The commitment to a neat and abstract theorisation of childhood and its developmental progression as reflected in preschool curriculum document 2019 and National Education Policy 2020 (NEP, 2020) reflects philosophical commitment to regulatory modernity.
Prabhat Rai, School of Educational Psychology and Counselling, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Peninsula Campus, VIC, Australia.
Prachi Vashishtha, Associate Professor, Jindal School of Psychology and Counselling, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Similar to international trends, the early childhood education curriculum discourse in India is majorly guided by the ‘grand metanarrative’ of developmental psychology. This grand meta-narrative is closely related to ‘developmentally appropriate practice’, which draws its foundation from the Lamarckian model of evolution and stage-wise progression towards cognitive maturity.
Through the discourse analysis of previous National Curriculum Framework documents for early years, the chapter shows that child-centred pedagogy, learning through play and discovery, and activity-based learning are set of neighbouring pedagogic ideas that have propelled this position.
Child development theories and especially the work of Piaget have offered a ‘scientific’ veneer which could guide policymaking. The chapter argues that these claims for a unified and grand theory are guided by high modernity’s ideals of empiricism and objectivity.
The commitment to a neat and abstract theorisation of childhood and its developmental progression as reflected in preschool curriculum document 2019 and National Education Policy 2020 (NEP, 2020) reflects philosophical commitment to regulatory modernity (Moss & Dahlberg, Beyond quality in early childhood education and care—Languages of evaluation. 5(1): 3–12, 2008). This regulatory modernity is also visible in recent NEP 2020’s focus on introducing large-scale testing of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy akin to PISA.
Published in: Dar, A., Kannan, D. (eds) Childhood and Youth in India. Studies in Childhood and Youth. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
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