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Assessment Inspiration and Debates

Is 'Child Development' a term we should be using today?

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Marilyn Fleer has suggested that in Australia the term ‘Child Development’ represents a static and monocultural view of children.

A new term ‘Cultural-Historical Development of Children’ is proposed so that development is not located within the individual, but is viewed intergenerationally, and captures “the dynamic and complex nature of the interlacing of institutional structures, cultural belief systems, and the dynamic processes of children engaged in daily activity with other people”.

Marilyn’s invitation to think critically about the term ‘Child Development’ is a strong starting point and a great opportunity to consider what we have witnessed in terms of shifts in teacher education philosophy, what we have seen change and re-formulate in the field of child development, and to contribute to debate on these philosophical shifts which now influence wider early childhood policy.

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