The Ethics of Care
Preface Several years ago I travelled through rural Kenya as a novice researcher. My usual means of transport was on foot or via a matatu or bus. Matatus are large vans used for public transport – the music is loud, the paint jobs are trendy, and the company comprises as many persons, chickens, and goats that will fit. On one particular day following an extended journey on a number of vehicles to the Rift Valley, I dismount the matutu nearby the school grounds. I weave through dozens of children playing in the courtyard toward the of fice of the head teacher. This is my second visit to the school – the first being primarily to introduce myself and sort out permissions for my inquiry. We greet each other and the head teacher informs me that many teachers are away at a seminar and since there are no replacement educators the children are all out on the playing fields. As I amble through to the field, I see clusters of children thrashing sisal, weaving baskets, creating orbs with which to play, boxing, running, skip- ping, f lipping, jumping, singing, dancing, clapping, laughing. Hundreds of children are playing on the fields without any adult supervision. They are engaged. They are caring for each other. There is no fighting, no bul- lying, no anger that I can decipher. Hours of informal learning take place without incident. The children enact a form of self-governance. This vignette is not a familiar sight. In Westernized cultures, fears of...
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