Professor Will Parnell, chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Department (CI), has published a new early childhood education book, Meaning Making in Early Childhood Research, a collection of 11 essays by 17 international early childhood teacher education researchers, professors, and teacher-researchers. He is co-author and editor of the book with Jeanne Marie Iorio, a senior lecturer in early childhood education at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia.
Meaning Making in Early Childhood Research (Routledge) asks readers to rethink research in early childhood education through qualitative research practices reflective of arts-based pedagogies. This collection explores how educators and researchers can move toward practices of meaning making in early childhood education. The text’s narrative style provides an intimate portrait of engaging in research that challenges assumptions and thinking in a variety of international contexts, and each chapter offers a way to engage in meaning making based on the experiences of young children, their families, and educators.
Of particular note, Parnell cites the late Frank Mahler, a teacher in the Helen Gordon Child Development Center, whose work contributed to chapter two on action research through interviews and a process of collage representations. Parnell and Iorio’s research with Mahler highlight his metaphor on Reggio-inspired documentation as a symphonic event rather than a single voice or perspective relaying young children’s learning made visible. Mahler taught how the whole community can surround young children in innovative ways.
Will Parnell is a professor and the pedagogical liaison to PSU’s Helen Gordon Child Development Center. Parnell currently serves as president-elect of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Education and is president of the Inventing Remida Portland project.
This is Parnell’s third book co-authored with Jeanne Marie Iorio. Disrupting Early Childhood Education Research was published in 2016, and Rethinking Readiness in Early Childhood Education was released in 2015.