Tag Archives: responding

Grieving Cut Trees

Nicole Land thinking with Maria Wysocki, Selena Ha, Andrea Thomas, and Alicja Frankowski

Recently, there was a significant cutting of trees in the yard. Some of the trees we have thought very carefully with were removed.

As I was thinking about our relations to trees, I was reminded of Natasha Myers’ work. I’ve attached one very short article by her, called. For Myers (2017), “gardens are sites where it is possible to get a feel for the momentum that propels people to involve themselves with plants” (p. 297). She speaks about the human-centred ways we currently have of thinking about gardens: humans plan, design, and care for gardens; they are the master and primary care-er *for* a garden. Myers links that to the Anthropocene, which connects to our conversations about stewardship, as the talks about this assumption that humans can solve human-created problems by finding better fixes and pre-empting anticipated plant catastrophes (I’m thinking about the trees Andrea described getting cut down along her street in the name of preventing a parasite they didn’t even yet have).

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‘Doing’ Borders Together?

Nicole Land thinking with Maria Wysocki, Selena Ha, Andrea Thomas, and Alicja Frankowski

We’ve been thinking with the idea of bordermaking, and how our bordermaking practices create certain possibilities for being and moving together in the sand (and beyond): how do we do borders? Why do we make borders? What do our borders create or shut down? How do we practice borders? Why? With what materials, ideas, intentions? How do the borders we make shape how we move together?

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Moving and Care

Nicole Land thinking with Sanja Todorovic and Jajiba Chowdhury

Sanja proposed that we might think of moving as a way of working with an idea together, as we’ve been thinking with moving that happens with the side-by-side slides in the yard. I think this is really interesting and something to think with. Moving as grappling with an idea or concept or tension together; not as medium to resolve that tension or fully understand or learn a concept, but instead paying attention to how our movements become a way of thinking collectively about the complex relations we encounter in everyday moments. Moving as something complicated, not just physical or outcome-oriented. I am thinking, for example, of the ‘ideas’ that were present last week with the slide: care, negotiation, obstacles/interferences, proximity/closeness, energy/wildness, together and common/shared movements, and creating. These are complicated ideas, and often things that developmental theory might tell us are too complex for toddlers to think with, but through moving we do grapple together with these big, complex ideas. I think there are probably multiple other ideas we could pay attention to with the slide too. 

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What does Running do?

Nicole Land thinking with Sanja Todorovic and Jajiba Chowdhury

In a toddler classroom, we began by being curious about running and thinking with questions of running and of what running ‘does’; what running creates, what running produces, what running invites, what consequences running generates. This makes me curious about how we get to know running. With what ideas or concepts or inheritances or relations do we build our understandings of what running does or how running happens with children? For me, when I try to name how I understand running, I think often about space and I consider running in relation to spatial considerations: running around bookshelves, running across tile floors, running in tight quarters. Another familiar way that I understand running is in relation to place: running on slippery grass, running across crosswalks, running on really hot days. My phys-ed training always makes me think too about running as gross motor skill: running as a form of locomotion, as an activity that happens at a high intensity, as a way to exercise our bodies. Space, place, and motor skills are then, for me, familiar ways of getting to know running, and they all have particular consequences for how I notice running, how I interpret running, and how I create conditions (spaces, rules, relations) for (or not for) running.  

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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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