Book Review: Paulina Semenec, The University of British Columbia, Canada
Materials are often valued for what can be done with/to them. In early childhood classrooms, educators
and children are accustomed to working with materials in ways that foreclose experimentation;
what a material can do and what can be done with it are already presumed beforehand. Paper is drawn
or painted on. Blocks are used for building and so on. In their book Encounters with Materials in
Early Childhood Education (2017), Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw, Sylvia Kind and Laurie L.M.
Kocher work against such static conceptualizations of materials. As they write in the opening pages
of their book, they treat materials ‘as active and participatory’ (p. 2), and in turn, they are interested
in exploring the encounters that certain materials make possible in the context of an early childhood
daycare centre. Informed by the pedagogical thinking of Reggio Emilia, artists and scholars such as
Lenz Taguchi (2010) and Deleuze and Guattari (1987), this book asks what thinking with materials
might produce (p. 5). In this way, their book resists interpretive logic and instead, moves towards
experimentation. Please click the link below to read the full review.