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Synopsis

Going Beyond the Theory/Practice Divide in Early Childhood Education focuses on the use of pedagogical documentation as a tool for learning and transformation. Based on innovative research, the author presents new approaches to learning in early childhood education, shifting attention to the force and impact which material objects and artefacts can have in learning. Drawing upon the theories of feminist Karen Barad and philosophers Gille Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Hillevi Lenz Taguchi discusses examples of how pens, paper, clay and construction materials can be understood as active and performative agents, challenging binary divides such as theory/practice, discourse/matter and mind/body in teaching and learning. Numerous examples from practice are explored to introduce an intra-active pedagogy. 'Methodological' strategies for learning with children in preschools, and in teacher education, are brought to the fore. For example:

  • the neighbourhood around the preschool and children's homes is explored, using drawing and construction-work on the floor;
  • mathematics is investigated in teacher education, using the body, dance and music to investigate mathematical relationships and problems;
  • taken-for-granted forms of academic writing are challenged by different forms of praxis- and experience-based writings that transgress the theory/practice divide;
  • children, students and teacher educators use pedagogical documentation to understand their own learning, and to critique dominant habits of thinking and doing.

Challenging the dominant understanding of ‘inclusion’ in educational contexts, and making ‘difference’ actively visible and positive, this book is rooted in the experiences, practices and words of teachers, teacher educators and student teachers. It will appeal to all those involved in early childhood education and also to those interested in challenging educational thinking and practices.

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