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ERIC Number: EJ1168410
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2331-186X
Neoliberalism and Early Childhood
Sims, Margaret
Cogent Education, v4 n1 Article 1365411 2017
Over 30 years ago, Freire warned of the dangers of neoliberalism and Chomsky today sees this as the greatest threat to democracy. Education is particularly targeted by the neoliberal state because potentially, as educators, we can teach children to think critically, and as adults, critical thinkers are positioned as problems, not resources. Neoliberalism has a devastating impact on the early childhood sector with its focus on standardisation, push-down curriculum and its positioning of children as investments for future economic productivity. Conversely, the growing push for professionalisation of early childhood creates demands for discretionary decision-making that is in tension with the top-down compliance requirements of neoliberalism. In this paper, I present the ways in which neoliberalism impacts the early childhood sector, and call for early childhood professionals to engage in active resistance. Active resistance can take different forms and I discuss some of these. As educators, we have an obligation to both think and act critically and fight for a world where democracy flourishes and where all children have equal opportunities to participate, to shine and to be happy; thus, I argue we have a responsibility to resist the key impacts of neoliberalism.
Cogent OA. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A