Young Children’s Curriculum Experiences

Research output: Contribution to JournalEditorial


Previously, I have written about early childhood pedagogies (Murray, 2018). In introducing this exciting extended issue of International Journal of Early Years Education, I focus on another key feature of early education, regarded as ‘a foundational fulcrum on which quality pedagogy rests’ (Kagan, Kauerz and Junus, 2022): curriculum. The wide range of manuscripts focused on curriculum that we receive at International Journal of Early Years Education are testament to the prominence of curriculum in the work of those who research in our field; alongside this focus in recent years, we have seen an exponential rise in centralised curriculum frameworks. In this paper, however, I argue that the key actors in any early childhood curriculum that secures learning most likely to be meaningful to young children are those who are directly engaged in its implementation: the learners and their teachers. In building this argument, I consider some definitions and components of curriculum, the potential of curriculum for reproducing or reducing inequalities, its role in an uncertain and dynamic global landscape, merits of an holistic approach, children’s agency in curriculum, and the teacher’s role in reifying a curriculum with value and relevance for young learners whose lives as adults we cannot yet imagine (Wiliam, 2011).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-633
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Early Years Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2022


  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Years Education
  • Curriculum
  • Early Years Curriculum
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Young Children's Learning
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education


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