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Member Forum 1: Troubling place and reconciliation pedagogies in early chil...

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Forum 1 | Thursday 27 July | 3pm to 5pm

Troubling place and reconciliation pedagogies in early childhood education

Research Project findings presented by Mat Jakobi, Catherine Hamm, and Mindy Blaise, Victoria University

Designed for: Early childhood teachers, educators and professionals working with children and families from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds

Eligibility/cost:
FREE for fkaCS Members
*Member Forum launch special offer - Limited release tickets (FREE) for non-members

About the presenters:
As walkers, talkers, and place makers, Mat, Catherine, and Mindy come to the project in different ways...

Mat Jakobi, an Aboriginal teacher educator at Victoria University brings a commitment to embedding Aboriginal standpoints in early childhood teacher education, research and practice. Importantly, within these standpoints are the overarching concerns for sovereignty and self determination.

Catherine Hamm comes to this project as a white settler woman, but also with a connection to the Victorian Aboriginal community. As a lecturer at Victoria University, she is interested in the role of place in (re)centring Aboriginal knowledges as part of everyday practice in early childhood education.

Mindy Blaise, professor of early childhood education at Victoria University, is an Australian-American settler woman, and has lived in Melbourne for 12 years. However, place never feels quite ‘right’ to her. She comes to this project with a history of and commitment to troubling the developmental, racist, (hetero) sexist, and imperialist knowledge base that dominates early childhood education.

Forum summary:
Australia has many layers of colonial inscription that are not always visible and these layers create a mixture of knowledges that have been remapped over a much longer history of Aboriginal knowing. In more recent times early childhood education has sought to pedagogically reconcile Australian practices, but as we argue, educators are troubled in placing Aboriginal ways of doing and being within and against the multicultural, diversity, and developmental discourses that have dominated the field.

Making Aboriginal knowledges visible requires a shift in how we understand place in early childhood education. To trouble place as a pretty and safe back drop for children to play in, master, or learn about, we propose that different kinds of practices are required to recognise and think-with the local places in which children live, learn and grow.

In our work together, we sought potential new cosmologies that include engaging with the tensions that come when Aboriginal perspectives are foregrounded, rather than ‘included’ or ‘bolted on’ in everyday curriculum and pedagogy. Rather than seeking neat research outcomes, that could clearly identify a pathway to pedagogical reconciliation we acknowledged and worked with the multiple and sometimes conflicting standpoints of the research team, and paid attention to how Land generated these dialogues.

By experimenting with a walking, dialoguing, and placing methodology, we show how an Australian Aboriginal teacher educator and two settler white women are dialoguing in ways that scratch at the layers of inscription that are present in the Australian landscape. Three critical placing practices (engaging, scratching, and (re)centrering) will be presented as a dialogic performance and as a strategy to make visible the processes of troubling place and reconciliation pedagogies in early childhood education.

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