'Imagining if': Possibilistic philosophy in contemplation of proto learners in ECE

Year: 2019

Author: White, E., Jayne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Possibilistic philosophy heralds an optimistic stance that leaves modernist and postmodernist for dust in order to contemplate educational futures. Dispensing with tedious ruminations concerning 'truth vs post-truth', 'human vs non-human', 'critical vs activist' tussles, possibilistic philosophy orients towards potentiation "based on a proliferation of virtual and alternative realities in the contemporary world" (Epstein, 2012, p. 258). Such polyphonic forms of thinkability have the potential to unleash multiple educational worlds concerned with 'ifs' rather than 'is's or 'oughts'. In this polyphonic quest young learners are seen within nascent worlds of becoming that are characterised by interanimating proto-modalities (global, virtual, machine and so on). In this presentation we will start to imagine what this world might look like in early childhood education contexts if we were to take it seriously, and what teacher responses might be if we were to dispense with lamenting what already is to 'imagining if' through the eyes of children.