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An Introduction to Early Childhood Studies

An Introduction to Early Childhood Studies

Fourth Edition
Edited by:

December 2017 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This new edition of this bestselling textbook examines the key themes involved in the study of young children and childhood from a variety of disciplines and international perspectives, making essential links between theory and practice to help you apply your learning in real-life settings.

Key additions include:

  • the latest changes in early years policy
  • 2 brand new chapters on Postmodernist theories in Education, and Education for Sustainable Development
  • A renewed emphasis on reflective practice across Part 4, supporting and encouraging your professional development

Throughout, case studies, exercises and links to further reading help you engage with key issues and test your learning, making it easier for you to get to grips with all aspects of your course.


Part I: Perspectives on Childhood
Joanne Westwood
Childhood in Different Cultures
Yordanka Valkanova
Childhood through the Ages
Nigel Thomas
Sociology of Childhood
Helen Penn
The Globalisation of Early Childhood Education and Care
Jackie Marsh
Childhood in the Digital Age
Part II: The Developing Child
Ruth Ford
Thinking and Cognitive Development in Young Children
Tricia David with Sacha Powell
Babies' and Young Childrens' Social and Emotional Development
Thea Cameron-Faulkner
Language Development in the Young Child
Justine Howard
Play and Development in Early Childhood
Marilyn Fleer
Cultural-Historical Theories of Child Development
Part III: Policy and Provision for Young Children
Sonia Jackson
Early Childhood Policy and Services
Nigel Thomas
Children's Rights and the Law
Iram Siraj-Blatchford
Early Childhood Education (ECE)
Dendy Platt
Child Welfare and Protection
Sally Robinson
Children's Health and Wellbeing
Siobhan O'Connor
Inclusive Policy and Practice
Part IV: Developing Effective Practice
Helen Moylett
Observing Children to Improve Practice
Alison Clark
Undertaking Research with Young Children
Angela Anning
Is Working Together Working?
Carol Aubrey
Effective Early Childhood Leadership
Nicola Kemp
Early Childhood Education for Sustainability
Jayne Osgood
Opening Pandora's Box: Postmodernist Perspectives of Childhood

This is a comprehensive, thought-provoking book which presents the views of a wide range of expert contributors. It provides sound overviews of the fundamental theoretical perspectives which underpin early childhood studies, but also delivers insights and observations about 21st century issues such as globalisation and sustainability. Alongside the theoretical contexts there is also recognition of the role of the practitioner and the challenges and opportunities associated with that.This range and diversity of content makes the book an excellent choice for students on undergraduate and postgraduate courses who are looking for content that will develop their knowledge and understanding and promote their ability to engage critically with relevant contemporary issues.

Jane Dorrian
School of Education, Cardiff Metropolitan University

This outstanding book illustrates effectively the multi-disciplinarity of the field of Early Childhood Studies. Capturing a breadth of fundamental themes through a scholarly and systematic approach, the chapters are well-structured and provide rich sources of information. The authors of the book make the concepts, theories, implications to policy and practice approachable and comprehensive, emphasising local and global trends.

This book makes a unique contribution to Early Childhood Studies and readers are encouraged to find out about contemporary issues through political, social, psychological and pedagogical perspectives. I will be recommending this book to students on Early Childhood programmes.

Zoi Nikiforidou
Department of Early Childhood, Liverpool Hope University

This is the fourth edition of this excellent book. It would make perfect reading for any early childhood studies student, whether at degree level, or those beginning on an apprenticeship keen to improve their knowledge and understanding - it could well prove a valuable addition to your staff room, to be used for staff reflection, for example.

Neil Henty
Early Years Educator

A clearly written and straight-forward text to introduce students to various elements of child development in preparation for careers in early years and teaching

Miss Louise Stafford
Department of Education, Oxford Brookes University
April 10, 2019

This wide ranging book is a compendium of information and key theories in the field of Early Childhood Studies. It is an accessible entry-level text for undergraduates, which outlines essential features of Early Childhood Studies. Each chapter is by neccessity very short, as this book seeks to cover a lot of ground. Helpful as a starting place for many key ideas and ways of thinking.

Ms Ruth Hunt
CASS School of Education & Communities, University of East London
March 13, 2019

This publication is a vital source for students to explore, to support various modules on higher education programmes. Different perceptions of children’s development are discussed, which enables students to develop their understanding of how children learn. Highly recommended for students to purchase.

Miss Tracey Canham
Health Care and Early Years, Swindon College
May 27, 2018

Fantastic textbook that allows both early childhood and primary students access to the world of young children and the various concepts that surround their learning and development

Dr Chelle Davison
Early Childhood & Teacher Education, Coventry University
November 28, 2017

This book has been an invaluable resource in all its editions. The range of subjects it covers is comprehensive which means it can be used across a number of modules and means it can be confidently recommended to students as something worth purchasing. It is informative and accessible as well as being sufficiently critical for this level.

Mrs Fiona Corby
Education Department, University of Teesside
January 25, 2018

An accessible text which covers a wide range of contemporary issues relevant to students of Early Childhood Studies

Mrs Suzi Smale
Psychology, Petroc College
December 17, 2017

A well presented text book relevant to the course being delivered at higher level. relevant to many areas of the course delivery and useful tool to have.

Mrs pamela canning
early, North West Institute
March 7, 2019

Revisions to this edition:

·         The latest changes in Early Years policy

·         2 brand new chapters on Postmodernist theories in Education, and Education for Sustainable Development

·         A renewed emphasis on reflective practice across Part 4, supporting and encouraging your professional development

.         A change in authors - Tricia Maynard who co-authored the 3rd Edition has handed over to Kate Smith who co-authors this edition with Sacha Powell

Sample Materials & Chapters

Childhood in Different Cultures