As we reach the end of the third year of the journal, it is evident that we have made significant impact on the field since our first year of publication at the dawn of the new century. The articles in this edition reflect the broad range of material that we have been privileged to present to our readers and they complement the special editions that we have published this year and last year.
In the first article, entitled 'Winning Hearts and Minds: television and the very young audience', Susan Howard & Susan Roberts address the lack of research undertaken in examining the responses of young viewers to media texts. The article provides an overview of the development of a unique technique for observing and recording the responses of very young children to a television text - Teletubbies. Their findings provide insights into children's attentional abilities and demonstrate their diverse responses, including: pleasure, parasocial and cognitive responses.
The next article, by Elizabeth Graue, Janice Kroeger & Christopher Brown, entitled 'Living the "Gift of Time"', examines the notion of 'readiness for school', which is a concept adopted in the USA to ascertain the likelihood of school success. This article describes the reactions of parents and teachers towards children who are seen as having readiness risks. The article presents a case study that examines the process of kindergarten entry decisions.
In 'Designing a Framework for Problem Posing: young children gener-ating open-ended tasks', Tom Lowrie describes the type of problems six year-old children generated in problem-posing contexts. It was found that, with appropriate support, the children developed increasingly sophisticated problems. These problem-solving situations gave children the opportunity to offer problems they took pleasure in solving and in turn produced a richer learning environment. The findings demonstrated that the problem-solving skills of children can be heightened by teacher support and encouragement.
Gail Boldt writes about 'Oedipal and Other Conflicts' and advocates the value of utilising psychoanalytic perspectives in better understanding the gender and sexual development of a child. She argues that they are particularly instructive in demonstrating how adults utilise dominant discourses about normal development to 'bring children into being as gendered and sexualised subjects'. She contends that an important aspect of parenting for the majority of heterosexual Western parents is the expectation that children experience in some way the Oedipal conflict.
In the article entitled 'Young Gifted Girls and Boys: perspectives through the lens of gender', Libby Lee examines how teachers' conceptions of student ability in mathematics and science in early childhood are influenced by their beliefs about gender. A model of teachers' conceptions of giftedness is offered. It is found that teachers' conceptions of giftedness are gendered, which in turn directly disadvantages female students.
In 'Engaging the Discourse of Diversity: educators' frameworks for working with linguistic and cultural difference', Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw & Sandra Schecter explore teacher commitment to working within ethnically and linguistically diverse settings. This is examined through an interpretative framework of discussions on discourse and subjectivity which includes an examination of: 'difference as deficit; preparing minority students and families to facilitate the school's agenda; intercultural sensitivity as a pedagogic tool; and diversity as curriculum'. It was found that different understandings and practices regarding the above templates had impacts on the classroom curriculum, students' socialisation within the school, and the relationship between school, home, and community.
The last article, by Kerry H. Robinson, entitled 'Making the Invisible Visible: gay and lesbian issues in early childhood education', promotes the introduction of gay and lesbian equity issues in approaches used in early childhood education. The discussion includes an examination of the presence of the dominant discourses of childhood and sexuality; entrenched attitudes regarding compulsory heterosexuality and the assumed absence of gay and lesbian families or significant gay and lesbian adults in children's lives; and homophobia and heterosexism in early childhood settings. This article highlights important issues for practice and policy development in early childhood education.
In the first colloquium, 'Time to Say Farewell to Early Childhood', Peter Moss suggests that it may now be time to take a broader perspective than early childhood, 'looking across childhood, or even sometimes across the life course'. This is followed by a further colloquium, 'Developing Appropriate Practice: continuing the dialogue', by a group of early childhood educators: Amos Hatch, Barbara Bowman, Jamilah Jor'dan, Christina Lopez Morgan, Craig Hart, Lourdes Diaz Soto, Sally Lubeck & Marilou Hyson. This is comprised of edited versions of articles presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Anaheim, USA, 2 November 2001. The articles seek to address issues related to 'developmentally appropriate practices' within diverse communities and cultures.
Two book reviews complete this issue. Anna Kilderry writes about Starting School: young children learning cultures by Liz Brooker (2002), and Gloria Latham reviews J. Moyles & G. Robinson (Eds) Beginning Teaching: beginning learning in primary education (2002).