Every Blooming Thing: The Growth of Preschool Education

By Robyn Margaret Anderson.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: February 4, 2014 $US5.00

Preschool education has attracted interest worldwide in recent decades. Until the mid-1950s, preschool education was not widely available to most children. Interest in preschool education further accelerated during the 1970s when it became freely available to all children in Australia and other parts of the world. The underlying rationale for free preschool education was that early preparation for school may assist in closing gaps in inequity and disadvantage for some groups of children. Studies on brain development such as those of McCain, Mustard, & Shanker 2007) from Canada along with research from the United States showing the long term positive effects of high quality preschool for children born in poverty (Schweinhart, Montie, Xiang, Barnett, Belfield, & Nores 2005) have strengthened arguments that high quality early education is not only beneficial for all children but the earlier the disadvantage gap is closed, the narrower it may be in the future for some children. While preschool education may be one way of preparing children for school and addressing early disadvantage and inequity, it is also important that preschool curriculums and programs are situated within the social context and culture of the community (Bronfenbrenne 1979).

Keywords: Preschool, Equity, Socio-cultural Contexts

The International Journal of Diversity in Education, Volume 13, Issue 2, March 2014, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: February 4, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 464.919KB)).

Dr. Robyn Margaret Anderson

Adjunct Lecturer, School of Education, James Cook University Australia, Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

Dr Anderson has been actively engaged in teaching and research both in Australia and Asia for many years. Her teaching experience includes over thirty-five years in Early Childhood Education (ages 4 to 8 years), Early Special Education (ages 3 to 6 years), Primary teaching (all year levels) and Special Education (ages 8 to 16 years). She has taught in schools in Queensland, Australia and in Singapore. During this time she developed and implemented a range of teaching and learning programs which were responsive to the academic,linguistic, social, cultural and environmental needs of students. Dr Anderson's PhD study focused on early intervention practices in Queensland schools in Australia. She continues to research and publish in the areas of early intervention, early childhood education and Indigenous Australian education and has continued longitudinal research in these areas since 2000. In Singapore, Dr Anderson has worked as a Research Fellow in the project, Early Intervention of Malay Preschool Teachers in Promoting Children’s Mathematics Learning NIE/NTU-Mendaki at the National Institute of Education (part of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore). She has also undertaken and has been the Chief Investigator for research projects with the Australian Chamber of Commerce Singapore and the Australian Trade Commission Singapore and is currently co-investigator of a collaborative project with educators in Australia, Singapore, Canada, Scotland and England, which aims to develop and map changes in children’s understandings, concerns and perceptions of their local, natural environments. She has undertaken research at the Australian International School (Singapore) on teaching philosophies and pedagogical practices. She currently teaches subjects within the Masters of Education course at JCU Singapore as well as preparing for the delivery of the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) for at JCU Singapore in October 2013.