University of Alberta, Canada
This article presents an outline history of early childhood programs for indigenous children through a comparative study of initiatives in three countriesâ€”Canada, Australia and New Zealandâ€”with the aim being to identify common and distinct developments in the three nations. Formal early childhood education programs for indigenous children based on European models have a history that extends over 200 years. Yet this history is relatively unexplored. Although they mostly developed outside the structures of schooling for older children, programs for younger and older students shared a similar trajectory. The earliest initiatives were subject to missionary influence and colonial control, with later programs likely to be influenced by indigenous beliefs and values and be community-based and locally controlled.
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AJEC, Vol. 29 No. 4, December 2004, pp. 7-16.