Unfreezing the Discursive Hegemonies Underpinning Current Versions of “Social Sustainability” in ECE Policies in Anglo–Celtic, Nordic and Continental Contexts
How and why do we operationalise social sustainability in terms of belonging, diversity, local place and collaboration with parents/caregivers?
2. Methodology: Critical Inquiry Tracing Chains of Meanings
- Australia: “Belonging, Being and Becoming. Early Years Learning Framework for Australia” .
- Croatia: “Nacionalni kurikulum za rani i predškolski odgoj i obrazovanje” .
- Denmark: “The strengthened pedagogical curriculum.” Framework and content .
- England: “Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage: Setting the Standards for Learning, Development and Care for Children From Birth to Five” .
- Birth to Five Matters: “Guidance for the Sector by the Sector” (in consultation phase) .
- Northern Ireland: Curricular Guidance for Pre-School Education. Belfast: Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment .”
- Norway: “Framework Plan for Kindergarten: content and tasks” .
- Poland: “Podstawa programowa wychowania przedszkolnego i kształcenia ogólnego dla szkoły podstawowej. Wychowanie przedszkolne i edukacja wczesnoszkolna” .
- Scotland: “The Early Years Framework.” Edinburgh .
- Serbia: “Pravilnik o opštim osnovama predškolskog programa” .
- Slovenia: “Kurikulum za vrtce” .
- Sweden: “Curriculum for the preschool, Lpfö 18” .
- Wales: “Curriculum for Wales: Foundation Phase Framework. Cardiff: Department for Education and Skills” .
3. Analysis: The Traced Chains of Meaning
3.1. Sense of Belonging
3.1.1. Theoretical Mapping
3.1.2. Policy Analysis
3.2. Diversity and Difference (and Becoming in the Context of Diversity)
3.2.1. Theoretical Mapping
3.2.2. Policy Analysis
3.3. Local Places (and Communities)
3.3.1. Theoretical Mapping
3.3.2. Policy Analysis
3.4. Collaboration with Caregivers
3.4.1. Theoretical Mapping
3.4.2. Policy Analysis
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Sense of Belonging||Local Place and Community||Cultural Diversity||Cooperation with Parents/Caregivers|
|Australia||Belonging is experienced by the child through interconnectedness with others to build a sense of identity.||Children are seen as explorers and learn with others in the local and wider community to develop appreciation for different ways of knowing.||Children’s identity is derived from their culture, and they have the right to maintain it. Educators respect cultural diversity, support cultural competence and honour differences.||Partnerships with |
families are one of the five principles that underpin children’s learning outcomes. Reciprocal partnerships are integral to understanding expectation, deepening knowledge and working together professionally.
|Croatia||Sense of acceptance and belonging are prerequisites for children’s social wellbeing.||Kindergarten should establish a partnership with the wider social community, and the child is an active citizen who participates in shaping community.||Children should understand and accept others and their differences in an inclusive environment.||Partnership with families is one of the main principles of the curriculum, and parents are involved in institutional governance.|
|Denmark||Sense of belonging is related to the process of (minority) integration and becoming part of Danish society, as well as to developing social cohesion.||The pedagogical curriculum should state how the |
ECE setting involves the local community (in terms of nature and culture) in establishing the holistic learning environment for children.
|The pedagogical offer of the ECE setting should be relevant for all children, regardless of their background, language, culture or traditions.||ECE staff should cooperate with parents in relation to both the individual child and the community of children in the ECE setting|
|England||Sense of belonging is not specifically mentioned in the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum; emphasis is on equality of opportunity, antidiscriminatory practice and ensuring that every child is included and supported.||Settings are required to provide guidance for children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.||This is not mentioned in the ECE curricula, but ECE is obliged to follow the Equality Act 2010 (which explains the provisions for reasonable adjustments).||Emphasis is on a strong partnership between practitioners and parents/caregivers in order to support children’s learning at home and in ECE.|
|Northern Ireland||Children develop a sense of belonging through becoming familiar with daily routines in the |
|Children develop an understanding of space in order to consider the relationships between (human and non-human) objects.||Children should be supported in recognising and valuing the diversity that other children bring to the setting.||Partnership with parents/guardians/carers is at the core of practice and sustaining positive home learning environments.|
|Norway||Sense of belonging is described as coming about through (inclusive) relationships within the peer group and sense of community among children.||Local place is understood as the possibility of using the ECE surroundings during pedagogical work, as well as places that children may be familiar with.||All children are to experience ECE as a place for them. Children are to be introduced to diverse ways of living, thinking and acting, without making any child the representative of any culture/nation/religion.||ECE is to work in understanding and collaboration with children’s homes in order to safeguard all-side development. The children should not experience conflicts of loyalty between home and ECE, and, in case of any value-related conflict, the parents need to respect the values of the ECE curricula.|
|Poland||This is mentioned in relation to the peer group.||Children are to become familiar with local places and their institutions. The curriculum seems to assume that the localities are urban.||This is not mentioned (apart from national minorities, such as Kashubian).||At the individual level, the parents are receivers of information about the child’s developmental progress. At the collective level, the parents can influence the pedagogy and economy of the ECE setting.|
|Scotland||Settings should provide induction activities that help children to settle quickly and to have a sense of belonging.||Communities are enabled to develop their own aspirations and outcomes.||Children should learn about their own and other cultures as a way of promoting diversity.||Parents are supported by providing the children with a stimulating learning environment (as realisation of social solidarity).|
|Serbia||The child is meant to acquire a sense of belonging and master how to function in social groups.||Working and partnering with the local community are regarded as necessary for living with the locality (and its local crafts).||The aim of ECE|
is to develop relationships and gain experience and knowledge of other people. Minorities are recognised as valuable members of society.
|The partnership between experts and caregivers is seen as a key element; in the case of dysfunctional families, ECE institutions are seen as supplementary to family care.|
|Slovenia||Everyday life in kindergarten (daily routines, rituals, events, agendas etc.) must give a child a sense of belonging.||One principle of the curriculum is cooperation with the environment as a natural and socio–cultural learning resource.||The aim of the curriculum is the creation of conditions for greater expression and awareness of group differences.||Partnership is expressed by way of parents’ rights in relation to institutions, but parents are recognised as valuable partners in education.|
|Sweden||The work team should show respect for the individual and help to create a democratic climate in the preschool, where children have the opportunity to feel a sense of belonging and to develop responsibility and solidarity.||The work team should create the conditions for children to become familiar with their surroundings and those societal functions that are important for everyday life and to take part in local cultural life.||The preschool should provide each child with the conditions to develop their cultural identity and knowledge of and interest in different cultures and an understanding of the value of living in a society characterised by diversity, as well as an interest in local culture.||The preschool should cooperate in a close and trusting fashion with the home, (…) maintain ongoing dialogue with the child’s guardians about the child’s wellbeing, development and learning and conduct dialogue about the child’s development.|
|Wales||Sense of belonging is defined in relation to children’s understanding of Welsh heritage, literature, arts and religious background, as well as the Welsh language.||Children should learn to demonstrate care, responsibility, concern and respect for all living things and the environment.||Children should have an understanding of their own Welsh identity and treat people from all cultural backgrounds in |
a respectful and tolerant manner.
ECE settings are required to involve parents in daily pedagogical practice to ensure the continuity of children’s learning.
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Sadownik, A.R.; Bakken, Y.; Gabi, J.; Višnjić-Jevtić, A.; Koutoulas, J. Unfreezing the Discursive Hegemonies Underpinning Current Versions of “Social Sustainability” in ECE Policies in Anglo–Celtic, Nordic and Continental Contexts. Sustainability 2021, 13, 4758. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094758
Sadownik AR, Bakken Y, Gabi J, Višnjić-Jevtić A, Koutoulas J. Unfreezing the Discursive Hegemonies Underpinning Current Versions of “Social Sustainability” in ECE Policies in Anglo–Celtic, Nordic and Continental Contexts. Sustainability. 2021; 13(9):4758. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094758Chicago/Turabian Style
Sadownik, Alicja R., Yvonne Bakken, Josephine Gabi, Adrijana Višnjić-Jevtić, and Jennifer Koutoulas. 2021. "Unfreezing the Discursive Hegemonies Underpinning Current Versions of “Social Sustainability” in ECE Policies in Anglo–Celtic, Nordic and Continental Contexts" Sustainability 13, no. 9: 4758. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094758