Chapter 1. Can I Rethink My Kindergarten Teaching?
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For many early childhood teachers and professionals, interacting with children about complex and contested issues is fraught with feelings of uneasiness and anxiety. For an unfortunately small number of other teachers, an openness to challenging dominant societal beliefs is considered important if this questioning leads to classroom interactions and pedagogical behaviors that can increase acceptance of diversity with/for children. This book is about one kindergarten teacher’s attempts to reframe classroom power relations—to be willing to challenge the accepted and suitable definition of the “good” teacher—to be willing to be labeled a “bad” teacher if students can benefit from perspectives and interactions that have not been labeled good, developmentally appropriate, or acceptable. I am that kindergarten teacher.
Living with diverse cultures, identities, knowledges, and ways of being in the world, some early childhood educators have called on a variety of approaches and perspectives to meet these positive yet complex challenges of diversity and multiplicity (Grieshaber & Cannella, ← 1 | 2 →2001). The reconceptualization movement in early childhood education has brought about new spaces and lenses through which a different way of thinking about children as subjects has emerged. Looking at early childhood educational practices through diverse feminisms, poststructural, and critical lenses, teachers have, and can, reflexively consider their own positions within discourses and ways that normalizing is unconsciously perpetuated and marginalizes those who are perceived as different.
In our current context, the ways early childhood teachers see, understand, and respond to young children’s work, play, and...
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