SERA Early Years Network Event: Symposium – ‘Pedagogy and Play’

Invited Keynote by Professor Jayne Osgood:

Play Matters: exploring worldly connections in early childhood 

In early childhood play has long been understood as a human endeavour; and materiality is, at best, viewed as a means to facilitate play and learning. Feminist new materialist approaches though invite a different engagement with matter, one that contemplates how play might be understood as a more than human endeavour. The presentation seeks to address why a different engagement is needed and what it makes possible. Jayne will demonstrate that taking matter seriously involves pursuing tentacular lines of enquiry, which make it possible to imagine childhood as inextricably interwoven (through endless worldly connections) to non-innocent matters such as heteronormativity, capitalist manufacturing, environmental disasters and the prevalence of global pandemics. The presentation aims to provoke a different, and challenging, set of questions – about play, the child, and matter – that hold the potential to shift approaches taken in early childhood settings. Jayne argues that there is an urgent need to find (other) ways to live life on a damaged planet (Tsing et al, 2020) through seriously playful encounters that cause us to stutter, stammer and take account of, and act upon, our ethical response-abilities (Haraway, 2016). 

June 2021, Scottish Education Research Association Symposium.

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