Developmentalism, developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) and beyond in early childhood education

Iris Duhn, Louise Hennessy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEncyclopaedia / Dictionary EntryOtherpeer-review


One of the aims of education is to teach humans to govern themselves and learn to be governed according to what counts as truths in societies at the time. This is the assertion of the eminent twentieth-century French philosopher Michel Foucault. Historically, one of the tasks of modern education was to provide teaching strategies to support and shape the developing human according to universal, scientifically underscored, developmental patterns. In many societies, developmentalism continues to provide a powerful rationale for pedagogies and curriculum. This discussion provides a critique of the traditional perspective on developmentalism, normativity, and developmentally appropriate practice (DAP), offering an alternative view on individual diversity and responsive context-specific engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Teacher Education
EditorsMichael A. Peters
Place of PublicationSingapore Singapore
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9789811311796
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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