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ERIC Number: EJ767235
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 40
ISSN: ISSN-1063-2913
Children "At Risk": Constructions of Childhood in the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Federal After-School Program
Chappell, Sharon Verner
Arts Education Policy Review, v108 n2 p9-15 Nov-Dec 2006
In 2001, the U.S. government allocated $4.5 billion to after-school programs through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) grant directed at high-poverty, low-performing schools. Since 2003, 6,800 rural and urban public schools have been served around the country, at county, city, and district levels as well as some organizations that work with, but are not directly administered by the public school system. This is an impressive and impactful policy, with a wide scope and a dedication to allocating funds to arts education within its umbrella that impact such a large number of K-8 children. What are the constructions of childhood put forth in the policy and grant, and how do those assumptions about the needs of children affect the types of support provided to communities? What does being an educated child mean to the federal government according to this program? Whose knowledge (and what kind) is valued? What is the role of formalized education after-school in the construction of childhood? How do those constructions determine the vision for local programs implemented after-school? In this article, the author analyzes the 21st CCLC policy and grant materials, as well as local program descriptions provided by the DOE. She begins with the premise that childhood is a social construct, a contested space through which children navigate and adults negotiate their own fears, desires, and beliefs. The author explores ways in which childhood is constructed by after-school programming policies in terms of adult control of children's time, place, and experience; the kinds of social capital that children should develop; and notions of "good" children as "academically achieving" children. She explains how the state acts to discipline child bodies, spaces, and knowledge, and by extension, children's families and local communities, and concludes with a vision for after-school programs created on the basis of curricular perspectives of personal growth and social change.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001