Refuse. Resist. Rebuild.
This is my one year anniversary piece of writing for Anarchy and the EYLF Pirates and it feels like a time to reflect on our blog, aspirations and hopes.
We- Grainne, Jeanne and myself, Awilda- started this blog because we wanted to talk about the Early Years Learning Framework. Our thoughts about it and our practices with it were not being told through other media. We didn’t see our ideas represented in official or unofficial discourses about the EYLF. And so we decided- let’s make a space to tell our own ideas. Let’s create a space where we can speak about our thinking and practices and reflections differently.
This has been an important space for me. This space helps me to poke, crack, disrupt and shake the dominant discourses that try to shape how I teach, educate, care, think and practice. It’s like my very own Fractured Fairytale.
I can’t really overstate the importance to me. For a long time, I never really found a way to ‘belong’ within the dominant discourses of early childhood. I always felt like I was getting it wrong, that I couldn’t understand children and their education in the ‘proper’ way, that I wasn’t the good educator I thought I should be, that I wanted to welcome all these radical ideas that perhaps were not ‘developmentally appropriate’. Over the years, I found mentors- some in person, some through their research and writing- that helped me realise that my ideas and thinking and teaching had a place in early childhood. And many of these ideas have found conceptualisation through my blog writings. Many of them have found conceptualisation through my teaching and research as my ‘real self’. Some of these ideas I am yet to speak because they haven’t found a place yet where I can conceptualise them.
Part of my aspirations for Anarchy & the EYLF Pirates is to write about theories. To explore and talk about the theories that have helped me disrupt the dominant discourses I feel are smothering me. Or the theories that have indeed shown me that the dominant discourses can be cracked. I hope to do a lot more of this in our next years.
Recently, I was reading “A critical analysis of the National Quality Framework: Mobilising a vision for children beyond minimum standards” by Marianne Fenech, Miriam Giugni and Kathryn Bown. It’s a great article- try and track it down if you can. There was a Michel Foucault quote in there which has resonated with me, struck me through my thinking, attached itself to the centre of my teaching. It goes like this:
“We are just private individuals here, with no other grounds for speaking, or for speaking together, than a certain shared difficulty in enduring what is taking place … Who appointed us, then? No one. And that is precisely what constitutes our right.” (Foucault, 1994, p. 474)
No-one asked us to speak. We just decided that we needed to. I hope you join us for many more conversations.
© Awilda Longstocking 2014
Anarchy & the EYLF Pirates
Refuse. Resist. Rebuild.