Nancy van Groll, M.A.


Through the kaleidoscope: A common worlds attunement to lively child-place relationships


The realities of living and learning in times of climate precarity require educators working with young children to readjust and reconceptualize their approaches to early childhood pedagogy. Using a narrative methodological approach informed by a common worlds theoretical framework, research was undertaken at a forest preschool in coastal British Columbia to surface and assemble rich, detailed and relational insight into child-place relationships. The stories told and retold suggest opportunities to deconstruct and resist romantic and capitalistic assumptions of nature as pedagogical or developmental resource, and present place-conscious pedagogies as a way to resist human exceptionalism. Opportunities to re-examine and respond to ethical complexities of education in 21st century contexts are explored. Learnings from this work could inform early childhood educators while they make pedagogical choices, inspire researchers to pursue similar lines of inquiry, and motivate policy makers to reconsider what is important in decision-making in the early years.

Supervisory Committee:

  • Dr. Janet Jamieson (Supervisor)
  • Dr. Margot Filipenko
  • Dr. Iris Berger
  • Dr. Susan Gerofsky (External Examiner)