On this page, I will share artifacts and traces of thought-provoking works that connect with my professional work as a facilitator and my current learning as a graduate student at Western University. In keeping aligned with my inquiries into ethical pedagogies (anti-bias, anti-racist, decolonizing), post-human, and post-structural perspectives I offer the artifacts below as starting points for further inquiry.
Do schools kill creativity?
The link below will take you to a ted talk that was done by Sir Ken Robinson in 2006
In this ted talk, Sir Ken Robinson (2006) discusses how the first schools were formed and how the conformity of standardized curriculum has negatively impacted children. I chose this video because when I first watched it (2018), I was reminded of what I learned early in my early childhood studies (2008-2010).
At Douglas college (2008), a vibrant instructor presented the class with a thought-provoking question about injustice and the first time we witnessed or experienced injustice. For myself, I thought about my childhood experiences in the BC education system. I thought about the various times I felt singled out and was taught lessons in embarrassing ways. At the same time, I also encountered another instructor who was patient, kind, inquiry-based, and very encouraging of me which helped me grow. Watching Sir Ken Robinson was like hearing both the voices of those instructors. The voices of critical thought and inquiry into what possibilities exist with changes in how we see children and how we engage with curriculum.
During my undergrad studies at the University of Victoria (2020), I also encountered the book Journeys: Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Practices through Pedagogical Narration by Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw, Fikile Nxumalo, Laurie Kocher, Enid Elliot, Alejandra Sanchez (2014). I was inspired to see some of the names of my former instructors listed as authors and much like the Sir Ken Robinson video, I heard their voices of critical inquiry as I read.
At Western University I was introduced to the work of Erica Burman (2017). In the introduction to Deconstructing Developmental Psychology, Burman (2017) writes that “the logic of psychologization in allying with neuroscience is to evacuate the psyche altogether such that policies try to influence or support the development of baby brains, rather than minds.” The links between Sir Ken Robinson, the text Journeys (2014), and the text Deconstructing Developmental Psychology (2017) make me wonder:
How often do we see children as incomplete through a developmental lens? How much does psychology rooted in Western cultural assumptions contribute to injustice in educational pedagogies?
What do we as educators believe our role is in child development? Are we killing creativity in our current pedagogies rooted in developmental psychology?
Burman, E. (2017). Deconstructing developmental psychology (3rd ed.). Routledge
Pacini-Ketchabaw, V., Nxumalo, F., Kocher, L., Elliott, E., & Sanchez, A. (2015). Journeys:
Complexifying early childhood practices through pedagogical narration. Toronto, Canada:
University of Toronto Press.
Robinson, K. (2006).TED. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from https://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_do_schools_kill_creativity.
Exploring the Revisons to the 2019 BC Early Learning Framework
The link below will take you to a free self-paced mini-workshop that I created in 2020 when my workshops in person were postponed due to the changing times of the world and pandemic closures.
I have chosen to share this artifact because this was the first self-paced workshop I created based on the Revisions to the BC Early Learning Framework (2019). I was introduced to the BC Early Learning Framework (2008) at Douglas College and reintroduced to the revised version of it in 2019 at the University of Victoria. By early 2020, I had presented in-person workshops and a community of practice on the BC Early Learning Framework so I felt confident in sharing my perspectives.
Some of the main revisions I highlight in the video preface the questioning of developmental psychology and the implications of standardized ways of viewing childhood. Although I was unfamiliar with the work of Erica Burman (2017) at the time the BC Early Learning Framework led me to explore the emerging work of the Early Years Pedagogy Network.
While completing my undergrad studies (2017-2020) I was presented with a variety of courses from early years, counselling psychology, child protection, and Indigenous studies. At this time I thought about how early years could become interdisciplinary with the BC Early Learning Framework and pedagogist work.
At Western University, I have been presented with even more to think about in questioning developmental psychology as it has become so commonplace in ECE. The Rethinking Childhoods podcast with Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw (2020) and the work of Erica Burman (2017) has inspired me to think deeper about the following inquiries:
How could pedagogists work within childhood spaces to decolonize deeply embedded Western cultural assumptions about what childhood should be?
How could pedagogists work to decenter the child and humans in pedagogical narrations?
How could educators work within tensions and resistance to critical reflection by educators who refuse to think beyond what they already believe?
Early Years Workshops & Training. (2020). Exploring the revised early learning framework. Early Years Workshops & Training. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from https://earlyyearsworkshops.thinkific.com/courses/BCELF.
Early Years pedagogy network (ECPN). ecpn. (2021). Retrieved October 25, 2021, from https://www.ecpn.ca/.
Government of British Columbia. (2008). British Columbia early learning framework. Victoria,
BC: BC Ministry of Health, BC Ministry of Children and Family Development, & BC
Early Learning Advisory Group.
Government of British Columbia. (2019). British Columbia early learning framework. Victoria,
BC: BC Ministry of Health, BC Ministry of Children and Family Development, & BC
Early Learning Advisory Group
Pacini-Ketchabaw, V. (Host). (2020, September 8). Episode 1: Displacing child development [Audio podcast episode]. In Rethinking Childhoods. Western University. http://18.104.22.168/2020/09/08/displacing-child-development/
Posthuman Child Manifesto
The link below will take you to a video on what is posthuman and how it connects with decolonizing childhoods.
I found this video while also looking at the work of the decolonizing childhood discourse project. With my interest in ethical pedagogies, I have also become inspired to learn more about the work of the common world’s research collective and the early childhood collaboratory. These projects have inspired me to research what work is happening in these collaboratories and collectives and to look deeper into the work of Africa Taylor, Fikile Nxumalo, and Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw.
With good intentions, I have often thought about decolonizing childhood spaces as culturally focused however I have recently shifted my thoughts from becoming ‘culturally competent’ to becoming aware and humble when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Although it is important to think about whose knowledge is privileged and whose is silenced in childhood spaces, it is just as important to think about how colonized childhoods may be impacted in broader entanglements with society, ecology, and what is non-human, living, and non-living.
These thoughts are new and extend from previous inquiries in particular the inquiries I have of social justice and ethical pedagogies in ECE. In my professional work as a facilitator, I draw upon past experiences, current meaning-making, and what is possible in the future with new ways of seeing and living with children now. These thoughts lead me to wonder:
How has developmental psychology colonized adult images of the child and created standardized ways of viewing, teaching, and testing children? How much does this lead to diagnosing and pathologizing children?
How is cultural competency rooted in Western ways of knowing and how does that impact discourses of diversity, decolonizing, and inclusion?
How often do we as educators focus on the competency of skills and achievement rather than meaning-making or coconstructing knowledge with children?
How does decentering the child and humans in a space and place connect with decolonizing childhood?
Early childhood pedagogies collaboratory. Early Childhood Pedagogies Collaboratory. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2021, from https://www.earlychildhoodcollaboratory.net/.
Project: Decolonizing Early Childhood Discourses. (2018). Posthuman Child Manifesto.
Research: Decolonising early childhood discourses: A critical posthumanist orientation in higher education. decolonizingchildhood.org. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2021, from https://www.decolonizingchildhood.org.
The collective. Common Worlds Research Collective. (2018, June 27). Retrieved October 25, 2021, from http://commonworlds.net/the-collective/.