Aesthetically emplacing ECEC sensitivity and slowness in the forest: Toward learning together with the world

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The presentation showcases an ongoing small-scale 2-year participatory research project that set out to investigate how the concept of ‘care’ could support ECEC institutions in articulating their pedagogical work with forests. Together with one crèche and one kindergarten, who reached out to the researcher after having read about the project in a professional magazine for pedagogical staff, different forms of participatory and collaborative inquiries into pedagogical forest activities were initiated. Already from early on in the empirical part of the project, it became obvious that those ECEC staff members who were particularly interested in participating also were the ones struggling the most with articulating the kind of learning that took place in the forest, a learning that transgressed the formally intended outcome of the official teaching agendas in Denmark. These participants therefore came to shape the following co-research question in dialogue with the overall research project’s focus on care: How can ECEC institutions make pedagogical sense of the learning that takes place in a forest? Could concepts such as ‘slowness’ and ‘sensitivity’ take a central role in communicating the relevance of what is experienced by children and staff in the forest?
Fellow observant participation was complemented with ongoing situated reciprocal interviews between researcher and the staff members, always mediated by their relation to the children’s impressive expressions, in order to approximate first empirical-conceptual findings. In a nutshell, these findings suggest that particular conditions must be in place to allow for the kind of learning the staff wished to articulate: Both staff members and children must be allowed to have a high degree of agency over the project’s framing, for instance regarding its temporal unfolding (‘slowness’) and its experiential qualities (‘sensitivity’). These conditions seem to make it possible to emplace the forest in a particular way, as a site for aesthetic learning together with the world. The presentation will discuss these empirical-conceptual developments by connecting them to a feminist ethics of care and to common worlding research.
StatusUdgivet - 2022
Begivenhed31st Annual Reconceptualising Early Childhood Education Conference: Being together in/with place: Reimagining Pedagogies in Transformational Times - Hybrid konference, Vancouver, Canada
Varighed: 23 jun. 202226 jun. 2022
Konferencens nummer: 31


Konference31st Annual Reconceptualising Early Childhood Education Conference
LokationHybrid konference
AndetWe invite early childhood researchers, scholars, educators, pedagogues, teacher‐educators, and activists to the 28th Annual Hybrid Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE) Conference, to be held at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.<br/><br/>The conference theme reflects our current times of radical uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought suffering, loss and material hardship to millions of people around the world. Combined with this, people continue to differently experience ongoing climate emergencies, large scale ecological and environmental disasters, mass migrations and displacement in the world.<br/><br/>At the same time, new connections are made. In the midst of these ongoing crises, the 2022 Conference will offer members of the RECE community and their allies opportunities to come together, to reaffirm their sense of community, agency, creativity and commitments. It will bring us together to once more explore ways for co-creating a more livable, equitable, just, caring and welcoming world for children, families and early childhood educators around the globe.<br/><br/>In light of existential and multifaceted social and environmental issues, the 2022 hybrid RECE conference centers on the notion of place. However, place is always political and not innocent. RECE 2022 will be in Vancouver, a city situated on the unceded, traditional and ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.<br/><br/>The conference seeks to engage with the histories and presents of these Indigenous peoples and the histories and presents of other Indigenous peoples across the globe. In honouring place, it seeks to elevate relations with Land and the ongoing destructive effects of colonization, displacement, and the fatal impact of residential schools on children and families. In honouring place, RECE 2022 acknowledges the work of contemporary Indigenous researchers, educators and allies who center Land in reviving cultural identity, community, resurgence and decolonization.<br/><br/>Place is inherently relational. It is a multilayered construct that can help us open up, hold, and sustain generative conversations across disciplines and from our different locations. The theme of place calls conference attendees to explore the ways we inhabit and relate to the world. Attending to place compels us to move beyond the autonomous individual, and state to find the dynamic relations between place, identity, and community.<br/><br/>Place invites us to notice, attend, and respond to what and who makes up the human and more-than-human places we live in. Importantly, it calls on us to take responsibility, engage in creating sustainability and commit to reparation. By re-centering place, we strive to address and respond to the urgency of the climate crisis. How do early childhood researchers, educators, children and communities attend to climate emergencies? What kinds of pedagogies nurture care for and with our world?<br/><br/>Finally, the pandemic with its attendant restrictions leads to a rethinking of the practices of conferencing. Coming together in-person and in-one place since the pandemic began has been a challenge and is a provocation to re-envision the meaning and possibilities of gatherings. This conference offers an opportunity to question what it might mean to come together while also being isolated. How might place be (re)configured with the opportunities and dilemmas that new communications technologies present?<br/><br/>RECE 2022 poses and responds to new questions about acts of gathering, their purpose, possibilities, and responsibilities especially in relation to being together in/with place. How can we create more engaging, equitable and sustainable place/s for the exchange of ideas while continuing to build a robust community of reconceptualizing scholars and educators? Most importantly, RECE 2022 hopes to reconnect old friends, enable new connections and sharing of stories of life during the last two years, and for reimagining RECE’s work in a post-pandemic world.<br/>

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