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Books by May, Helen

Politics in the Playground: The world of early childhood in New Zealand

ISBN: 978 1 877372 68 1

Politics in the Playground is a lively account of early childhood education and care in postwar New Zealand, following on from the author’s study Discovery of Early Childhood (1997), which traced the origins of institutional care for young children in Europe and New Zealand.

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I am five and I go to school: Early Years Schooling in New Zealand, 1900–2010

ISBN: 978 1 877372 86 5

The twentieth century was a time of great change in early years education. As the century opened, the use of Froebel's kindergarten methods infiltrated more infant classrooms. The emergence of psychology as a discipline, and especially its work on child development, was beginning to influence thinking about how infants learn through play. While there were many teachers who maintained Victorian approaches in their classrooms, some others experimented, were widely read and a few even travelled to the US and Europe and brought new ideas home. As well, there was increasing political support for new approaches to the 'new education' ideas at the turn of the century. All was not plain sailing, however, and this book charts both the progress made and the obstacles overcome in the course of the century, as the nation battled its way through world wars and depressions.