Neoliberal Imaginaries in Early Childhood Education and Care

By I-Fang Lee.

Published by The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Neoliberal rationalities have been conceptualized as contemporary global innovative practices across parts of Asia. Through mobilization of neoliberal imaginaries, emerging ambiguous coexistences of freedom/control, deregulation/regulation, private/public decentralization/centralization, opportunity/risk are common in most Asian education reform policies. Particularly, in the field of early childhood education and care, the interplays of these paradoxical and ambiguous binaries elucidate unequal conditions of different childhood experiences. This article draws upon post-structural theoretical and conceptual frameworks as analytical tools to understand the assemblages of contemporary Asian neoliberal imaginaries in early childhood reform policies. Highlighting Taiwan and Hong Kong as two examples from Asia, this article aims to reconceptualize the effects of neoliberal rationalities and how such a system of reasoning reconfigures notions of inclusion/exclusion to challenge the making of quality education and the provision of care for all.

Keywords: Neoliberalism, Preschool Education System, Vouchers, Asia

The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp.27-34. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 185.377KB).

Dr. I-Fang Lee

Senior Lecturer, School of Education, The University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, NSW, Australia

Dr. I-Fang Lee's research interests include postmodern theories of early childhood education, curriculum reforms and policy changes, educational philosophy, and global educational discourses. Her theoretical interests focus on critical, poststructural, and feminist theories of childhoods and families as well as education and care in early years.