Chapter 5: Beyond positivism: Interpretivism, ‘critical’ theories, post-structuralism and post-humanism

Activity 1

Read the following chapter and note down the limitations Deborah Albon acknowledges with the post-structuralist position, towards the end of the chapter.

Albon, D. (2011) ‘Post-modern and post-structuralist perspectives on early childhood education’, in L. Miller and L. Pound (eds), Theories and Approaches to Learning in the Early Years. London: Sage.

Activity 2

Test your knowledge of the ideas in Chapters 4 and 5 by taking the relevant multiple choice quizzes available on this website.

If you got many wrong answers here we suggest you revisit Chapters 4 and 5 in the book.

Activity 3

Think about the following two cases and consider whether the underpinning paradigm for their research is positivist or interpretivist. Give reasons for your position.

Janet has the following research question: What reasons do early childhood practitioners give for choosing their profession? She wants to gain a detailed understanding of this issue from a range of practitioners currently working in the field.

Safiya is also interested in practitioners’ choice of profession. Her question is: Does social class and gender impact on the likelihood of choosing early childhood as a profession? She wants to look at young people making career and further training choices at the end of their secondary school education. She wants to examine the destinations of thousands of young people with a focus on the variables of social class and gender to see if there is a relationship between class, gender and career choice.