The meanings of belonging: revisiting the theory of ‘belonging, being and becoming’ in the Australian Early Years Learning Framework

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The theory of belonging as it arises in the theme of the Australian Early Years Learning Framework suggests a complex arrangement of philosophical concepts, which deserve rigorous explication and interrogation. In this article, the author draws out some of the most pertinent implications of ‘belonging’ for the theory of early learning in Australia. In particular, the author addresses the risks associated with simplifying the term as a kind of knowledge that arises through social experience, without a meticulous explanation of what is meant by the ‘social’. The author also unpacks the possibilities surrounding ‘belonging’ if it is possible to think it outside vernacular definitions of property, with which the idea of belonging may easily be conflated. The aim is to provide a preliminary outline of philosophical approaches to ‘belonging’ to demonstrate that the Early Years Learning Framework may provide an important platform through which to think a new range of issues arising from the task of educating young children in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-366
Number of pages11
JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • being
  • belonging
  • ontology
  • philosophy
  • EYLF

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