Alan Pence

unesco CO-chair IN early childhood education, care and development

centre for global studies, and

professor emeritus, school of child & youth care, university of Victoria, canada

My work with young children began in 1971 as an early childhood care provider/educator at a newly established University-based child care program. I worked in early childhood settings as a frontline care-provider, director of programs, and trainer/educator in both urban and rural settings throughout the 1970s.

In 1980 I joined the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria and have pursued several major areas of academic research interest since that time. These interests are noted chronologically below (overlapping at times), and publications based on those interests are provided in reverse chronology through clicking the Publications tab at the top of this page.

  • Having joined an academic program focusing on children and youth, I have since the beginning of my academic career addressed CYC as part of my publication work.



  • Ecological perspectives on ECE/ECD, inspired by Urie Bronfenbrenner's work, were a primary focus for my earliest grant funded research in the 1980s. The publications in this section are led by an edited volume (1988) for which Bronfenbrenner provided the Foreword - he notes: "[the volume tells us] what can happen when a newly-defined theoretical orientation is taken seriously and translated into action".


  • ECE/ECD in Indigenous communities commenced with an invitation from a large Tribal Council in northern Saskatchewan to work with them in developing an early childhood program inclusive of the communities’ values and understandings. The ‘generative curriculum’ that flowed from that partnership was subsequently used by nine additional partnerships in Western Canada over a period of 16 years.


  • Through working ecologically and with Indigenous communities I was drawn to explore critical and post-structural approaches to research and development. Those interests are evident in an early critically-focused volume edited with Peter Moss (1993) and a 1999 co-authored volume with Dahlberg & Moss—the latter having been translated into 12 languages by the time it was published as a ‘Classic’ by Routledge in 2013.



A more detailed biography can be found on the Biopage of this website.