Shifting from developmental to postmodern practices in early childhood teacher education

Sharon Ryan, Susan Grieshaber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


Changing times and postmodern perspectives have disrupted the taken-for-granted relationship between child development knowledge and the preparation of early childhood teachers. Despite ongoing exchanges about how best to respond to the critique of the developmental knowledge base, few descriptions of how particular teacher educators have gone about reconceptualizing their curriculum exist. Employing postmodern views of knowledge, power, and subjectivity, this article describes three pedagogies employed by the authors to enact a postmodern teacher education. After describing each of these pedagogies - situating knowledge, multiple readings, and engaging with images - an example from classroom practice is given to illustrate how these strategies come together to assist students to understand how teaching enacts power relations. The article concludes with a discussion of some of the challenges involved in trying to shift from developmental to postmodern practices in the preparation of early childhood educators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-45
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Teacher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Early childhood
  • Postmodernism
  • Teacher education

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