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Title: The roots and legacies of four key women pioneers in early childhood education : a theorectical and philosophical discussion
Author: Giardiello, Patricia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 7856
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2011
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Philosophical, theoretical and scientific interest in early childhood has a very long history. The idea that the early years are the foundation of children's long term prospects is one of the most ancient, enduring and influencing themes shaping early childhood policy and provision today. The motivation and purpose for this study stems from a desire to de-familiarise that which is already known in order to reflect upon, and identify new understandings of early childhood education in relation to universal values and beliefs concerning young children's learning and development. Using an interpretative paradigm, which Habermas (1984, p.109) would describe as a "double hermeneutic" as the process involves striving to re- interpret the already interpreted world, I argue that the principles, practices and provision of early childhood education in the United Kingdom today have strong roots in the innovative pedagogies of four influential women of the 19th and 20th century: Margaret and Rachel McMillan, Maria Montessori and Susan Isaacs. This study adopts a historical stance and firstly examines how early childhood education began through exploring and reflecting upon the early philosophers of the past whose ideas, values and beliefs were influential in shaping the key women pioneers' thinking. The study then moves on to examines the roots and legacies of the four women and the contribution they each made to early childhood education today. The contribution of my thesis to current knowledge and understanding of early childhood education lies firstly in the way I have synthesised the lives and work of the four women who form the focus of this thesis and secondly, in my demonstration of the way much of what constitutes effective early childhood provision has been shaped through the course of history.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available