SFU Module 1 Early Childhood Education and Care in Canada Critical Analysis

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Simon Fraser University


Research and select approximately 8 Canadian news stories about early childhood education and care (ECEC) published within the last 2 years and critically analyze the ways children, childhood, early childhood educators, and early childhood education are depicted, with particular focus on children’s rights and responsibilities. The articles you choose must be from credible Canadian news sources, either local or national. As you research, consider the ways the information or narratives presented in your selected articles speak to key issues of the UNCRC and ECEC. Thinking with the BC and FN Early Learning Framework, what is the image of the child that is enlivened by the story presented? The image of the educator? Of ECEC systems in general?

Drawing on your critical analysis of the articles, write an 6-8 page paper discussing the depictions of children and childhood in the Canadian news media. Ensure direct links are made between the articles and the UNCRC on the rights of children and your chosen articles, drawing on the principles of the British Columbia Early Learning Framework, the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework., the ECBC Code of Ethics and other related readings in your modules. 

 If possible, can you also connect some of the points you make in the essay to some of the following readings below (you can choose which one best supports your point) aka can you bring up references throughout the essay with APA format in-text citations? I also like using quotes a lot. Here are some of the readings you could use: Johnston, L., Shoemaker, L., Land, N., Di Santo, A. & Jagger, S. (2020). Early childhood education and care in Canada. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.013... to an external site.Government of British Columbia. (2019) British Columbia early learning framework. (pp. 3-8) https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/early-learning/teach/early-learning-frameworkBC Aboriginal Child Care Society. (n.d.) BCACC preschools. https://www.acc-society.bc.ca/services/bcaccs-preschools/Dietze, B. (2006). Foundations of early childhood education, learning environments and child care in Canada. (pp. 97-109). Pearson Prentice Hall.Malaguzzi, L. (1994). Your image of the child, where teaching beginsMarcon, R. (2002). Moving up the grades: Relationship between preschool model and later school success Early Childhood Research and Practice, 4(1).Bae, B. (2010). Realizing children's right to participation in early childhood settings: Some critical issues in a Norwegian contextActionsEarly Years: An International Research Journal, 30(3), 205–218. https://doi.org/10.1080/09575146.2010.506598 Hertzman, C., Irwin, L., Siddiqui, A. (2007). Early child development: A powerful equalizer. Final Reportfor the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. https://www.who.int/social_determinants/resources/ecd_kn_report_07_2007.pdKrappmann, L. (2010). The weight of the child's view (Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The International Journal of Children's Rights, 18(4), 501-513.  doi:10.1163/157181810X528021. United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. (1990). Convention on the rights of the child. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CRC.aspx Little, H., & Wyver, S. (2008). Outdoor play: Does avoiding the risks reduce the benefits?Actions Early Childhood Australia, 33(2), 33-40. Curtis, D. (2010). What's the risk of no risk? Exchange, March/April, 52-53.New, R., Mardell, B., & Robinson, D. (2005). Early childhood education as risky business: Going beyond what's "safe" to discovering what's possible. Early Childhood Research & Practice, 7(2).

Module 2Theory: an idea or set of ideas that is intended to explain something (Oxford Dictionary)Early childhood education and care (ECEC) is informed by and benefits from theories across academic disciplines including but not limited to: medicine, kinesiology, psychology, family studies, environmental sciences, education, politics, landscape architecture, philosophy and fine arts. In ECEC "becoming familiar with the common theoretical perspectives helps you to understand how research is transferred to practice. Exploring theories also assists you in determining what you believe is best for children, how children learn, what an effective learning environment is, and what your role is in supporting children in their learning" (Dietze, 2006, p. 98).Toward this end, some of the historical theoretical influences on child development that serve to ground and guide practices are briefly reviewed this week. Additionally, is the initial exploration of ways these theories link and translate to professional practice.Module 3When studying theory it is relevant to remember that theory invites critical thinking and initiates further research that in turn deepens our learning, understanding and practices. With this notion of unfolding research and continual knowledge, it is important to understand not only theories of the past but also acknowledge that they have grounded and shaped the more current research and theories of our present times. Additionally, as seen in the readings from last week, ECEC is not only informed across disciplines but also benefits from sources around the globe. This includes contributions from Canada. Therefore, this week will introduce some contemporary Canadian and Indigenous scholars and their valuable contributions to the field of ECEC.The readings from both last week and this, concentrate on widely recognized theoretical and/or research influences to ECEC. Please keep in mind that these important contributions originating both locally and from afar, from long ago and the present, represent only a few from the many. There is not only other valuable work in Canada and around the world but also many levels of possible influence to consider. Hopefully the idea of ‘dedicated contributors in your own back yard’ will catch your curiosity and spark a new awareness to those around you, whether your backyard is here in Vancouver or elsewhere in the world. The invaluable perspectives and gifts to ECEC appear in many dimensions, on many levels and at times from unexpected and surprising sources.Module 4If a theory is an organized set of ideas that attempt to explain a phenomenon, then what is a philosophy? In professional ECEC contexts, philosophy refers to "a set of beliefs about how children learn and develop and what the role of the early childhood practitioner is in supporting children’s learning" (Dietze, 2006, p. 230). In ECEC settings this term is referenced as an educator’s ‘personal philosophy’ or one or more educators 'philosophy of practice'. Philosophies of practice and personal philosophies are grounded in theory and research, and additionally draw on personal experiences, beliefs, values, cultural and community contexts. Philosophies are created from an understanding of all these elements, as well as reflections on the ways the elements connect and align. A philosophy in practice serves many purposes and can act as a support for continual reflection and learning, a program design platform, a vehicle for communication, as well as a guide to daily actions and decisions.Variations on the interpretation of theory and research, combined with personal beliefs, social values and the community of children and families at hand, can create different and unique philosophies of practice. In some cases, the ECEC team primarily serves and responds to the community needs and interests. In other cases, the team is less responsive to the community and overlays a program model onto the context. Still others will provide an intervention priority and so on.This week introduces a critical examination of a few philosophical approaches commonly available in the Canadian context, their theoretical grounding, and the ways the grounding is reflected in daily practice.Module 5Human rights "are founded on respect for the dignity and worth of each individual, regardless of race, colour, gender, language, religion, opinions, origins, wealth, birth status or ability and therefore apply to every human being everywhere. With these rights comes the obligation on both governments and individuals not to infringe on the parallel rights of others. These standards are both interdependent and indivisible; we cannot ensure some rights without – or at the expense of – other rights" In 1989 the United Nations published the collaborative document entitled the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This document acknowledges children as humans with rights as defined within 54 article statements. As stated in the Convention, it is through the acknowledgment and application of these rights principles and vision that children are better able to develop to their full potential as individuals, while being part of a family and contributing citizens to communities and the world. Canada, as a United Nations state member since 1945, ratified the national position on children’s rights in 1991 and continues to actively work on several fronts toward designing processes and policies that advance children’s rights both inside and outside Canada. One component of this complex work is directed to Rights Education in the early years.In the readings this week, you will be introduced to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Through additional articles and reflections you are invited to identify and explore some of the potential tensions, challenges and benefits for children, families, educators and administrations that are inherent to the understanding and application of children’s rights within the ECEC context.Representing Children: Then and NowIt’s About Time: Supporting Parents to Bring up Happy and Healthy ChildrenAs of September 13, 2019, First Call BC Child and Youth Advocate (First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition [removed]  has released the following information that comes in very timely into our course: "UNICEF Canada recently launched the Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-BeingThis is a framework to communicate to Canadians what Canada is like for kids from birth to age 18, track progress for their rights and well-being, and guide action to address the greatest challenges. Canada’s middle position among its economic peers, children’s burdens of poor health and violence, and the gaps between children are strongly related to the significant increase in income inequality over the past 15 years. Canada is one of a handful of rich countries where income inequality has increased most markedly. The fallout of rising inequality affects all aspects of children’s lives across the socioeconomic gradient and across the country. This has profound implications for Canada’s future as a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable society. UNICEF Canada suggests 8 ways you can use the Index including tracking progress toward commitments including the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, advocate for children, and do your advocacy with children and youth."This information adds to your contents and readings for this module as it provides you with a realistic measure from which to examine, reflect, and act upon when it comes to children's rights and their well-being.Module 6"Play is the most complete educational process of the mind, and is nature’s magic device for ensuring that each individual becomes self-educated." - Neville ScarfeStart by previewing these short video clips.Children's Voices Part 1 - The Participation Process (South Australian Department for Education and Child DevelopmentChildren Talk About PlayTheory and research across disciplines informs us that play is a critical component and active process supporting young children’s healthy growth and learning. Children’s play has been examined within developmental domains in terms of assisting cognitive, motor, language, social and emotional development. Socio cultural perspectives identify play as a vehicle that both transmits and reflects culture. Play scholars have defined types of play, stages of play and the necessary conditions for play. Play has been described as a "spontaneous, creative, desired research activity carried out for its own sake" (Scarfe, 1990, p. 11) and as symbolic of "our need to adapt the world to ourselves and create new learning experiences" (Elkind, 2007, p. 3). This large body of scholarly work on play provides the opportunity for us all to recall and re-live play in memories. With those memories close at hand we can then examine, re-understand and appreciate the process play from an adult perspective. Further, it invites a re-view of how play is approached and valued in early learning and care settings.Through the readings this week, try to relate the messages with your own childhood memories of play, toward creating a new vision of children’s play from a professional early childhood educator’s perspective.


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Introduction to Early Learning and Care in Canada Module 1: Engaging with this week’s readings Course Description: This course will introduce students to contemporary principles related to early learning and care with a particular focus on discovering points of connection between theory, research, policy, and professional practice. Through readings, observation, critical reflection and discussion, students will explore perspectives and tensions in early learning and care framed within human rights, ethical practice, governance, advocacy, and leadership. Students will learn to identify ways in which these influences connect, combine, and affect the daily lives of young children, families, educators and communities in professional early learning and care environments. Welcome to Module 1: Early Childhood Education and Care in Canada This week, students will be introduced to the histories, models, movements, and policies that influence the profession of early childhood care and education (ECCE). You will explore different types of ECCE environments and critically examine the purpose and responsibilities of professional ECCE settings. As you read through and engage with this module, take note of what you find new or surprising, as well as any questions that are beginning to emerge. You will have an opportunity to engage in critical reflection and collaborative dialogue in order to support your learning and understandings. Learning Objectives: By the end of this module, you should be able to: Identify types of learning and care environments Explore and critically examine the histories of Canadian early learning and care Engage in critically reflective dialogue about the BC Early Learning Framework First, we will clarify some terms. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines early childhood as the period from birth to eight years old. UNESCO recognizes these years of a child's life as more than just preparation for primary school, stating that ECCE "aims at the holistic development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing. ECCE has the possibility to nurture caring, capable and responsible future citizens" (n.d., para 2). Your first reading for this course by Johnston et al. (2020) offers an important orientation to current issues that influence current practice in ECEC. Key concepts for you to take note of as you work your way through the reading are: • Histories underpinning ECCE in Canada • Models and movements guiding ECCE practice in Canada • Policies and practices structuring ECCE in Canada As you read through the article, keep these questions in mind: • How did Canadian ECCE shift and transform in response to social, economic, political and educational movements? • What federal and provincial policies currently influence and structure ECCE in Canada? • In what ways do the recent publications of provincial curriculum frameworks enhance the quality of ECCE for children, families, communities, and educators After you make your way through Johnston et al.'s work, you will be introduced to the British Columbia (BC) Early Learning Framework (2019). The Framework is an example of one of the provincial curriculum frameworks that Johnston et al. refer to and is an essential document in this course. You will read the five-page introduction to get a sense of the orientations and intentions of the document in order to get a sense of its vision for ECCE in BC.
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Early Childhood Education and Care in Canada Outline


Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) has a significant impact on the
growth and development of children.


It is a field that has gained popularity in recent years, both in Canada and
globally, as societies have recognized the value of investing in early childhood.


The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) puts more
emphasis on the need to protect and promote children’s rights, for instance right
to quality education and care.


In Canada, the British Columbia (BC) and Indigenous Early Learning and Child
Care (IELCC) frameworks provide guidance on how ECEC can be delivered in a
way that supports the well-being of children and respects their rights’

Thesis statement: The paper will critically analyze eight Canadian news stories about ECEC
published within the last two years, focusing on the ways in which children, childhood, early
childhood educators, and early childhood education are depicted, with particular attention to
children’s rights and responsibilities, considering the principles of the British Columbia Early
Learning Framework, the IELCC Framework, the ECBC Code of Ethics, and other related
readings in the modules to offer a comprehensive understanding of the issues

Depictions of Children and Childhood in Canadian News Media

Balintec (2022) reports that delayed child-care deals may cause Ontario parents to
experience waiting times for months before accessing savings, which negatively
affects their finances and limits their access to quality ECEC services.

The Canadian Press (2021) reports that Ontario could be short of “220,000 child-


care spaces due to $10-a-day demand,” further highlighting the scarcity of
affordable ECEC services in the region.

The Canadian Press (2022) discusses the challenges of meeting the high demand
for affordable childcare in Ontario.


The UNCRC Article 15 states: "States Parties recognize the rights of the child to
freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly"


Seebruch (2021) discusses the creation of new childcare spaces to help meet the
demand for early childhood education and care


CBC News (2020) reports that child-care access for essential workers improved in
British Columbia.


Akbari (2021) reports on the early childhood educator recruitment crisis, where
Canada is experiencing a shortage of qualified early childhood educators.


Akbari (2022) further argues that children in Canada are entitled to a proficient
workforce that specializes in early childhood education to ensure that they receive
the best ECEC services.


The UNCRC on the Rights of Children and ECEC

The UNCRC recognizes the rights of children to access quality ECEC services,
and the articles selected for analysis highlight the challenges faced in realizing
these rights in Canada.


Article 28 of the UNCRC identifies the right of children to access education,
which includes ECEC services.


Article 3 of the UNCRC acknowledges that the well-being of the child should be
the top priority in all decisions related to them.


The delay in providing affordable ECEC services to Ontario parents due to
overdue child-care deals (Balintec, 2022) may not be in the best interest of the


The British Columbia government announced plans to expand access to childcare
for essential workers, highlighting the importance of early childhood educators
during this time.


CTV News (2023) highlights the issue of demand for early childhood education
and care.


Land (2023) highlights the importance of the language used to describe ECEC
and its impact on how society views the care and education of young children


The UNCRC emphasizes the importance of viewing children as active
participants in their own learning and development, rather than passive recipients
of care


BC Early Learning Framework

The articles reflect an image of the child as a c...

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