Shifting mindsets about educating young children

By Tara-Lynn Scheffel and Lotje Hives
April 2021
Teaching young students requires more than just learning about child development (Samuelsson et al., 2005) — it requires understanding children and their experiences. As teacher educators, we have seen a lack of such authentic understanding among future and current early childhood educators. We set out to change that in a bachelor of education degree program in northern Ontario, Canada. For several years, we have taught a six-week elective course premised on an asset-oriented view of young children as capable learners (Fraser, 2012; Rinaldi, 2003; Malaguzzi, 1994). During the course, which is open to K-12 cross-divisional teacher candidates, we engage candidates in discussions about how they view and value children while exploring innovative pedagogies within the increasingly complex and changing landscape of early childhood education. After

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Tara-Lynn Scheffel ( is associate professor in the Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University, Ontario, Canada. 

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Lotje Hives ( is part-time instructor in the Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University, Ontario, Canada.

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