Constructions of (neuro)science in early childhood education.

Date Thursday 11 July 2019
Time 3pm - 5pm
Where TL2.26 - University of Waikato, Hamilton New Zealand
Presenter Michel Vandenbroeck
Contact Deborah Ryder
Contact email
Admission Cost Free

Early Years Research Centre 2019 Seminar Series
Constructions of (neuro)science in early childhood education - Michel Vandenbroeck

Date: Thursday 11 July, 2019. 
Time: 3.00pm to 5.00pm
Location: TL 2.26

The science of early childhood education has recently been dominated by neuroscience and economy, illustrating the crucial importance of the early years and arguing for high “returns on investment”. I critically analyze this “dominant discourse”, looking back at how different sciences have produced different truths in the history of early childhood education: eugenics and prophylaxis in the 19th century and developmental psychology in the 20th century. In so doing, I look at the relations between science, education and politics. This may throw another light on the question of why, today, the neurosciences are so popular and why that may not be such a wonderful advancement after all.

Speaker information

Michel Vandenbroeck is head of the Department of Social Work and Social Pedagogy, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ghent University in Belgium. He teaches Early Childhood Care and Education and Family Pedagogy. His research focuses on early childhood policy and practice and parent support, with a special interest for diversity and social inclusion. He authored several international publications on these issues.

Before his employment at the Department, he worked as project coordinator at VBJK Centre for Innovation in the Early Years, where he set up projects on accessibility and diversity in early childhood care and education and on professional development. At present, he chairs the Board of VBJK. He sits on the editorial board of the EECERA Journal and Early Years. Together with Liselott Olsson, he is coordinating editor of the groundbreaking “Contesting Early Childhood” book series (Routledge). In 2018, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Tampere, Finland for his work

Any enquiries regarding this seminar should be directed to Deborah Ryder -