Early Years and Youth Studies Series
Childhoods in More Just Worlds
An International Handbook
Published: November 2021
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Published: December 2021
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Published: October 2021

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Published: October 2021
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Language: English

A 2023 SPE Outstanding Book Honorable Mention

Those who are younger continue to be objects of injustice and inequity; those who are younger, people of color, females, and human beings living in poverty have never been included in equitable performances of justice, care, respect, and fairness.

The authors in this international volume use existing social values and institutions--and the strengths of these varied perspectives--to address justice in ways that have not previously been considered. The aim is to create more just worlds for those who are young--as well as for the rest of us.

The first set of chapters, Bodies, Beings, and Relations in More Just Worlds, place at the forefront the lives of those who are younger who are commonly situated in positions of invisibility, disqualification, and even erasure. In the second section, Performances of Care and Education for More Just Worlds, the authors acknowledge that needed (re)conceptualizations of those who are younger, along with appreciation for human diversity and entanglements between the so-called human and nonhuman worlds, are the foundations for more just care and education environments. From the critique of neoliberal reform discourses to reconceptualizing human relations with nonhuman animal and material worlds, care and learning environments are rethought. The set of chapters in the final section, Stir of Echoes: 20th Century Childhoods in the 21st, take-up the 20th century critical concerns with constructions of “child” that have dominated and continue to govern perspectives imposed on those who are younger. Suggestions for becoming-with those who are younger through resources like reconceptualist scholarship, Black and Indigenous Studies, and various posthuman perspectives are provided throughout.

Whatever the emphasis or focus of a section or chapter, throughout the volume is the recognition that dominant discourses (e.g. neoliberal capitalism, conservativism, progressivism, human exceptionalism) and the policies they create (and that facilitate them), influence possibilities for, and limitations to, more just childhood worlds. Therefore, each section includes chapters that address these complex discourses and policy issues. The reader is invited to engage with these complexities, to become-with the various texts, and to generate unthought possibilities for childhoods in more just worlds.

Perfect for courses such as: Curriculum Theory │ Multicultural Education │ Cultural Knowledge of Teachers and Teaching │ Sociocultural Foundations │ Anthropology of Education │ Identity, Agency, and Education │ Race and Ethnic Relations in Schools │ Philosophical Foundations of Education │ Educational Epistemologies │ Theorizing and Researching Teaching and Learning │ Qualitative Research in Education: Paradigms, Theories, and Exemplars │ Epistemologies and Theories in Multicultural and Equity Studies │ Curricular Approaches to Multicultural and Equity Studies in Education │ Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (3) │ Multicultural and Global Perspectives in Teaching and Learning │ Teaching for Social Justice │ Diversity and Equity in Education │ 21st Century Childhood Curriculum │ Childhood and Globalization

Table of Contents:

Preface: Childhoods in More Just Worlds: An International Handbook
Gaile S. Cannella and Tim Kinard

Bodies, Beings, and Relations in More Just Worlds
1. The Reduction of Children to “Bare Life”: The Case of Child Migration
Michael O’Loughlin and Renata de Assis

2. “Forward to No Place at All”: Forceful Migration and Child Welfare
Mlado Ivanovic

3. A Romani Analysis of English Preschool Education
Mandy Pierlejewski and Gyula Vamosi

4. The Shadows and Silences of Colonialism: Resisting Eroding Realities for Māori Children Through Language Re-Vernacularisation in Antipodean New Zealand
Mere Skerrett

5. Staying with the Troubles of Colonised Emotional Well-Being of Young Children in Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Jenny Ritchie

6. Competing Discourses about Immigrant Children: Metaphors of the Right and Left
Theodora Lightfoot

Care and Education: Performing Just Childhood Worlds
7. Refusing Policymakers’ Manufactured Crisis: Countering Conceptions of School Readiness
Christopher P. Brown, David P. Barry, and Da Hei Ku

8. Politics of Childhoods: Paradoxical Moments of Be(com)ing
I-Fang Lee

9. Sitting With the Agency Paradox to Stand for Childhood Liberation: The Case of Critical Mathematics Education
José Martínez Hinestroza

10. “Your Children Are Having Too Much Fun”: Teaching Literacy With Radical Hope
Luz A. Murillo

11. Justice Mapping: Making Theoretical Kin With/in Childhood Studies
Tim Kinard

12. Becoming-with Water: Collaboration, Ethico-onto-epistemologies, Experimentations, and Creativity
Mindy Blaise and Claire O’Callaghan

13. Entanglements of Neoliberalism, Childhoods and Environmental Justice
Kylie Smith, Casey Myers, and Marek Tesar

Stir of Echoes: 20th-Century Childhoods in the 21st
14. Figurations of the Child in Swedish Early Childhood Education
Therese Lindgren

15. Innocence and Parenting in Difficult Times
Emily L. Murphy and Hannah Dyer

16. Playing With the Politics of Play
Sue Grieshaber and Sally Barnes

17. Becoming Convivial With Child: Dismantling the Race/Child/Learning/Human Assemblage
Maria Kromidas

About the Authors


Reviews & Endorsements:

“This is a timely and important book. The contributions take up the critical task of inquiring into what it might look like to centre justice in the worlds and worldings of young children in current times of intensified and unevenly distributed precarity. Rather than working with an already-known and universalized meaning of justice, the book powerfully illustrates how confronting the impacts of neoliberal capitalism, colonialism and human exceptionalism on 21st Century childhoods can occur through situated, socio-culturally attuned accounts that attend closely to the places and spaces of childhood becomings.”

Fikile Nxumalo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Ontario Institute for the Studies in Education, University of Toronto

“This timely and evocative volume traces how historical, political, and developmental discourses continue to influence how we mobilize justice, equity, and care in the lives of young children across the globe. Through its analysis of research, policy, and practice, I was reminded that we (as adults) limit children’s capacity to act on their world(s), even in contemporary activist movements. In our effort to advocate for children’s rights, we potentially diminish their capacity to move along and with us as collaborators and contributors to a more just world. As authors argue, without new and expanded thinking on the most pressing social issues—(im)migration, emotional well-being, colonization, sustainability, neoliberal politics—we potentially reify the conditions that create inequitable systems and boundaries. That is, caring for children is not about protecting children or using them as props for our own political agendas, but deeply understanding their entanglement with adults, the material world, nonhuman creatures, and our global communities.”

Haeny S. Yoon, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education, Teachers College, Columbia University