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Re-situating Canadian Early Childhood Education

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Edited By Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw and Larry Prochner

This book presents research exploring the potential for postfoundational theories to revitalize discussions in early childhood education. In the past two decades, postfoundation theories (e.g., postmodern, poststructural, feminist, postcolonial, etc.) have revolutionized the field of early childhood education, but at the same time, little has been written about the value and potential of this movement within the context of Canada. Postfoundational theories have the potential to disrupt normalizing early childhood education discourses that create and maintain social inequities, and to respect differences and diversities. Given the importance of diversity in Canada, it seems relevant to explore further how postfoundational theories might transform early childhood education.
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10 Resituating Practice through Teachers’ Storying of Children’s InterestsMary Caroline Rowan

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Mary Caroline Rowan

I believe that stories engage the mind, warm the heart, and open us up to the possibility of resisting institutionalized normality. In the winter of 2011, I travelled to the Tasiurvik Child Care Centre in Inukjuak in Nunavik, Arctic northern Quebec, to research the potential of learning stories in that setting (Rowan, 2011). The overarching question for this study was, What kinds of knowledge(s), linguistic identities, cultural identities, and relationships can learning stories generate? I am interested in troubling the impacts of colonialism and the imposition of Euro-Western systems. This chapter is part of that larger study and examines how, through the adoption of an approach informed by Indigenous methodologies, learning stories might become a mechanism for transformation. I argue that learning stories can be a device for validating Inuttitut language usage; revealing Inuit knowledge(s); making visible and strengthening multiple layers of relationships with people, places, and things; and positioning educators to reflect on the cultural nature of the educational endeavour—and construct culturally meaningful programming.

I begin by presenting three vignettes, which I use to connect past, present, and future thinking about Inuit education. Following, I consider contextual information pertaining to the impacts of colonialism in Canada’s Inuit communities. I then turn to a discussion of postcolonial and decolonizing theories, as well as Indigenous methodologies and action research. I also explain why I chose to use learning stories for the research project. Finally, I share two contrasting learning stories.

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