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Seminar Series - "Powerful children and powerless adults": Gendered Power Relations Within a Child-Centred Discourse in an Indonesia Kindergarten

Date: 29 February 2012 Time: 12.30 - 2.00 p.m.

Venue: FASS MR1

Vina Adriany

Department of Educational Research

"Powerful children and powerless adults": Gendered Power Relations Within A Child-Centred Discourse in an Indonesia Kindergarten

The practices of a child-centred approach have been dominating the curriculum and practices of early childhood education across the globe. Increasing numbers of scholars however have questioned its practice and offered an alternative approach to child centered practices (Davies, 1994, 2003a &2003b; Yelland 1998; Kamler, 1999; Walkerdine, 1984; & MacNaughton, 2000). MacNaughton (2000) has also questioned the extent to which Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) is seen as gender neutral. While many practitioners continue to see DAP as a phenomenon that is unrelated to the promotion of gender norms and values, MacNaughton believes that DAP maintains and sustains gendered practices and beliefs. In this seminar, I aim to describe gendered power relations in a kindergarten in Indonesia. The study was 7 months ethnography with 28 children (ages range from 2 to 6 years old), their parents and carers, and 4 teachers. The data were collected using field notes, observations, interviews and school's documents analysis. The findings illuminates a tension between teachers' wish to be child-centered and their perpetuation of dominant gender discourses. Within the concept of a child centered approach to children's care and education, the teachers in this study situated themselves as powerless individuals who were unable to expand children's understandings relating to gender. By positioning themselves as powerless adults, the findings suggest there is inevitable tension between teachers' control and a child centred discourse.

Keywords: Gender, Power, Child Centered, and Teacher


Who can attend: Anyone


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Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education, Educational Research


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