It’s About Time! Advancing Justice Through Joyful Inquiry With Young Children

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Young learners often are enchanted with the world, fascinated by the ordinary, and absorbed in the present moment. We explore interconnected ideas about how young children’s natural proclivity toward being curious and noticing differences among people should be harnessed toward socially just ends. We consider ways in which joyfulness in learning are preserved, as teachers partner with young learners to cultivate their sense of justice in the classroom and beyond. We use disability studies in education as a theoretical framework for doing anti-bias work within early childhood education. We also describe global and neoliberal trends that directly and negatively impact the lives of young children by escalating injustice through educational practices and policies often disguised as reform. Ultimately, we propose reimagining equity-based practices, positive disability narratives, freedom and humanity, and the concept of place within pedagogy to transform early childhood education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-82
Number of pages12
JournalTopics in Early Childhood Special Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2023


  • disability studies in education
  • early childhood education
  • equity-based education
  • social justice education
  • young children


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