This article describes drawing events with a group of toddlers and an educator that I observed during my master’s research study. The article demonstrates how their artmaking space became a pedagogical third site in which the children, educators, and materials flourished together. First, I discuss how posthuman and new materialist perspectives in early childhood education invite consideration of how humans and more-than-humans coconstruct their experiences of mutual teaching and learning. Then, discussing some of the findings from this study, I illustrate how the art space might become a meeting place where children, educators, and materials live together. Finally, I suggest some areas for future research.
Imaginary friends or invisible companions are common features of cross-cultural childhoods. Research is primarily located in developmental psychology, where invisible companions are considered part of imaginary play. We argue for a reconceptualization of the core phenomenon, to one of regularly interacting with a person who is not normally perceptible to others, instead of uncritically adopting the dominant Euro-Western ontology of imagination. Analyzing the central experience through other branches of psychology, anthropology, religion, and spirituality shows that different fields are potentially discussing the same phenomenon, albeit obscured by disciplinary boundaries. We outline some implications of this new approach for the development of childhood studies.
This article is a study of letters written by American children to authors of juvenile fiction. It emphasizes the rhetorical and material choices children made in bridging the distance between themselves as writers and the authors who were to receive the letters. Focused on notions of convention, the study uses the theoretical concept of the slant to analyze the way the child writers conformed to conventions of writing and communication while also rendering those expectations askew. Ultimately, the stylistic techniques and content choices reveal methods children used to cocreate a world with the authors to whom they wrote.
This roundtable session initially took place as part of the international conference “Childhood, Youth, and Identity in South Asia,” organized by the Department of History, Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida, and the Centre for Publishing, Ambedkar University Delhi, India, on January 6–7, 2020.
This paper follows three student-educators’ journey with clay. Embedded in the contextual space of the studio, the paper considers the complexities and processes involved in cultivating curriculum and thinking with the idea of art as a language. Inspired by the relational materialist approach, Erin, Roselyn, and Colleen enter into a dialogue with clay—embodying one another, entangling with each other, intra-actively doing unto one another, and reaffirming that knowing things is embedded deeply in relational connectivity with the world around us—onto-epistemology. The authors journey together with clay through spinning, twirling, tornadoes, storms, music, chaos, and destruction.