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Collaborative Cartography Mapping of the Encounter between Neuroscience and Preschool Practices
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3688-4357
2018 (English)In: European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry: Second Edition - Nomadic Inquiry: Abstracts, 2018, p. 68-68Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This presentation takes its starting point in curiosity among preschool teachers and staff in a municipality outside Stockholm, about what the neurosciences might have to offer their practices of literacy education.  Deriving from an invitation from practitioners to researchers, a project was designed based on a shared agreement on a ‘joint matter of concern’ (Stengers, 2008, Lenz Taguchi, 2017). The agreement was to explore what the encounter with neuroscientific knowledge might do (or not) to everyday practices, and what possible beneficial effects this might have.

The study was organized in periods when the researcher was alternately participating in everyday preschool practices and in staff meetings. Documentations of children´s activities, made by the teachers and the researcher, were discussed and reflected upon during the staff meetings, together with excerpts from neuroscientific research. Major lines of articulation, converging around a core problem concerning the didactic conflicts between enhancing learning processes in the group and individual children respectively, were collaboratively constructed and put on the ‘map’. These were then actively put to play to be disrupted and deterritorialized, making ways for new diverging lines and potential reconfigured forms of literacy practices.

These encounters between neuroscience and preschool practices were performed as collaborative cartography mapping exercises, inspired by Deleuze and Guattari. When enacting these exercises during staff meetings, the dominating lines of articulation that seemed to inform the practices as well as the research excerpts were brought to the fore to creatively experiment with.

For example, the previously common hesitation towards psychology could be reconfigured when encountering neuroscientific findings of children’s reoccurring cycles of learning and development as complex and unpredictable patterns (Fischer, 2011). Importantly, the rupturing and reconfigurations was different for different teachers, depending on what theories that was taught when they were educated. Another example of a deterritorialization with theoretical as well as didactic implications was how neuroscientific research on brain plasticity constituted a diverging line from the classic and troubling nature-nurture binary. The weary question about the extent to which genetic disposition, or the nurturing social circumstances, play the more significant role than the other, could eventually be replaced with discussing how nature-nurture might rather be intrinsically entangled and co-constituted.

The collaborative cartography mapping performed in this study shows that it is possible to reconfigure dominant lines of thinking in new productive and empowering ways together with preschool staff. This methodology is essentially about materializing theories of science and learning in a way that is situated and closely connected to the practices. Moreover, it also makes possible a practice of extending the didactic repertoire, contrary to having to choose the ‘better’ epistemology and method for teaching.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. p. 68-68
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Early Childhood Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-153146OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-153146DiVA, id: diva2:1184023
Conference
2nd European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Leuven, Belgium, 6-9 February, 2018
Available from: 2018-02-20 Created: 2018-02-20 Last updated: 2018-06-27Bibliographically approved

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