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From Child's Garden to Academic Press: The Role of Shifting Institutional Logics in Redefining Kindergarten Education

Jennifer Lin Russell
American Educational Research Journal
Vol. 48, No. 2 (April 2011), pp. 236-267
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27975289
Page Count: 32
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
From Child's Garden to Academic Press: The Role of Shifting Institutional Logics in Redefining Kindergarten Education
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Abstract

The impermeability of schooling to reform is a frequent conclusion of studies of educational organizations, but historical accounts suggest that kindergartens have undergone significant transformation. Once a transitional year emphasizing child development, kindergarten now marks the beginning of formal academic instruction. Guided by institutional theory, this article explores the evolution of public discourse about kindergarten by analyzing newspaper articles, policy documents, and professional association activities. I argue that the media advanced academic messages about kindergarten before state activism, while the state later embedded an academic model in policy. The case of kindergarten surfaces general implications for understanding educational change, highlighting how new ideas and practices are advanced by a diverse set of actors in the organizational field.

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