Rethinking play: A postcolonial feminist critique of international early childhood education policy
International Journal of Educational Development Volume 45, Number 1, ISSN 0738-0593 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
In India, policymakers in the arena of early childhood education are focused on improving the quality of services provided in government run early childhood education and care centers, known as anganwadis, run by India's Integrated Child Development Services Scheme (ICDS). One measurement of program quality is the presence of play, which experts construct as a valuable tool for individualized cognitive development. Drawing on ethnographic data from a 13 month study of anganwadis in three southern Indian states, the author uses a postcolonial feminist lens to argue that in India, unlike in Western nations, play often functions as a tool for the collective good rather than for individual social progress. Broadening the purpose of play leads to more accurate evaluations of the quality of services provision in contexts of anganwadis, where early childhood education programs may be falsely judged as poorly run because they do not conform to standards based on inappropriate, decontextualized notions of play's form and function.
Subramanian, M. (2015). Rethinking play: A postcolonial feminist critique of international early childhood education policy. International Journal of Educational Development, 45(1), 161-168. Elsevier Ltd.