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Alternative narratives in early childhood, or why contest early childhood?

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Moss, P.
Publication Date: 
28 Feb 2019


Contesting Early Childhood Book Series

At the start of each book in the series Contesting Early Childhood (CEC) are these words: This ground breaking series questions the current dominant discourses in early childhood, and offers alternative narratives of an area that is now made up of a multitude of perspectives and debates.

The series, which started in 2005, now has 18 titles including three from Reggio Emilia. I had the privilege of being the first editor, along with my Swedish colleague Gunilla Dahlberg. Although we handed over the role in 2016 (to Michel Vandenbroeck and Liselott Mariett Olsson), I remain closely involved and have written one of the latest books to appear in the series: Alternatives in Early Childhood (ANEC).

The book is an introduction, aimed at students and practitioners, to the series and some of the main ideas that appear in it. These ideas - concepts and theories - can open up new worlds. But they can also be daunting, difficult to grasp not least because they challenge the assumptions and beliefs that many people have become accustomed to and take for granted as self-evident. So, although the authors in the series ground the concepts and theories they write about in actual, concrete examples of practice, I have felt for some time the need to offer an accessible and enticing introduction, to assist more people to enter the exhilarating and liberating world of contesting early childhood.