Interview with Sylvia Kind
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What might a decentered approach to doing research with children look like in “practice”? Our interview with Sylvia Kind took place in her studio at Capilano University in Vancouver BC. We had both read Encounters with Materials in Early Childhood Education (Pacini-Ketchabaw, Kind, & Kocher, 2017) and were curious about the role that materials play in enacting other childhoods. We walked into Sylvia’s studio and were inspired by how certain materials could prompt different lines of inquiry with children. However, it was not until we observed Sylvia with the children in the studio that we both experienced an “a-ha!” moment. As an alterierista and early childhood educator, we took note as Sylvia carefully attended to children’s engagements with the materiality of their surroundings—the fabrics that hung from the ceiling, the knitted accessories that served as “cooking” instruments for the children. Sylvia’s slow, attentive pedagogy centered on children’s engagements in a way that did not diminish their own agency but took into account how they were coming into being through her studio. As Sylvia discussed with us, however, this is more than a child-centered approach, as she often comes with particular interests and questions in mind. This is detailed through our conversation about Cinnamon Bear—a life-sized bear that was slowly introduced to the children, until it made an entry into the classroom. From beginning to end we came to understand what she meant by saying that the studio was not only a place or a container where children gather to make artwork, but most importantly, the studio emerged from the encounters between children and the arrange of materials available to them.
- Kind, S. (2018). Collective Improvisations: The emergence of the early childhood studio as an event-full place. In C. Schulte, C. Thompson (Eds.), Communities of Practice: Art, Play, and Aesthetics in Early Childhood. Landscapes: The Arts, Aesthetics, and Education (pp. 5–21). Singapore: Springer.Google Scholar
- Kind, S., & Lee, C. (2017). Moon bear and the night butterfly. In M. J. Binder, S. Kind (Eds.), Drawing as Language: Celebrating the Work of Bob Steele. (pp. 101–116). Transdisciplinary Studies. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
- Pacini-Ketchabaw, V., Kind, S., & Kocher, L. (2017). Encounters with materials in early childhood education. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar