Theorizing an Early Childhood Educator’s Authority for the Advancement of Social Goods


  • Rachel Langford Ryerson University



authority, early childhood educators, social goods


Authority is an uncomfortable subject for early childhood educators. This article outlines some tensions between the theory and practice of an early childhood educator’s authority and the implications of these tensions for educators themselves and the social changes they envisage. Drawing on a range of feminist educational philosophers and critical pedagogy theorists, critiques of both traditional authority and a rejection of authority are examined. A description is offered of an early childhood educator’s authority that emerges from the actualities of pedagogical experiences and relationships and that can influence and instigate action for social goods.

Author Biography

Rachel Langford, Ryerson University

Rachel Langford is the Director of the School of Early Childhood Education. Her research interests are in teacher history, professional teacher formation, and critical feminist scholarship. She can be contacted at Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto ON M5B 2K3 - rlangford @ (remove spaces).