Communicating the seemingly unintelligible: On the im-possibility of exchanging imaginations with young children

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskning


Sense-making and meaning-making are inextricably intertwined, if at all merely analytically separable. Nevertheless are numerous imaginative potentialities never actualized as virtualities: They are never collaboratively acted on, as one’s imagined actions appear or are factually non-communicable to others. Unintelligible imaginations may be grounds for suffering, as an individual’s struggles cannot be communicatively exchanged with others and may therefore never be overcome – one’s sense, so to say, may never be turned into a shareable common sense and consequently never finds its expression in an externalized objectification, in a communicative artifact. Individuals seem to particularly struggle with this non-intelligibility when living in a society which demands communicative openness, transparency, and expressive creativity.
Whilst engaging in collaborative research with small children, the struggle with non-intelligibility prominently comes to the fore: Children despair when not being able to intelligibly express their needs and wishes, and the same holds true for adults who seek to communicate with children whose verbal competences are still in their early developmental stages. But this desperation also emerges when children are interested in experiences others cannot relate to. In my participatory study in a preschool, this problematique particularly emerged when children attempted to communicate experiences made with technological artifacts and the narratives these artifacts mediated. Both other peers and adults were at times not able to make sense of such experiences, and children who considered these to be relevant for collaborating with others faced enormous struggles with finding collaboration partners among the other kindergarten participants.
This points to a more underlying problematique, namely that non-verbalizable experiences are – in pedagogical-educational research as well as policy-making – usually deemed less meaningful than verbalizable ones. But what about all those imaginable potentialities for change which are communicated otherwise, through non-verbal actions? Are they not just as valid and relevant as verbalizable knowledge is? The paper discusses what challenges text-dominated practices which arrange young children’s everyday life might encounter if they confine communication to words, and disregard of the fact that children’s imaginative potentialities are just as relevant for arranging pedagogical-educational practices as the adults’ are
StatusUdgivet - 2014
BegivenhedThe 5th Pre-Congress Event for CHACDOC section: Children's development of imagination and creativity - Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney, Australien
Varighed: 29 sep. 2014 → …
Konferencens nummer: 5


KursusThe 5th Pre-Congress Event for CHACDOC section
LokationSydney Olympic Park
Periode29/09/2014 → …

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