About Me

I work in the fields of early childhood education and curriculum studies, advancing democratic curriculum leadership. Having taught kindergarten for 15 years, I consider early childhood classrooms to be fascinating places, filled with the possibilities and challenges of democratic living. I study early childhood education and engage in teacher education from the lens of critical pragmatism. My research consists of three main lines of inquiry. The first line of inquiry conceptualizes and articulates democratic alternatives to the longstanding and dominant technical rational approach to curriculum development and leadership. The second elucidates the approaches to curriculum problem-solving and the ethical commitments of democratically inspired teachers of young children. The third examines Professional Development as a means for cultivating teachers’ capabilities to function as democratic curriculum leaders.

Recent Publications

  • Henderson, J.G., Castner, D.J. Schneider, J.L. (2018). Democratic Curriculum Leadership: From Critical Awareness to Pragmatic Artistry. Roman & Littlefield
  • Lash, M., & Castner, D. J. (2018). (Eds.). The Lived and Sometimes Clandestine Professional Experiences of Early Childhood Educators. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 19(2).