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Understanding Early Years Inequality: Policy, assessment and young children's identities

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Questions About This Book?

What version or edition is this?
This is the 1st edition with a publication date of 5/3/2013.
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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.


This book uses critical sociological perspectives to examine the impact of changing assessment policy on primary school classrooms, with a particular focus on issues of inequality. Drawing on accounts of life in early years classrooms, Alice Bradbury suggests that a specific model of the 'good learner' operates, and that this model works to exclude some groups of students from positions of educational success. Key themes examined throughout the book relate to: The relationship between assessment policy and children's identities as learners; The complexity of classroom life; The power of assessment to shape definitions of 'learning' and 'learners'; The impact of discourses of class, race, religion and the 'inner city' on how children are assessed. The author argues that assessment policies can have a huge impact on classrooms and teachers, as well as having potentially damaging effects for young children, particularly those from minoritised and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. This book will explore in detail the complex interaction of education policies with discourses of attainment and expectation, and the resulting reproduction of patterns of inequality. It will be of particular interest to academics and students in educational studies, sociology of education, and early childhood studies.

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