Category: Early Childhood Education and Phenomenology - May 2012
 
 

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pdf.png Special Edition on Early Childhood Education and Phenomenology - Editorial (By Editor-in-Chief)  

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The Special Edition on Early Childhood Education and Phenomenology has a somewhat different origin from most Special Editions in the journal in that it arose neither from the journal's aim to release a special edition dealing with facets of early childhood education and neither did it arise through any request from a member of the academic community. Instead, this special edition emerged from the intense passion of the Guest Editor, Will Parnell, to bring together an integrated set of high-quality papers, each having a phenomenological approach to early childhood education. ...



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pdf.png Guest Editorial - By Will Parnell  

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I hope that you will take a journey with us through the many experiences, starting places, stopping points, and continuations that present themselves in the following body of work. This special edition, comprising a unique collection of collegial work dealing with phenomenology in early childhood education, has been a long and arduously thought provoking experience....



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pdf.png Reconstruction: Meltdown in the Midst of Beauty - By Will Parnell  

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Watching a dramatic musical television episode reminded me of my own meltdown and reconstruction during the collection of my dissertation research. This stir of memory led me to write down my story. Seeking meaning in the experience of the studio teacher in an early childhood school, I co-participated in events that led me through a dramatic and transformative experience that deepened my awareness and understanding of what it means to teach and learn in the wondrous space of the atelier, otherwise called the early childhood studio. We engaged in the meaning making process of our studio endeavours through keeping field notes and a journal, informally interviewing and engaging in collaboration sessions with the studio teachers, and reviewing the dissertation manuscript for authenticity. Through active listening and engagement, I collided with predicament. I learnt that the only way to move through the crisis-point is to 'keep on living'. In the end, I came to a new sense of how to live and work in an early childhood studio and I also came to understand that life eats entropy. My experience in the studio became about the beauty of courage, time, and deep listening, as examined through the experiences of fear of the new and of my reconstruction into something more.



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pdf.png Crossing Boundaries: A Variety of Perspectives on Preschool Stories - By Jeanne Marie Iorio and Hema Visweswaraiah  

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Emergent curriculum is present in many early childhood classrooms but sharing the deep thoughts, reflections and actions of young children engaged in emergent curriculum is often hindered by the use of traditional report cards. Through the use of year-long preschool stories, teachers write about these young children using the children's thought processes and experiences as the central data source. This practice illustrates trust of the child and the child's daily actions as critical in understanding the child. The purpose of this paper is to re-visit previously written preschool stories from multiple perspectives including the child featured in the story, the family of the child, the creator of the preschool stories, and a co-teacher within the community. This re-examination offers another way to consider the preschool stories, opening the work to revision and rethinking.



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pdf.png What did you learn in school today? - By Carina Henriksson  

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This article conveys some of the findings from a hermeneutic-phenomenological study on lived experiences of school failure. The informants were students in Swedish senior high schools and teenagers in Swedish juvenile institutions. Contrary to the common belief that school failure is related to low grades or failing exams, the students' descriptions of lived experiences of failure had little to do with intellectual shortcomings. The students' interpretation of my research question did not encompass cognitive deficiencies. They rarely spoke of failure to understand, or failure to meet scholastic demands. Instead, the students offered stories about failure to behave according to expectations and the way in which they experienced their teachers' reactions to this 'deviant' behaviour. Thus, the question of school failure did not revolve around the students' cognitive knowledge and proficiency – or lack of thereof – but around the hidden curriculum. The feelings the students lived through while experiencing failure included lack of trust, confidence, belief, joyfulness, patience, hope, and serenity. The study has moral implications for pedagogical practice and the formative relationship between teachers and students.



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pdf.png Birth on the Playground: Boys’ Experiences Playing with Gender - By Jenifer Millan  

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Using photographic documentation to understand the extraordinary in the ordinary and the experiences of young children in an early childhood education center, I began to wonder how children's interactions define their identity formation. This research looked at how boys reconstruct their identity based on the knowledge gained from those around them. Specifically, the study investigated the ways in which boys explore gender roles in relation to pregnancy and birthing. Using a phenomenological approach, the purpose of this research was to explore the meaning of young children's gender and identity play, and the experiences they take to form their identity in the early childhood setting. During the course of the study I drew meanings from the boys' pretend playing pregnancy and gender role development. From three emerging themes, I came to the conclusion that the boys were not necessarily defining "boy" or "girl", but using their play to make meaning of another individuals' experience as related to gender.



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pdf.png Children Dwelling in the Absence of Home - By Darcey M. Dachyshyn  

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The lived experience of children dwelling in the absence of home is explored through the memoirs of Haddy, who as a child of four moved with her family from Fiji to Canada. The recollections of some refugee children along with situations from the author's own life appear more nominally. The feeling of at-homeness, the act of leaving home, the experience of arriving in a new place, and making a new home are considered. Schutz's (1971) notion of the 'stranger' is applied to children living on the margin as they learn to be at ease in their new world (Lugones, 1987). The significance of language in the everyday lived experience of home (Heidegger, 1971) is also discussed. Moreover, Husserl's homeworld/alienworld dialectic as opened up by Steinbock (1995) is considered in some depth. The co-arising and interdependent nature of homeworld/alienworld is presented as essential to gaining insight into the lived experience of children between homes. Pedagogical considerations suggested for early learning and care settings include but are not limited to creating environments where homeworld/alienworld encounters can be lived out in rich and meaningful ways, promoting active engagement with difference and diversity, providing for home language and dominant language use, the establishment of homecomrade connections, and instilling a focus on the reciprocity of care for the other.



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pdf.png Is experimenting on an Immanent Level possible in RECE (Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education)? - By Liane Mozère  

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A professor's experience of attending the 17th annual Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE) Conference on pedagogies of hope demonstrates her desire to experiment on an immanent plane. As she looks back on her past experiences of depression, working in a revolutionary psychiatric clinic, experiencing a near catatonic state, and an action research study of women in early childhood education at the precipice of an immanent plane, the reader is led on their own journey to consider deeply the differences between transcendence and immanence. In the end, the author's story of returning from a catatonic state through bodily movements and triumph in human relationships and connections demonstrates how one moves out of his or her own disconnection between mind and body. Further, the meaning in the experiences of the action research project - the phenomenon - occurs when a misrepresented group of early childhood workers discovers their own power and voice in overcoming transcended expertise. They rise in immanence like the Humpty Dumpties that needed to exchange and word their new agency, connecting in a worldwide rhizome (image of thought). Finally, the reconceptualists in early childhood education are asked to take in these experiences and play with them in order to resist transcendence and to determine their own outcome as an organization.



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