Infants’ Practices: Shaping (and Shaped by) the Arrangements of Early Childhood Education
Research about infant pedagogy is often restricted to educators’ espoused beliefs and interpretations, with a limited view into how those beliefs might be enacted in practice and potentially impact on babies’ lived experiences. This chapter examines infants’ practices in early childhood education (ECE) contexts, and the arrangements of ECE practice that enable and constrain them. Drawing on data generated from the author’s doctoral study, the chapter considers the conceptions of educators as among the practice architectures which shape infants’ practices. How educators’ conceptions of infants’ capabilities manifest in their sayings, doings, and relatings is briefly explored. The primary focus on infants’ subsequent practices reveals the potential impact of the practice architectures of ECE on opportunities for babies’ learning, and adds to existing literature about infants’ lived experiences in ECE settings. Infants’ practices are not only shaped by the practice architectures of ECE, they also shape the practices of educators and, so, the practice architectures of their particular setting. Implications for the agency of infants in actively contributing to their lived experiences in ECE settings are discussed.
KeywordsEarly Childhood Education Bodily Expression Social Capability Solitary Play Practice Architecture
I would like to acknowledge and thank my supervisors, Professors Jennifer Sumsion and Linda Harrison and Associate Professor Fran Press, for their invaluable mentorship. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the editors of this book for their ongoing support and the critical feedback that helped re-shape this chapter.
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