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This chapter of the handbook raises the question of whether early childhood education has reached the status of a mature field of research in Australian universities. It is organised around the discussion of three historical ‘moments’ between the 1930s and 2014. The authors argue these moments constitute turning points in the emergence of early childhood education research and scholarship in Australia, as distinct from research about children’s learning and development that draws on medical and psychological perspectives. A glimpse of the present moment is provided through an analysis of the recent contents of two prominent international early childhood education research journals edited in Australia. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the conditions under which early childhood education researchers in Australia presently conduct their work and the relationship between these conditions and the implications of higher education policy for the continuing emergence of the field.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Book Chapter

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