New Normal or Continued 'Social Distancing'. Preschool and Poverty in Post Pandemic England and USA

Project: Research

Project Details


Preschool will be asked to remediate poverty's effects on childhood in the post-pandemic ‘new normal’ across societies. During lockdown the social role of preschool beyond education was prioritised – e.g. promoting neighbourliness, offering welfare and providing food to the most vulnerable. Our mixed-methods study will explore a legacy of this post-pandemic in England and the USA. Has the virus provided impetus for a vitalised prosocial vision within preschool? Previously, within controlling policy contexts, our research in both these countries found preschool acting like prep-school and delivering narrowly focused ‘doing to’ pedagogical approaches prioritizing school-readiness. These downplayed everyday socioeconomic realities of poverty within practice with the poor. Othering and social distancing were evident with impoverished parents. Effective preschool, though, will need to work flexibly and inclusively with poverty in the challenging ‘new normal’. Is a ‘doing with’ approach more evident in preschool practitioners' accounts of poverty responses in both countries post-pandemic?
Effective start/end date5/10/2030/09/22


  • British Academy


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