A critical discourse analysis of NAEYC's developmentally appropriate practice texts: shifting rhetoric and implications for advancing equity in family-school partnerships

Fabienne Doucet, Seth Badu, Shana DeVlieger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The most recent iteration of NAEYC’s key Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) texts (the 2020 Position Statement and the fourth edition of the DAP book) reflect a more robust stance on family educator-relationships and attention to issues of equity as reflected in linguistic shifts. This article analyses NAEYC’s rhetorical moves between the 2009 texts and the present versions, presenting a mixed-methods critical discourse analysis (CDA) of the changes in the texts drawing on critical theory, Doucet’s framework for anti-racist practice, discourse theory and critical linguistics. The findings reveal meaningful changes in the language and framing of family-educator relationships, highlighting a move towards more inclusive, reciprocal partnerships. And while the current editions of NAEYC’s key DAP texts show greater attention to cultural inclusivity and anti-bias approaches, we make a case to push for explicitly anti-racist reciprocal partnerships with families and communities within the DAP texts. We discuss the implications of these changes for policy and practice in early childhood education, as well as suggestions for future research in diverse cultural contexts, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This analysis contributes to the ongoing conversation about equity and social justice in educational partnerships and practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Early Years Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • anti-racist practice
  • critical discourse analysis
  • developmentally appropriate practice
  • Family-educator relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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