I am committed to collectively creating divergent possibilities within early childhood education through thinking, doing and making with common worlds pedagogies.
These pathways offer me attempts at unknotting colonial inheritances that have influenced early childhood education through concepts of separateness, progress, productivity, and heteronormativity. In turn, these pedagogies allow me to facilitate dialogue around how these stories have marginalized differing bodies and diverse ways of thinking and being in the world. Aspects of these legacies impact educators through images of the child, how environments and routines are created, and the way that curriculum is separated into compartments with activities planned for the purpose of entertaining children. Furthermore, children’s interactions with the natural world are seen through the lens of stewardship (Taylor, 2011).
Common worlds pedagogies meet these tensions by situating education within a multispecies ethic where children exist in enmeshed, intertwined worlds within worlds. I think with these pedagogies through an artistic, multimodal and embodied/synesthetic lens that allows for complexity in how knowledge is formed, experienced and defined. The interrelated ongoingness of thinking/making/doing within living inquiry (Government of British Columbia, p. 63) offers “otherwise” approaches through experimentation, aesthetic noticing and disrupting narratives of linearity and categorization. These processes allow me and the educators I work with to reframe how we see the child existing within movements, rhythms and “tangled up” corresponding relations with everything—be that other humans, materials, forces unseen and all that exists in the natural world. Within the community and alongside the educators I work with, I am continuously driven by this question: How do we live well with others and create inclusive educational contexts and experiences with children that offer the opportunity to live deep, rich, aesthetically enlivened lives amid ecological precarity?
Government of British Columbia. (2019). British Columbia early learning framework. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/early-learning/teach/early-learning- framework
Taylor, A. (2011). Reconceptualizing the ‘nature’ of childhood. Childhood, 18(4), 420–433.
Kiwassa Neighbourhood House
April brings 25 years of community engagement work with families and young children; additionally, her explorations as artist and M.A. student propel her to think with relational dialogues that unfold within Living Inquiry and the ethical considerations that sit within these contextual encounters.