Scholarly Reflection

This month we offer the following scholarly reflection from Cristina D. Vintimilla, Nicole Land, Kathleen Kummen, Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw, and Randa Khattar:Offering a Question to Early Childhood Pedagogists: What Would Be Possible if Education Subtracts Itself from Developmentalism?

As these scholars note, this reflection is meant to reiterate the work of reconceptualist early childhood scholars and put into question a naturalized or non-political understanding of childhood, children, and education. We invite you to think with us on this topic and engage in conversation/share your thoughts/stay with the trouble on Twitter via #ECEpossibilities. Tweet to us using the hashtag #ECEpossibilities to join in the conversation!


What would be possible if education subtracts itself from developmentalism?  What might happen if we put into question early childhood education’s reliance on child development as a “taken-for-granted” way to understand, enact and create early childhood spaces?

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What is pedagogy?

“What is pedagogy?”
I am often asked this question, and often my first impulse is to want to hide from it. I think this is because I am aware of the very complex layers of meaning and the historicity that one will need to engage with and take up, particularly if one considers that this question is being asked within the Canadian context—and, even more specifically, within that of early childhood education. In my hesitation, I also wonder if we as educators are willing to engage with such layering of meaning and historicity. After all, the question is not “How might we begin to think of pedagogy?” What is pedagogy? risks evoking a requisition for a definition, and therefore a foreclosure of pedagogical thought from the start. Herein is the bind of the question “What is pedagogy?” Perhaps sharing its contextual difficulties, its inherent foreclosures, is the best place to start. As, when learning to speak another language, we are invited first to say that we cannot speak it.

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