Academics share concerns on the International Early Learning Study initiative
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has a long tradition of providing data and policy advice in early childhood education. The OECD is now in the early stages of developing and piloting an international assessment of early learning outcomes – the International Early Learning Study (IELS).
Eurochild's member from the UK, Mathias Urban, and Beth Blue Swadener on behalf of Reconceptualising Early Childhood Education (RECE), expressed their concerns in an article entitled ''Democratic accountability and contextualised systemic evaluation'' :
''As members of the international and interdisciplinary movement Reconceptualising Early Childhood Education, representing scholars, senior academic researchers, policy-makers and practitioners in over 25 nations, we outline our shared concerns, counter arguments, and our offer for collaboration in this statement.
While RECE is convinced that international collaboration and joint learning with and from the diversity of experiences in early childhood systems around the world is necessary, we are concerned that joint learning at the international level is increasingly replaced by universal standardised assessment of children, decontextualized comparisons, and, as a consequence, ranking of countries.''
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Mathias Urban has also just released a new book together with Michel Vandenbroeck and Jan Peeters on early childhood education and care. The book is concerned with a growing interest from policy and research in the professionalisation of the early childhood workforce. The authors of this wide-ranging book share insights of professionalism from various European countries and suggest that professionalism in early childhood unfolds best in a ‘competent system’.