A dialogue on dialogues: Philosophical engagement in early childhood education Event as iCalendar

(LDPP, Seminars, Research Seminars)

05 February 2019

4:30 - 5:30pm

Venue: J2 Lecture Theatre

Location: Epsom Campus, 74 Epsom Avenue, Auckland 1023

Cost: Free. Refreshments served after the seminar.

Website: Register

Early childhood workers with children

In this seminar, led by Viktor Johansson (Södertörn University) and Andrew Gibbons (Auckland University of Technology), participants are invited to explore ideas on the child as a philosopher, in order to reflect on forms of meaning-making.

The philosopher Stanley Cavell argues that in encountering children’s hard questions, “I may take the occasion to throw myself back upon my culture, and ask why we do what we do, judge as we judge, how we arrived at these crossroads.” Cavell goes on suggest that in such philosophical encounters with childhood, “I have to bring my own language and life into imagination.” In these encounters the early childhood centre community is engaged in the rich and enduring questions concerning life.

Taking Cavell’s work as a provocation for the ways in which adults engage with a child’s experimentation with language, Jeff Frank shows how teachers might productively step back from, and respond differently to, the ways in which children experiment with the making of meaning. Through careful attention to children’s dialogue, the essence of making meaning can be sensed.

The session will begin with some questions about Cavell’s work and what it offers to early childhood research and practice. The questions of interest in this seminar are open questions, avoiding the idea that there is any kind of instrumental approach to working with children as philosophers, but at the same time recognising that through both reflection and dialogue we can get excited by the possibilities of more meaningful and enduring connections with people, places and things.

Numbers on a wall

Viktor Johansson, PhD, is Senior Lecturer in Pedagogy at Södertörn University in Sweden. He has worked on issues in philosophy of education, in particular on the role of children’s literature in philosophy and early childhood education, as well as on pedagogical relations between children and adults. He has recently published Literature and Philosophical Play in Early Childhood Education: A Humanities Based Approach to Research and Practice (Routledge, 2019) and Filosofi i tidig barndom: Omedelbarhetens pedagogik (Gleerups, 2019).

Andrew Gibbons is an early childhood teacher educator and associate professor at the School of Education, Auckland University of Technology. His research focuses on the construction and experience of the early childhood teaching profession, drawing upon the philosophy of early childhood education and the philosophy of technology. His book The Matrix Ate My Baby (Sense Publishers) critiques the role of new media in early childhood education. In Education, Ethics and Existence: Camus and the Human Condition (Routledge, co-authored with Peter Roberts and Richard Heraud), he explores the contribution of Albert Camus for the critique of schooling. Andrew is Executive-Editor of ELearning and Digital Media, and Associate Editor of the Encyclopaedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory and of Educational Philosophy and Theory.