Feminist theorizings (see Haraway, 2008; Puig de la Bellacasa, 2012; van Doreen, 2014) have helped to shape an ethic of care that recognizes care beyond human centered accounts and strategies, as steeped in relationality and interdependence, and as at once private, public andpolitically charged. I mobilize this material feminist ethic of care as I think with the ethico-political and more-than-human relations situated with/in the ordinary routine encounters in early childhood.
Puig de la Bellacasa (2011) suggests that, “caring is more about a transformative ethos than an ethical application. We need to ask ‘how to care’ in each situation” (p. 100). Caring pedagogies grapple with pedagogy as/with/in more-than-human relationality to disrupt (child and futurity centred) developmental interpretations of pedagogical encounters; (re)situate early childhood curriculum within colonial, material, affective, and embodied entanglements; and be called into response (Haraway, 2008). Being called in response is not simple or straightforward, and never outside of political and ethical consequences. But as “an affective state, a material vital doing, and an ethico-political obligation” (Puig de la Bellacasa, 2011, p. 90), my suggestion is that caring as a transformative ethos may well provide avenues for pedagogy to engage in the present, while being response-able to/for that which we have inherited, and committed to flourishing yet-to-come.
B. Denise Hodgins