Despite progressive law change and policy in support of inclusive education, questions remain about how, at the very practical level, early childhood education settings become places where everyone involved is able to say they feel they belong. With Aotearoa New Zealand’s population now being characterised as superdiverse and calls for recognition and respect for a diversity of human rights being increasingly heard, educators are facing questions over how they might work in the interests of equity, social justice and inclusion ever more keenly. When, how and why might teachers intervene to address issues of injustice and exclusion in the context of early childhood work? How might understandings of Tiriti-based practice, kaiako expertise, and bullying inform responses? These are the kinds of questions explored in this book.
Addressing how teachers and policy makers can work for inclusion with diverse children and families, this book focuses on the development of positive attitudes to difference, diversity, and inclusion in the early years. It suggests ways to identify, reduce, and eliminate barriers to learning and participation in early childhood communities. By engaging with issues of indigeneity, ethnicity, refugeeism, disability, giftedness, whānau relatedness, genders, religion, spirituality, and obesity, the book aims to provoke discussion and localised collective action in support and celebration of community, identity, and inclusive early childhood education.