‘Staying with the trouble’ in child-insect-educator common worlds
– New EER Article Alert
Fikile Nxumalo & Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw
Pages: 1-13 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.1325447
Classroom pet programs have become extremely popular in urban North American early childhood classrooms. This article challenges anthropocentric child-pet pedagogies by proposing common world pedagogies of ‘staying with the trouble.’ Drawing from a common world multispecies ethnography in one early childhood centre, the authors engage with the specificities of educators’ and children’s everyday practices of caring for and detaching from an introduced species of Vietnamese walking stick insects. The paper argues that the child-pet-educator relations that emerged through these practices are a site at which to trace and disentangle commodified relations of enclosure and invasion in urban nature pedagogies within anthropogenically damaged places. We conclude by suggesting that classroom pet pedagogies need to enact a more-than-human relational ethics which subverts child development discourses and unsettles children and animals as innocent couplings.
Keywords: Early childhood education, classroom pets, common world pedagogies, stick insects