IQP, then considers points of inspiration from principal sources; this is followed by a discussion of the IQP with early childhood educators, an overview of IQP engagements with
other sectors of early childhood care and education, and finally, our evolving thoughts and theories regarding professional learning and the role and possibilities of government.