The Community with the Bad Brain? - Neuroscience as discourse in Early Childhood Intervention

Boyle, Clionagh (2019) The Community with the Bad Brain? - Neuroscience as discourse in Early Childhood Intervention. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 27 (4). p. 454. ISSN 1350-293X, ESSN: 1752-1807

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The focus of this article is on understanding Early Intervention as a discourse; how it is generated and reproduced and how it makes possible certain processes and practices and limits others. In particular the research study considers the dominant discourse of neuroscience associated with the notion of early childhood and how this is translated in policy and practice. This is explored through a single complex case study of a self-proclaimed Early Intervention City in Northern Ireland. The study findings highlight the ways in which the policy discourse, claiming an evidence base from neuroscience, locates the origin of social problems in a deficit model of neurological development in early childhood and advocates parenting programmes as a solution which will bring transformative change. The analysis of accounts from the field demonstrated a high degree of critical engagement amongst parents/carers, programme providers and policy makers. While ‘silver bullet’ claims from evidence based programmes persist and ‘home grown’ initiatives promise community contextualised solutions, social inequalities for young children in the case study area remain persistently intractable.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article whipublished by Taylor & Francis inEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal on 1st July 2019, available online:
Keywords: Early intervention, neuroscience, discourse, policy, communities, Bourdieu
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Early Childhood
Depositing User: Clionagh Boyle
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2019 07:47
Last Modified: 15 May 2020 11:14

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