Operating within a neoliberal education reform context, performativity and teaching in schools has been a focus of study for a number of years. However, less is known about the effects of performativity on teaching and curriculum in the early childhood (preschool) context. Making a case for the intensification of performativity in Australian early childhood education, this paper reports on findings from a doctoral study and draws on research literature from the past fourteen years to illustrate how performative measures have increasingly affected teaching and curriculum. The way that performativity has intensified is discussed in three chronological phases, performativity emerging, consolidating and normalised. Teacher interview transcripts and curricular related policies were analysed using critical discourse analysis and Ranson’s typology of accountability regimes. Findings reveal that early childhood teachers have different ways of responding to performativity, with the teacher featured in this paper displaying three types of performative accountability: anxiety, confidence, and disregard. An implication arising from this paper’s findings illustrates how the effects of performativity on teaching and curriculum can be complex, contradictory and at times, unintended.
Field of Research
130102 Early Childhood Education (excl Maori) 1302 Curriculum And Pedagogy
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