Pedagogies of Difference: Equity and Diversity in Early Childhood Policy in Ontario


  • Lorayne Robertson Faculty of Education, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  • Carol Doyle-Jones Faculty of Education, University of Ontario Institute of Technology


equity, diversity, early childhood education, body equity


This paper analyzes approaches to equity, diversity, and inclusion in current Ontario early childhood education (ECE) policies, examining both the intents of the policies and their implications for practice viewed through the lens of equity theory.  The results of this analysis indicate that there is a range of equity approaches evident in ECE policies and that these approaches differ in significant ways.  There are also differences within individual policies, such as variations in how equitable and inclusive learning environments are defined. In general, the philosophies of the policies speak more directly to anti-discrimination and categories of difference than the specific curriculum outcomes. The intent in presenting this analysis is to demonstrate how considerations of equity theory can help to clarify equity policy intent.  In this way, the authors hope to encourage further dialogue around inclusion and equity policy in ECE programs so that these policies may provide direction and support to ECE practitioners who endeavour to offer optimal learning spaces within which all children can grow and belong.