Kirsten MacDougall Seiler
Situated in northern British Columbia’s coastal rainforest on the unceded lands of the Tsimshian people, I feel deeply connected to place and I am passionate about nurturing relationships with the land, waters, plants and animals, as well as the people, that inhabit this world. This connection and passion inform my pedagogist work and the particular commitments that I bring to my pedagogical engagement with educators, children, families and communities.
In the face of rapid ecological destruction there is an urgency to change our perception of and interaction with the world we inhabit to ways that we, human and more-than-human, can live “as well as is possible on a damaged planet” (Common Worlds Research Collective, 2020, p. 9). This change will require challenging dominant Euro-Western knowledges that, through education, promote human exceptionalism, propagate a nature/culture divide, and champion individualism. Instead, 21st-century education must prioritize “an ethics of collective recuperation” (p. 9) where humans’ interdependency with the world is recognized and people are understood as but one of the “shapers of life on earth” (p. 6).
As a pedagogist, my aim is to support early childhood educators to enliven the BC Early Learning Framework’s vision of respectfully living and learning together (Government of British Columbia, 2019), to which I bring the intention to be oriented by the Common Worlds Research Collective’s (2020) argument for learning to become with the world. To this end, I work to foster curriculum inquiry with educators, children and families that moves beyond the human centered. I consider the stories of the land, recognizing the Tsimshian histories that live in our community and how these stories might shape our futures together and support educators’ and children’s careful thinking with and being on these territories. Curriculum is coconstructed through ongoing visits to centres, virtual and in-person gatherings with educators, and the process of pedagogical narration, whereby engagements that go beyond the dominant tale of Euro-Western education can be made visible. Such collective living inquiries can begin storying that another early childhood education is possible.
Common Worlds Research Collective. (2020). Learning to become with the world: Education for future survival.
Government of British Columbia. (2019). BC early learning framework.
Kirsten MacDougall Seiler
Communities of Terrace and Kitamaat Village
Kirsten brings 30 years of experience as an early childhood educator and is passionate about pedagogical engagement.