The idea of this course is to apply post-structural theory to topics in early childhood education. Each week we will read a piece of theory, discuss it, and then explore it’s implications for education in general, more specifically for early childhood education, and most specifically, for your own dissertation topic. Theories to be covered include various versions of post-structuralism, performance theory, queer theory, and postcolonial theory. The theories covered in this seminar are, not coincidentally, among the ones that have been most central to the work of the “reconceptualizing early childhood education group,” of which I am a core member. Many of the critical theory reading assignments are paired with an example of how this theory has been applied to an issue in early childhood education.
This course is about the analysis and interpretation of transcripts and other texts. We will read theory and method pieces from the humanities as well as the social sciences and use this theory and method to make sense of things people say to us when we interview them as well as in other contexts.
The central concept of this course is that talk can be analyzed productively using techniques borrowed from the study of (written) texts. We will approach transcriptions of interviews as a literary scholar would approach a poem or a theological scholar a fragment of scroll. We will draw on methods of textual analysis including deconstruction, reader response theory, formalism, structuralism, and performance theory to open up new avenues to making meaning out of interview data.
The key theorist for the course is the Russian literary theorist/semiotician/philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin. We will read several works by Bakhtin, and by V.N. Volisonov (who may or may not have been Bakhtin) and apply such Bakhtinian concepts as citationality, hybridity, and heteroglossia to interview transcripts.
The central goal of this course is to learn how to use and think about technology, media, toys, and community-based (out of school) educational opportunities to support the education of young (3-8 year old) children.
This is a research methods seminar on the use of ethnographic methods for education research. We will read about education in various settings and we will be discuss anthropological explanations of such educational problems as the educational underachievement of disadvantaged groups. But our focus will be on ethnographic methods rather than on ethnographic findings or theories.
Students in this class will learn about early childhood education and care in a range of countries. This knowledge of the variety and range of approaches to ECEC is in itself valuable, as it reduces provincialism and leads to a questioning of taken-for-granted assumptions. But the goal of this class is less gaining content knowledge than on the process of conducting cross-cultural research in ECEC. Students will conduct research on early childhood education and care across cultural/national contexts. The focus will be on research methods: techniques and strategies for conceptualizing research questions, conducting research, writing, and publishing in the field of comparative ECEC.