Practices/8, New Zealand: attentive encounters: infant and toddler participation in an early childhood community

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This chapter provides a brief overview of relevant literature around infant and toddler participation to outline current understandings, and their possibilities and limitations, for very young children’s self-determination in early childhood education. Possibilities are further explored with the introduction of a research project in the context of New Zealand. Specifically, a brief encounter between a baby and an educator is described to argue that adults’ perception of babies’ capabilities both limit and open up possibilities for young children’s agency. In other words, the chapter encourages the view that often too much is assumed when it comes to very young children’s participation and self-determination. Admitting to uncertainty is possibly a way forward to enable unexpected encounters and surprising participation to emerge in pedagogical practice and research with babies and toddlers. Such an approach supports the unsettling of assumptions about very young children’s capabilities and opens spaces for less adult-centric understandings of babies and toddlers as learners.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChildren’s Self-determination in the Context of Early Childhood Education and Services
Subtitle of host publicationDiscources, Policies and Practices
EditorsFederico Farini, Angela Scollan
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9783030145569
ISBN (Print)9783030145552
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameInternational Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development
ISSN (Print)2468-8746
ISSN (Electronic)2468-8754

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