Embracing uncertainty: a diffractive approach to love in the context of early childhood education and care
Young children spend an increasing amount of time in out of home care, as neuroscientific research reveals the pivotal role love and touch plays in children’s development. In response to this new knowledge, there is a growing interest in love and touch in the context of early childhood education. Sadly, cases of sexual abuse in ECEC settings have ignited fear and uncertainty among stakeholders in regards to what kind of touch and how much love is appropriate to feel for children in ECEC. Research exploring love in early childhood education tends therefore to be concerned with creating certainty in regards to love as a safe and healthy practice. This focus, though neccesary to develop knowledge about love, also silences other uncertain aspects of love in the context of early childhood education that affect early childhood educators. Drawing on Karen Barad’s diffraction methodology, this article engages a diffractive analysis and transforms educators’ solicited narratives of love in pedagogic practice into love poems. The poems attend to the overflowing quality of love as an uncertain, ephemeral phenomenon, invoking moments of pleasure and the desire to connect with children as personal matters, rather than solely professional concerns.
Aslanian, Teresa Katherine