Gove's unique child: doing diversity and being diverse

Osgood, Jayne ORCID logoORCID: (2013) Gove's unique child: doing diversity and being diverse. In: Gender and Education Association Biennial Conference: Compelling Diversities, Educational Intersections: Policy, Practice, Parity, 23-26 Apr 2013, London Southbank University, United Kingdom. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


In 2012 ‘a unique child’ was born. The revised Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (DfE 2012) is founded upon the principle that each child is ‘unique’ which, despite being variously undermined and contradicted by normative and normalising curriculum goals, nevertheless sets a specific tone that acts upon classed, ‘raced’, gendered and embodied experiences of doing ‘child’ (Butler, 1990) in contemporary ECEC in particularly limiting ways. The knowledges that children have about themselves and the worlds in which they live alongside the agency they exercise in negotiating them (Robinson, 2012) are rendered invisible and unimportant. Further, attempts by early years educators to critically engage with the cultures of children, and the communities in which they live – and the classed, ‘raced’, gendered subjective identities that are variously negotiated in nurseries everyday – are fundamentally undermined. In effect, Gove’s ‘unique child’ is discursively unencumbered by the complexities and complicities of power and privilege. It is my intention to trouble ‘uniqueness’ for its capacity to discursively individualise childhood(s) and deny space to consider the structural and social inequalities that disproportionately inflect the lives of some children whilst further privileging those of others. In contesting what it means to be ‘unique’ this paper explores the possibilities available to do diversity and be diverse, and so resist ideologies shaped by uniformity, mechanistic compliance and ‘normalisation’.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Education
Item ID: 17944
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Depositing User: Kristina Repova
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2015 14:15
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2019 11:43

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