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The art of displacement – curating a preschool context in a public transport system
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1390-4431
2019 (English)In: Children's Geographies, ISSN 1473-3285, E-ISSN 1473-3277Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article discusses ways of enabling the youngest children at preschool (1–3 years) to participate in creating space in the public transport system. One researcher, two preschool educators and six preschool toddlers travelled on foot, by bus and by underground train to the Brunkeberg tunnel, a pedestrian tunnel in the centre of Stockholm, Sweden. Drawing on artistic site-specific methods of displacement, this article details three propositions for how to ‘do’ preschool in the public transport system: locations, dimensions and positions. By placing the routines and rhythms of a preschool practice into the urban spaces of transport, the ‘miniature preschool’ comes to curate context. The article proposes methods for a preschool practice to curate context through activating mobile but particular locations within a specific place; creating a vocal mobile architecture; and enabling multiple and mobile positions within one specific situation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Preschool, curating context, displacement, locations, dimensions, positions
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Early Childhood Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-173363DOI: 10.1080/14733285.2019.1668913ISI: 000487025100001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-173363DiVA, id: diva2:1353306
Available from: 2019-09-23 Created: 2019-09-23 Last updated: 2020-01-16
In thesis
1. A preschool that brings children into public spaces: Onto-epistemological research methods of vocal strolls, metaphors, mappings and preschool displacements
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A preschool that brings children into public spaces: Onto-epistemological research methods of vocal strolls, metaphors, mappings and preschool displacements
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The interest of this doctoral thesis in early childhood education concerns the discourse on the need to integrate as well as include the youngest children in society. The overall purpose is to produce methodological experimentations on the possibilities of constructing a preschool which facilitates for preschool and preschool children to be present and take place in, and thereby participate in the construction of public spaces, together with other actors and the places themselves. The aim is to experiment with displacing preschool practices from their institutionalised place into public spaces, inspired by various site-specific artistic place-based methods, in order to develop situated onto-epistemological research methods for early childhood education research. These emerging methods aim to enhance interaction between the preschool institution – including the children – and public spaces, as spaces of societal interaction and transaction between different actors.

The preschool institution was founded in a modernist era which set out to construct a society that could offer safe and appropriate places for all citizens. The institutional preschool was organised as such a separate and reserved place for children in society, but the physical preschool walls and doors simultaneously separate children from the non-institutional places of society – the public places. The public space upholds the potential for interaction, exchange and public action for change.

In the empirical fieldwork enacted for this project, I as a researcher, a group of the youngest preschool children (1-3 years), and a number of educators, enacted together so-called vocal strolls in the public transport system in Stockholm. The research project functions as a method-producing practice, where children’s places – the preschool practices – are brought into adult’s places – public spaces – outside the preschool. The study thus produces emerging and situated – in situ – research methods in collaboration with a preschool (and its children and practices) and the public spaces we encountered and interacted with. The thesis takes an onto-epistemological theoretical stance, to define the research, not as separated from the world, but as one of many practices collaborating in the production of methods on how to take place in public spaces (cf. Stengers, 2018; Barad, 2007).

The thesis consists of three published research papers which delineate vocal strolls, vocal mappings, metaphors and displacements as early childhood education research methods that facilitate a preschool which enables children to take place in public spaces. The onto-epistemological research methods which emerged in this study have been inspired by artistic site-specific practices, which have a long tradition of developing methods on how to move art out from art institutions, e.g. museums, galleries and art-studios. These research methods are embodied methods, which produce a direct knowledge and always transform in relation to the situation and the spatial conditions of a place. Vocal metaphors, strolls, mappings and displacements are constructed in the process of collaboration between multiple different ways of enacting a place and being enacted by the place. This study has shown the possibility of developing place-based research methods for early childhood education research with the aim of understanding how they might transform our notions and practices of preschool.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Child and Youth Studies, Stockholm University, 2020. p. 126
Keywords
early childhood education, onto-epistemological research methods, site-specific art practices, construction of public space, vocal strolls, vocal mappings, displacements, metaphors as methods, democratic participation
National Category
Didactics Pedagogy
Research subject
Early Childhood Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176333 (URN)978-91-7797-747-6 (ISBN)978-91-7797-748-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-01-31, hörsalen, Frescati backe, Svante Arrhenius väg 21 A, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-01-08 Created: 2019-12-02 Last updated: 2019-12-13Bibliographically approved

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