CriticalIssues in Early Childhood Education Book Review

NicolaYelland’s book CriticalIssues in Early Childhoodprovides an introspective perspective of early childhood education.Thebook seeks to confront and challenge educators on key topics that areperceived as controversial. Yellanda questions major issues such asthe basis for developing early childhood education as well asdefining the constituents of a child-centered curriculum. The bookalso explores complexity associated with the work of a teacher in thecontext of early childhood. It recommends the need tore-conceptualize the role of the teacher as well as the entire field.In addition, the book examines the role of early childhood educatorsin dealing with the complex issues that face the lives of youngchildren. It can be stated that the book seeks to challenge thecomfort zone of early childhood educators.

of the Content

Ingeneral, the book provides a significant contribution to theestablishment of a more theoretically diverse and critical approachto the early childhood practice and policy. It uses distinct examplesthrough the contributions of authors that comprise of professionalsand academics. By so doing, the book exhibits the potential toprovide useful knowledge that can improve teaching in early childhoodinstitutions. Rather than considering the landscape of practice andresearch to comprise of unvarying curricular scripts and scientificmodels, Nicole Yelland provides a contradicting viewpoint. Accordingto Yelland, the early childhood education landscape requires criticalchange. One key proposal is the need to look into the needs of theteachers as opposed to too much focus on the child.

Thedifferent authors that sum up Yelland’s volume provide a virtualexamination of the important aspects associated with thepostmodernist theory and curricular practice while developingskepticism among readers. In essence, the book challenges theprevious established beliefs concerning early childhood education.The book provides its readers the opportunity to reconsider thedifferent dimensions of their profession that are pivotal towardsproviding equitable and effective educational opportunities forchildren in the contemporary world. The contributions of the renownedauthors target to explore critical issues that are central to earlychildhood education as well as providing new alternative frameworksand ideas.

Inthe last chapter, all the authors Marsh, Rowan, Honan and Yelland,examine the emergence of new technologies and literacies and theireffects on young children. A contributor such as Marsh argues thatthe dominance of print- based models and increased exposure to themedia saturates the minds of young children. It is thereforeimperative for teachers to be aware of this situation and find waysin which young children can gain a positive education. Yellanda evaluates the manner in which ICT has transformed our lives and themanner in which it has a potential to influence innovative learningin the school environment. She proposes that educators shouldimplement a new framework of curriculum development and teaching byutilizing ICT.

Reactionto the Book

Inmy opinion, the book has essential information that can be used totransform early childhood education. Yelland,(2005) providesa guiding framework for the implementation of an effective earlychildhood curriculum and practice that is suitable for the 21stcentury early childhood workforce. The book propagates the need toengage children in learning with the use of the current informationand communications technology. For instance, she proposes that whenteaching mathematics and numeracy, teachers should use a new modelthat involves increasing the use of IT in order for children to bemore numerate.

Iagree with some of the views of the book. A case in point is the needto reevaluate the work of the teacher and the challenges theyencounter in the work environment. A good example is the issue of thetraumatic experiences that teachers sometimes experience and how suchevents affect their ability to deliver in the classroom context. Ialso support the fact that the book does not look at early childhoodeducation only from the viewpoint of the child, but rather it alsoseeks to deal the plight of teachers. Most authors have focused onthe child so much that they forget the needs of the teacher.

Ihowever, contend with the views that teachers should bear the burdenof resolving the challenges that young children experience. I believethat partnership should exist between parents and teachers in dealingwith the challenges that children face. For instance, authors suchas Pianta, et al. (2015) advocate for a continuous partnershipbetween parents and teachers to resolve the problems that childrenface in school.

The ideas in the book will assist me in my future career. I intendedto use modern information technology when teaching to make my lessonsinteresting and also improve the delivery of the content.


Thevolume is indeed beneficial because it rethinks early childhoodeducation practices thereby recommending the implementation of thebest practice that suits the educational needs of the early childhoodworkforce in the 21stcentury. The relevance of the book is also evident when it explainsthe emergence of multi-literacies and new technologies and theirpossible implementation and usefulness in the early childhoodeducation teaching practice and profession.


Pianta,R, Barnett, S, Steven, S and Justice L.(2015). Handbookof Early Childhood Education. Guilford Publications.

Yelland,N. (2005). Criticalissues in early childhood education.McGraw-Hill Education (UK).