Irreconcilable knowledges? A way forward

Susan Grieshaber, Kate Highfield, Adam Duncan, Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article considers the realm of knowledge in early childhood education (ECE); what knowledge is valued, and how different types of knowledge position children and educators. To this end, two different examples of practice informed by different types of knowledge are provided: one from an educator working in a long day care service (Duncan) and a second, a national assessment of young children’s development, the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC). The two examples reflect practices that one might see in Australian ECE settings, and due to governance and regulations, both illustrations could be evident in the same context. Using a dialogic approach we provide an insight into the requirements of the everyday work of educators and the disparate and often irreconcilable understandings of knowledge that inform their everyday work. We conclude with some suggestions for more equitable approaches and identify some of the challenges of attempting to do this.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-16
Number of pages12
JournalAustralasian Journal of Early Childhood
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


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