Comparative and International Education GroupCIEGUN

Multiple worlds in a preschool: Children’s place making in a globalising world

  • Researcher(s): Dr Zsuzsa Millei (CIEGUN) in collaboration with children at Kurri Kurri Preschool, Jannelle Gallagher Director of Kurri Kurri Preschool and Sandii Walker Artist.
  • Funding: School of Education, University of Newcastle (2013) Jean Denton Memorial Scholarship (2014 to 2015).
  • Year(s): 2013 to 2015

The Multiple Worlds in a Preschool project is about our place making; about the knots of our worlds and multiple stories of the global that exist in everyday lives in a preschool.

Our aim is to reconfigure our communities as children's places, where we prefigure the world we want to see through our negotiations based on adults' stories of place as children and children's stories at the present. Our place-making in our community with children is about our co-presence, relationships and stories that make the place our place and form our community.

Multiple worlds in a preschool exhibitionThe project engages in the discussion that concerns the local groundedness of the global. Readings of Doreen Massey and Tim Ingold's theorizing are applied to the ways in which we are making 'sense of place' and do 'place-making' with children in a preschool in Australia. 

According to Massey (2005), qualities of places are products of coalescing and colliding chains of events and movements that generally occur more widely than the place itself - often at different sites or scales, or perhaps different realms and times for children. 

These chains or 'trajectories' imprint places with layers of inferences and practices and give rise to interpreted histories, spatial connotations and imaginaries. Accordingly, they help actors to develop a 'sense of place' and engage with processes of 'place making' by endowing places with meaning and practices. 

Space for Massey (2005) or 'lifeworld' for Ingold (2011) is a domain of co-presence, of relationships-in-practice, of the entanglement of multiple lifelines as they become caught up with one another in going their respective ways. 

Thus, the 'lifeworld' of a preschool is a host of different stories where these multiple stories become caught up with other lifelines on path to distant places or cultures or knot together at a place bringing in time and again vistas with horizons to the global.

Multiple world in a preschool project 

References:

Ingold, T. (2011) Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description. London & New York: Routledge

Massey, D. (2005) For Space. London, UK: Sage