Making a Place for Pleasure in Early Childhood Education Joseph J. Tobin

Publication date:
24 Apr 1997
Yale University Press
264 pages: 210 x 140mm
Sales territories:

Kindergarten kissing games...four-year-olds playing doctor...a teacher holding a crying child on his lap as he comforts her. Interactions like these—spontaneous and pleasurable—are no longer encouraged in American early childhood classrooms, and in some cases they are forbidden. The quality of the lives of our children and their teachers is thereby diminished, contend the contributors to this timely book. In response to much-publicized incidents of child abuse by caretakers, a "moral panic" has swept over early childhood education. In this book, experienced teachers of young children and teacher education experts issue a plea for sanity, for restoring a sense of balance to preschool, nursery school, and kindergarten classrooms.

The contributors to this book explore how caretakers of preschool children and other adults have overreacted to fears about child abuse. Drawing on feminist, queer, and poststructural theories, the authors argue for the restoration of pleasure as a goal of early childhood education.

Joseph J. Tobin is associate professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. He is coauthor of Preschool in Three Cultures: Japan, China, and the United States and editor/contributor to Remade in Japan: Everyday Life and Consumer Taste in a Changing Society, both published by Yale University Press.

"This is a highly original piece of work, with exemplary scholarship. It raises a lot of interesting issues in a thoroughly persuasive and extremely well-grounded manner."?Michael O'Loughlin

"[This] book is essential for graduate school reading and debate. It opens the need for further research, study and discussion of the paranoia inherent in the 'no touch' theory."?Choice

"Making a Place for Pleasure in Early Childhood Education draws on theories of culture, gender, and sexuality that don?t usually appear in education research."?Chronicle of Higher Education