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Understanding Early Childhood


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Table of Contents

Preface Remembering childhood
Researching reality
Not Piaget again
Genes, neurons and ancestors
On the other side of the world
Past, present and future
Children's rights and the ethics of childhood
What it costs and what it's worth: the economics of early childhood
Practice makes no difference
An interdisciplinary approach? References

About the Author

Helen Penn is Professor of Early Childhood at the University of East London. She is the Research Leader for the School of Education and Director of Studies for the early childhood PhD programme, and teaches on the MA in Early Childhood as well as supervising PhD and research students. Helen has had a varied background working as an infant teacher, as a day-care campaigner, and as the UK's first director of integrated children's services in Strathclyde in Scotland. Her research was initially concerned with UK policy and practice in early years and she still undertakes some local policy work, but has become especially interested in comparative policy work, mostly in the South (developing countries) especially in central Asia and Southern Africa. She is also interested in evidence based policy and practice and have led the early years review group at EPPI (evidence based policy and practice initiative) funded by DfES. She undertakes consultancies for a number of international agencies on evaluating and costing systems of early education and care, both in the North (developed world) and in the South, including Unicef and Save the Children. Most recently, Helen was a rapporteur for the OECD study on early education and care in Canada, and led a workshop for the South African Department of Education on inter-agency support for young children with HIV/AIDS. In addition to her Open University Press title, Helen has also published "Unequal Childhoods: Young Children's Lives in Poor Countries" for Routledge, exploring the upbringing and circumstances of young children in the South, plus many chapters in books and articles in professional magazines and journals

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