Other Voices in Younger Children's Body-Play: Artur and The Cone Tree
Patricia McCaffrey, Institute of Technology, Sligo
This paper draws on observations of two particular events of experimental body-play from ongoing research with primary school children aged 4 -6 years in the context of physical education. An event in Deleuzian (1994) thinking constitutes an effect in the encounters between different bodies and matter (Hultman and Taguchi, 2010).
Embracing methodological multiplicity and interdisciplinarity to study play through new research practices (Jones and Holmes, 2014), I juxtapose narrative inquiry alongside post-humanist ideas to consider the material and the affective. Narrative inquiry was chosen as a suitably relational and porous methodology to run alongside a post-humanist perspective, with a relational ontology.
A microscopic analysis (Osgood, 2014) of children┐s emplaced experimental body-play reveals multiple interacting agents (other voices), affects, encounters and sensations. This way of doing space (Jones, 2013) offers children increased power to act, resist, transgress and to queer ways of bodily be(com)ing with people and things (Lenz Taguchi, 2014; Osgood, 2014).
Matter matters (Barad, 2007) and these events demonstrate how children┐s relationships with and through things ┐open up possibilities for some (thing) else to become possible┐ (Jones, 2013, p. 608) counteracting the idea of bodies being performed to perfection, doing functional body movements (Lenz Taguchi, 2014). When working with young children, as adults, we need to consider ways to make space for children to experience and explore body-play within their multiple be(com)ings (Braidotti, 2013).
Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of matter and Meaning. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Braidotti, R. (2013). The Posthuman. Cambridge Malden, MA: Polity Press.
Deleuze, G. (1994). Difference and Repetition. (Trans. Paul Patton.) New York: Colombia University Press.
Hultman, K., & Lenz Taguchi, H. (2010) ┐Challenging anthropocentric analysis of visual data: A relational materialist methodological approach to educational research┐, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 23(5), 525-542.
Jones, E. (2013). ┐Children┐s encounter with things: Schooling the body┐, Qualitative Inquiry, 19(8): 604-610.
Jones, E., & Holmes, R., (2014) Studying Play through New Research Practices in (Eds) Brooker, L., Blaise, M., Edwards, S., The Sage Handbook of Play and Learning in Early Childhood, Sage Publishers, London.
Lenz Taguchi, H. (2014) New Materialisms and Play, in (Eds) Brooker, L., Blaise, M., Edwards, S., The Sage Handbook of Play and Learning in Early Childhood, Sage Publications, London.
Osgood, J. (2014) Reconfiguring Play: material feminist possibilities to reimagine gender in early childhood, in (ed) Moyles, J., The Excellence of Play.