In May 2019, the Early Childhood Pedagogy Network (ECPN) and Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC) hosted Professor Silvana Calaprice from the University of Bari, Italy, for Pedagogy and the Role of a Pedagogista: A Perspective. This exposure event featured Dr. Randa Khattar moderating a discussion between Silvana and Dr. Cristina D. Vintimilla, York University, Canada. In this conversation, Silvana asserts that pedagogy is a social science, which has implications for the pedagogist role. In the following three audio clips, Silvana grapples with the ethical particularities of what pedagogical work is through exploring how pedagogists are implicated in their work.
In the first clip, Silvana offers three vital questions for pedagogists:
What concept of the human and of the child do I hold?
With what histories, knowledges, worldviews, philosophies, and relations do I build my understanding of the child?
How does my concept of the child shape my actions (and possibilities for my actions) as a pedagogist?
The Work Of Pedagogists
In the second clip, Silvana asserts that pedagogy is a particular mode of study, one that is concerned with thinking education as a way of knowing and navigating worlds. Emphasizing the importance of considering subject formation as central to pedagogical work, she asks:
What subjectivities do we want to cultivate to bring something generative into the life of a collective?
How do we care for transformational relationships within our particular contexts?
How do we create educational processes that open up possibilities for living well together in these times?
What is Pedagogy?
In the third clip, Silvana insists that pedagogy stands for particular political commitments: Specifically, pedagogy refuses to apply neoliberal, status-quo models of doing early childhood education. Silvana offers the concept of “pedagogical energy,” which propels one to continue researching, wondering and, always, living with questions. She describes the role of the pedagogist as complex, difficult, and always in response to fraught contexts. To be response-able as a pedagogist is to be accountable to our pedagogical commitments and orientations while being in relation to children, and others, in particular local contexts. Fundamental to pedagogical work is crafting and naming our pedagogical commitments, which raises the following questions:
Do I believe in what I do?
What do I bring to this work?
Why do I hold these orientations within this place, when I hold to questions of living well together?
How do I enact these commitments in response-able relations?