Since 2017 eceLINK has published peer reviewed articles, these articles offer a variety of ideas that can be explored individually, by program staff and communities of practice, and by students in post-secondary early childhood education classrooms.

All published eceLINK articles have undergone blinded (without author information) peer reviews. Each article, authored through a collaboration between academics/researchers and early childhood educators, is firmly grounded in the everyday practice of early childhood education and care. The articles, therefore, have the potential to transform  thinking and practices through critical reflection and dialogue . 

The eceLINK Peer Reviewed Collection will be featured in both Spring and Fall issues. Calls for articles will be made well in advance of publication; and can be found here. If you have any questions about the submission process, please contact the provincial office at info@aeceo.ca - 416-487-3157 x 27

It's YOUR membership and support that allows us to produce the eceLINK and make this content available. If you've found these articles useful, we hope you'll consider joining us as an AECEO Member!

2020


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I Speak Frog: Storying Seasonal Narratives of Children’s Common Worlds

Olga Rossovska and Louise Zimanyi with Lynn Short, Avneet Singh, Kaitlin Beard, Jennifer Casale, Alessandra Silvestro, and Walter Garcia

Abstract:

This article stories and (re)stories experiences of young children from three urban preschool classrooms
participating in The Willows, a land-based program. The intentions of reciprocal relationship building
with the land and the other-than-human (also known as “All Our Relations” in many Indigenous
cultures) become the focus of engagement in and with nature. The central figures of children’s seasonal
narratives—Lucy the blue mint leaf beetle, John the snail, the Frog, the Stick, the Medicine/Teaching
Garden, and the Crack Willow tree—illustrate the inter-related common worlds children live in and
attend to in nature. Pedagogical documentation is used to capture the struggles to understand and
adopt the “common worlds” lens and to delve deeply into pedagogies of places where children and the
other-than-human live, learn, and grow.

Keywords:

 land-based program, common worlds, pedagogical documentation, Indigenous stories

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Plastic City: A Small-Scale Experiment for Disrupting Normative Borders

Angela Molloy Murphy, Ed.D.

Abstract:

Since plastics became available in the 1950s, consumers have dealt with the issue of plastic discards by
simply sending them “away”—considering them “out of sight and out of mind” and looking away from any
responsibility for this material and its ongoing effects. In this article, an interactive exhibit was generated to provoke relational encounters between children and plastic discards. Situated on a university campus that wins annual awards for sustainability, Plastic City was erected anew each week; a compelling small-scale experiment regarding what is made visible and what is outcast in the utopian settler-colonial imaginary of the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

Keywords:

Environmental education, remida, plastics, more-than-human kin, border crossing

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Thinking with Plastics: Common Worlds Waste Pedagogies Disrupt the Early Childhood Classroom

Kelly-Ann MacAlpine, with Hayley Johnstone, Laurie Minten, Lindsay Sparkes, and Brenda Grigg

Abstract:

that troubled the very notion of early childhood education. Over the past two years, our team of researchers, pedagogists, and early childhood educators has been engaging in a participatory ethnographic research project that explores innovative common worlds pedagogies and alternative plastic waste practices in an early childhood classroom. Our research is informed by the common worlds framework, which challenges child-centred approaches to learning by decentering the human and attending instead to complex, entangled human–nonhuman relations that emerge in everyday encounters with nonhuman others, in this case plastics. Through our ongoing plastics inquiry, we notice how plastics and the concept of excess invite us to respond to plastic waste. While this research is still in progress, we have found that our plastic waste inquiry, alongside other common worlds waste pedagogies, disrupts dominant discourses of early childhood education, the role of the educator, and the very materiality of the classroom.

Keywords:

common worlds, waste pedagogies, plastics, early childhood education, materiality, nonhuman

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Pedagogies of Indeterminacy

Adrianne Bacelar de Castro and Sarah Hennessy, MA

Abstract:

What might pedagogies of indeterminacy do? As researchers and educators, we ask that question, inspired by common worlds pedagogies, exploring pedagogies of indeterminacy. Drawing on pedagogical inquiries using charcoal and cardboard in an early childhood centre, we challenge early childhood narratives conformed by neoliberal-informed productivity models and choose to think with a pedagogy of indeterminacy. The larger concept of indeterminacy, for this work with charcoal and cardboard, encompasses working with boredom and contemplation to challenge dominant neoliberal constructs of productivity in early childhood education. 

We begin by confronting the neoliberal-informed productivity concepts that continue to dominate practices in early childhood education. We then note three ways in which early childhood education conforms to these concepts. Then we trouble these three ways with the possibilities from indeterminacy, boredom, and contemplation.

What we propose with pedagogies of indeterminacy is an alternative narrative that challenges dominant
productivity logics.

Keywords:

pedagogy, common worlds, early childhood education, indeterminacy, boredom, contemplation

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2019


Hidden Messages: Barriers Toward Professional Recognition

Meaghan MacDonell & Lisa McCorquodale

Abstract:

The Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) field faces many challenges. Poor compensation, difficult working conditions, and low professional recognition in particular have had a significant impact on the recruitment and retention of quality Early Childhood Educators (ECEs). This research considers how the language used in public discourse around the ECEC field contributes to knowledge, understanding, and, ultimately, the value placed on childcare professionals. A qualitative content analysis of two publicly available Ontario secondary school curriculum documents is used to gain insight into how the language used affects perceptions of ECE’s. Primary findings reveal a construct of ECEs characterized by a limited professional identity. The article argues that such a construct and its language undermine the professional status of educators and justifies the inequitable way ECEs are compensated for their work.

Keywords:

Professional recognition, professional identity, early childhood educators, content analysis

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The (Not) Good Educator: Reconceptualizing the Image of the Educator

Lisa Johnston 

Abstract:

This article tells the story of an early childhood educator caught with an incomplete program plan during a Ministry inspection. The author situates the story within the grand narratives of neoliberalism and developmentalism. Then using reconceptualist theories, she deconstructs the discourse of the good educator and reconstructs a new subjectivity as an intentional (not) good educator. The author further discovers the discourse of the (not) good educator within How Does Learning Happen?’s positioning of the educator as a researcher with an invitation to challenge the status quo. The article ends with a retelling of the original story from a transformed perspective.

Keywords:

Early childhood educator, program planning, neoliberalism, developmentalism, How Does Learning
Happen?

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Inclusion is an Experience, Not a Placement 

Elaine B. Frankel, Ed.D., Cherry Chan, M.A., Kathryn Underwood, Ph.D.

Abstract:

Early education, care, and intervention programs are part of a complex system of services as experienced by children and their families. Based on a study of institutional processes and relationships from the standpoint of families with children who are thought of as disabled in the Inclusive Early Childhood Service System (IECSS) project, this article highlights common components of inclusion as an experience rather than merely a placement in a class. Early childhood educators and childcare programs are encouraged to play a critical role as part of this system providing accessible, equitable and integrated services to children.

Keywords:

Inclusion, early years, childhood disability, early intervention system

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2018


Deepening Collaboration with Children Through the Principles of Cooperative Learning

Kimberly Squires, MEd, RECE, OCT

Abstract:

The educators’ and children’s co-construction of the early learning and care curriculum is of growing
importance in Ontario. Regretfully, this collaboration sometimes emerges in a tokenistic or superficial manner in practice. This article presents thoughts on the opportunity for early learning educators to consider another perspective that could deepen their collaboration with children during curriculum development. Drawing on the principles of cooperative learning, a pedagogical model often used in grade school and adult learning, early learning educators are encouraged to reflect on the decisions they are making and interactions they are having to ensure that they are supporting a view of co-construction.

Keywords:

Cooperative learning, early childhood education, co-construction, collaborative practices, emergent curriculum, pedagogical approaches.

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Preservice Early Childhood Education Degree Students’ Career Aspirations: Examining Decisions to Enter the Field

Caitlyn Osborne, Tricia van Rhijn, Andrea V. Breen 

Abstract:

This article summarizes a study that examined the intentions of Early Childhood Education degree students to work in early childhood education. Participants were recruited from nine institutions across Ontario, and 214 online surveys were completed. Independent t-tests indicated that there were significant differences between students who intend to enter the field and those who do not. Those not intending to enter the field perceived significantly more barriers to a successful career in the field. Results from thematic analyses provide further insight into students’ perceptions of their career choices and professional identities. The paper concludes with recommendations for stakeholders who are attempting to attract a highly qualified workforce.

Keywords:

Early Childhood Education; childcare; ECE training; ECE workforce

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Decolonizing and Co-Constructing Contexts that Welcome Indigenous Practices and Knowledges in Early Childhood Education

Karyn Callaghan, Faith Hale, Michelle Taylor Leonhardi, Monique Lavallee

Abstract:

Colonialism takes many forms. In early childhood education, the dominance of the normative gaze of developmentalism and the tendency to compartmentalize and sidestep spiritual aspects of life serves to marginalize other ways of knowing, distancing mainstream culture from opportunities to recognize and reconsider assumptions and established practices. In this article, Indigenous and settler educators draw on lived experience to critically reflect on perspectives and practices they have been taught and consider, with optimism, possibilities arising from the intersection of Indigenous knowledges with How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years.

Keywords:

Indigenous knowledges; colonialism; developmentalism; early childhood education

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Dramatic Play in Northern Aboriginal Head Start Classrooms: Supporting Indigenous Children’s Learning of their Culture and Language

Shelley Stagg Peterson, Tina Gardner, Eugema Ings, Kayla Vecchio

Abstract:

Three Aboriginal Head Start educators and a university professor report on a collaborative inquiry that examined video recordings of children’s dramatic play with Indigenous cultural materials to learn how children interacted with materials and see the role of the Ojibway language in their play. In their play, children imitated Indigenous cultural practices carried out in the home, at sacred ceremonies, and on the land. The children showed an understanding of Ojibway words but did not speak them in their dramatic play. We propose suggestions for non-Indigenous educators who wish to introduce children to Indigenous cultural practices and languages or to incorporate the cultural practices of children’s families into classroom dramatic play.

Keywords:

Aboriginal Head Start (AHS), Indigenous cultural practices, teaching Ojibway language and culture, play-based learning, pedagogical documentation

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Gizhaawaso: Culture as a Protective Factor for Indigenous Children with Disabilities

Nicole Ineese-Nash

Abstract:

This article examines Indigenous approaches to health and treatment in order to critique the current early intervention system for children with disabilities. Seeing disability as a social construct, this article suggests that disability as defined within the early intervention system is based on Eurocentric ideals that pathologize Indigenous ways of being. From this conceptualization, this article will illustrate the gaps within the current early childhood support service systems and offer suggestions for developing culturally appropriate support services for Indigenous children with disabilities.

Keywords:

Indigenous disability, Indigenous early childhood, early intervention, cultural healing

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The Leadership Journey in the Spirit of Indigenous Early Childhood Educators in Remote Northern First Nations Communities

Lori Huston

Abstract:

This article examines Indigenous approaches to health and treatment in order to critique the current early intervention system for children with disabilities. Seeing disability as a social construct, this article suggests that disability as defined within the early intervention system is based on Eurocentric ideals that pathologize Indigenous ways of being. From this conceptualization, this article will illustrate the gaps within the current early childhood support service systems and offer suggestions for developing culturally appropriate support services for Indigenous children with disabilities.

Keywords:

Indigenous educators, early childhood programs, leadership, Wildfire Circle, professional development


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2017


“Good-bye Mr. Raccoon, we’ll miss you!” Supporting children’s explorations of life and death in a forest

Debra Harwood, Nicola Facchini, Farhanna Khan, Helene Randle, Susanne Robitaille & Chelsea Ratilainen

Abstract:

As educators following and supporting children’s emerging inquiries within a forest school model, we question each day the dynamism and fluidity required as we pedagogically respond to the needs of the learning/playing child within the messy, mixed-up, co-existent, multi-species context of the woods. We reflect as professionals constantly and intensely, particularly when ‘big questions’ emerge like those we encountered upon discovering a dead raccoon in the forest. How do we negotiate complex and ethical issues with children such as life, death, or our place in this world? What are the possibilities and complexities of pursuing a collective and emerging inquiry like the ‘dead raccoon’?

Keywords:

Forest schools, collective-emergent pedagogies, death as a sensitive topic


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(Re)Imagining and (Re)Engaging in Relational Encounters: Communities of Practice for (Re)Vitalizing Pedagogies

Denise Hodgins, Kim Atkinson, Lynne Wanamaker 

Abstract:

This article provides an example of pedagogical collaboration among educators, children, families, materials and places. Drawing on moments of practice from the Investigating Quality (IQ) Project we share several dollchild encounters as provocations for (re)imagining and (re)engaging with pedagogy as essential, lively, ethicopolitical, and more-than-human relational encounters. We begin with an overview of the ethos that guide this model, followed by an analysis of thinking-with dolls that experiments with the potential of this model in supporting educators to collaborate, risk, grow, question, and (re)vitalize pedagogies. We conclude with some considerations about this approach as an act of social justice.

Keywords:

Pedagogical development, communities of practice, critically reflective practice, dolls, post-qualitative research


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