Category Archives: Weaving together questions


Nicole Land
(this image is of my COVID kitty, Caper. Her excitement at learning that pigeons exist, as shown in this picture, feels like a good start to this post)

Along the left hand side of this page, WordPress has made for us a modest lexicon for our Moving Pedagogies work. You might need to scroll down – look for “tags” – and there you will find a roving and running vocabulary that nourishes our thinking with moving: being implicated, bordermaking, care-full, collective, death, ethics, materials, moving with, noticing, ownership, pausing, relations, responding, walking slowly. More a purposefully chaotic thesaurus than a glossary, these words that form the ever dexterous spine of our work to think about moving and pedagogy orient toward reading and wording practices concerned with tangles, overlaps, affinities, and questions. With the crisp surprise of the right synonym, the charm of a concept that shares a dwelling but that dances along the surfaces of that home with a different rhythm, this lexicon names questions of moving well together. It is not prescriptive; it adopts neither the hunt for definition that a dictionary might embody nor the indexing or cataloguing function of a glossary. What this automatically-collected array of concepts does ask of us is to remember that these words are moments and concepts. They are happenings, gatherings, collisions; these words are glued to our pedagogical intentions and commitments, and they are the glue that loses its stickiness in the name of continually calling us to return to the pedagogical contours of the moments that make a concept.

Returning is where we launch from now. It has been almost two years since our last blog post here. I would love to blame COVID-19 but that is not fair. A virus cannot dissolve a thesaurus; a pandemic can amplify proximities, both near and far, but it cannot stop the movement – the tumbles over and over and over – of concepts that are secretly questions. What our viral times can compel of us is to return, knowing that now, returning is not an act of nostalgia nor retreat but one of gentle confrontation as we ask of our lexicon: what can we do together now, here? How can we re-learn how to pay attention to the practices that manifest you, in your specificity, while also learning to notice how urgency has shifted to name different vital concerns? How do we return to these concepts that felt so acutely meaningful that we couldn’t put them down, that lived in our endlessly long email chains and our jotted down notes, and that we thought together with children, noticing how this lexicon began to take shape within and across our common and uncommon places and spaces again as we return?

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Why Care about Movement?

By Nicole Land

We opened our research with the question, why care about movement? From there, we are thinking with three entangled questions, in three different spaces: how do we do moving as communicating? How do we move well together with/in the yard? And, how do we practice noticing while walking together?

Our question – why care about movement? – amid status-quo developmental conceptions of movement in early childhood education in Ontario, is easily answered by existing documents: toddlers and preschoolers need to be physically active for at least 180 minutes per day (Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology’s 24 Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years); movement improves children’s physical development, helping children to increase their activity levels, endurance, and skills (Early Learning for Every Child Today: A framework for Ontario early childhood settings); movement is a way of showing engagement, expression, and inquiry, and supporting physical health and wellness (How Does Learning Happen: Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years). Documents beyond the province, that are offered by national physical education and kinesiology organizations, have answers as well: movement builds physical literacy and physical literacy is how children “develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to enable them to participate in a wide variety of activities” (Physical Health and Education Canada, 2019, para. 1); young children are in the “active start” phase of fostering lifelong physical activity and need to build the fundamental movement skills to support their continued physical fitness (as per the Long Term Athlete Development Framework by Sport for Life Canada). These documents stand ready to answer the question of “why care about moving”. They each hold particular universalized, application-oriented, instrumental responses: care about movement because engaging in movement properly supports children’s normative development and healthy futures. More than the answers these documents offer, it matters that these documents are so quick to present an answer – that these documents and their creators assume that “why care about movement” is a question so easily answerable, so readily resolved into best practices and developmental trajectories.

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