This growing list of resources brings new ideas into focus for educators, and highlights the Provincial Centre’s orientations and pedagogical commitments. The ideas pointed to here, in the form of articles, audio recordings, reports, websites and video, can be filtered around pedagogical approaches.

The resources hold the potential to inform, enhance, challenge or complexify early childhood education practices, setting in motion a collaborative reimagining of early childhood education as spaces for democratic possibilities.

Literacies Resources

The Provincial Centre of Excellence has here begun a list of annotated resources to think with literacies and literacies pedagogies in early childhood. The resources make up an evergreen list that will continue to evolve with our conversations. Below, we highlight some of the rationale for the selections we have made.

First, we selected resources that might provoke conversations and pedagogies that can widen definitions of literacy. Literacy in contemporary research and documents like How Does Learning Happen? is not static or singular, and it is not just about reading and writing but literacies. When placed beside each other, the resources reflect the plurality of ways through which people with their social, material, and cultural contexts make and express meanings.

The resources also collectively reflect that there is no better place to see the many ways that literacies can live in the world than in early childhood. The resources speak to how literacies in early childhood are not lesser versions of adult-literacy, but rather meaning-making practices in their own right.

Further, the resources communicate that literacies are not a set of disembodied, de-contextualized skills that belong to an individual. Literacies are situated. What we mean by this is that literacies are created out of the relationship between children and the people, places, things, practices, and other material and immaterial elements of their worlds (e.g., values, ideas, and hopes).

We hope the resources advocate for pedagogies that can expand and enliven opportunities for children to make meanings within existing and new relationships. The resources speak to how these opportunities might be created through engagements with a variety of interconnected forms of communication (e.g., oral language, gesture, image), media (e.g., clay, paper, digital tools like cameras), and languages.

The above rationale is just a start to this dialogue on what literacies in early childhood might be or can be. We look forward to continuing to engage with you as we add, delete, and juxtapose more resources over time. To be responsive and flexible, we have used a design tool called Padlet to share the resources. Follow this link to our Padlet literacies resource page. We have organized the resources into four columns: (1) literacies-related organizations; (2) literacies-related research; (3) texts to share with children (recommendations and reviews) and (4) literacies pedagogies and curricula. Scroll down each column to view the resources included. Click on each image to open the website or resource posted on the page. Drop us a line on Twitter @EYpedagogists or send us a message here and let us know if you have something you’d like to share.


  Online / Web Resources

Beyond Professionalism: Interrogating the Idea and Ideals

Taking up the early childhood tertiary classroom as a microcosm of the field, this paper engages with questions meant to problematize narrow understandings of professionalism and views of the educator that circulate in the field. Written by Randa Khattar and Karyn Callaghan and published in Canadian Children (now the Journal of Childhood Studies) in 2015, the paper offers up a conversation meant to rethink the work of early childhood in intellectually liberating and democratic ways.

  Online / Web Resources

Encounters with a pedagogista

This 2016 article in Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, written by pedagogista Cristina Delgado Vintimilla, documents the author’s work with a group of educators on the west coast of Canada. The article retraces the complexities and vulnerabilities of such encounters and presents them as generative, rich conversations that were carried along by, not despite, their difficulty. The educators and pedagogista followed a practice of putting-into-question that helped to keep open possibilities, not only to reconceptualize children’s and educators’ ideas, but also to make education and curriculum into something more than the organization of materials and activities for children or the application of a particular pedagogical approach. This article engages with and contributes to the broader ongoing and stimulating research in the field of childhood, curriculum, and pedagogy.

  Online / Web Resources

Pedagogical Narration: What’s It All About?

What is pedagogical documentation? Why is it important? How is it used? Educator and pedagogist Kim Atkinson offers an introduction to the process of using pedagogical documentation in practice. In this article in The Early Childhood Educator, she draws on her experience of engaging in pedagogical documentation in her preschool program and of delivering seminars with her colleague Danielle Davis through the Images of Learning.

  Online / Web Resources

Pedagogical Narrations and Leadership in Early Childhood Education as Thinking in Moments of Not Knowing

In this article published in the Journal of Childhood Studies in 2015, Iris Berger, coordinator of the Institute for Early Childhood Education and Research in UBC’s Faculty of Education, draws from a research project that examined how a reconceptualized notion of leadership in ECE was enacted through the practice of pedagogical narration (documentation). She presents a particular dimension of leadership enactment associated with the practice of pedagogical narration, which she relates to thinking in moments of not knowing. By providing an example of how leadership was enacted, Berger illuminates the potential of the practice of pedagogical narration to orient educators toward complexity and thinking that is triggered by encounters with unexpected pedagogical situations. Such encounters, she believes, invite thinking beyond generalizations and clichés and orient future (more) responsive and ethically rich pedagogical ventures in ECE contexts.

  Online / Web Resources

Rethinking Nature-Based Approaches in Early Childhood Education: Common Worlding Practices

This paper by Narda Nelson, Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw, and Fikile Nxumalo introduces common worlding approaches in early childhood education as possibilities for situating educational practices within current times of environmental precarity. Particularly, it offers new questions to early childhood nature education practices that reinscribe settler colonial and Euro-Western binary logics.

  Online / Web Resources

The danger of a single story

In her acclaimed 2009 TED Talk, novelist Chimamanda Adichie addresses stereotypes. The problem with stereotypes, she says, “is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” Recounting the powerful impression that stories told by the colonial mainstream made on her as a child growing up in Nigeria, she describes how she found her authentic cultural voice—and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

  Online / Web Resources

The truth about stories: a native narrative

The 2003 Massey Lecture series by author and scholar Thomas King inaugurates the orientation process for all new pedagogists. These five lectures (also available in print format) explore how stories shape who we are and how we understand and interact with other people. Storytelling carries with it moral, social, and political responsibilities on personal and collective levels.

  Online / Web Resources

Toward Reconciliation: What do the Calls to Action Mean for Early Childhood Education?

This 2017 article in the Journal of Childhood Studies, written by educator Briony Taylor when she was a student in a postsecondary ECCE diploma program, focuses on how the TRC’s calls to action pertain to early childhood education. The author traced her understanding of reconciliation within early childhood spaces by considering the TRC call to develop culturally appropriate Aboriginal early childhood education programs. Incorporating her learning in her program of study, she explored curriculum, language, parents, community, and treaty relationships. She questioned her own previously held assumptions around dominant discourses of success and reflected on new understandings of reconciliation gained in her studies.

  Online / Web Resources

What we have learned: Principles of Truth and Reconciliation

This 200-page report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada outlines the TRC’s central conclusions about the history and legacy of residential schools. With an extensive, highly useful bibliography, the report identifies barriers to reconciliation and opportunities for constructive action.

  Online / Web Resources

Why we can’t get beyond quality

This article by Peter Moss, one of the authors of the book Beyond Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care, explores why it has proven so hard to get beyond the concept of quality. He writes that “quality is a language of evaluation inscribed with the values not only of universality, objectivity and stability, but also certainty and closure; and which presumes an autonomous observer adopting a God’s eye view to make a decontextualized and true statement of fact.” Why, then, does the notion of quality exert such a strong gravitational pull?