Toronto Metropolitan University
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Exploring the role of Black feminist thought in pre-service Early Childhood Education: on the possibilities of embedded transformative change

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posted on 2023-01-09, 18:22 authored by Janelle BradyJanelle Brady

As a Black feminist scholar who teaches in an early childhood studies program, the author has witnessed how dominant theories and methods used for pre-service early childhood education and care disconnect students from their lived experiences. The detachment of social location in theoretical text, and particularly in developmental discourse, is not isolated to the field; it is instead a result of the fragmentation of knowledge, which is central in the modern colonial project. The author explores what the possibilities are for Black feminist scholarship in pre-service early childhood education and care while unpacking the many racial and intersecting injustices in the field. The dominant research and pedagogy practices in early childhood education and care have limitations, with omissions of the nuances of the critical engagement of students, families and community more broadly through lived experience. When assumptions of detached and ‘objective’ knowledge are centred, then ideas that challenge norms and the status quo are omitted or peripheralized, when they are included. The article explores the possibilities of what the author calls ‘embedded transformative change’ – a change that is central to pedagogy and research in the field of early childhood education and care as opposed to being placed at the margins. Through embedded transformative change, members of pre-service early childhood education and care programs can think of themselves as active agents in change and liberation.