Conceptualized within a socio-cultural constructivist and postcolonial paradigm, this book explores a definite tension between "Western" theories of child development and the "Indian" ways of being and thinking. It also provides a richly descriptive and relatively unexamined account of the culturally complex relationship that exists in urban India between formal teacher education programs, national policies, early childhood classrooms, and the urban, middle-class experiences of children and early childhood teachers. The hallmark features of this book lie in the rich examples, research anecdotes, and postcolonial perspectives on the voices of teachers explicitly describing their classroom practice. This book is truly one of the first of its kind, and, now in a revised edition, offers a timely response to educational initiatives of the twenty-first century.
Amita Gupta is Associate Professor of Education, The City College of New York, USA, and a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar. She has extensive cross-cultural experience with school administration, teacher education, and classroom teaching in urban schools in the United States and India. Her research and scholarship is focused on the interdisciplinary, comparative, and international examination of early education and teacher preparation and is characterized by the themes of globalization and cross-cultural perspectives on teaching and learning. The integration of these themes also appears in the graduate courses she teaches on curriculum design, child development, and social studies. She earned her doctoral degree from Columbia University, serves on editorial boards and school boards, and has published extensively in books and journals.
Foreword by Leslie R. Williams
Preface to the First Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
1. Conceptualizing and Setting the Stage
2. The Sociocultural Context of Education: Core Concepts of the Philosophy Underlying the Indian Worldview
3. Educational Systems in India: Past and Present
4. Aims of Education Contextualized within the Socio-cultural Context of Urban India
5. Image of the Teacher: Roles and Responsibilities of the Early Childhood Teacher in India
6. Image of the Child: What Is Developmentally and Socially Appropriate for Children Growing Up in Indian Society?
7. Learning to Teach: A Sociocultural–Historical Constructivist Theory of Teaching
8. Contextualizing and Demystifying the Challenges of Large Class-Size in India
9. The Early Childhood Curriculum: Socio-culturally Constructed and Enacted in the Postcolonial Third Space
10. Aligning Teacher Education and Early Childhood Classroom Practice: Balancing Vygotsky and the Veda
11. Postcolonial Research in Early Childhood Education: Reflecting on the Process