Block play, the sand pit and the doll corner: the (dis)ordering materialities of educating young children
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Recent reconceptualisations of preschool education have tended to treat its role in ordering and subjectifying children with some suspicion. This paper is an attempt to produce a less determined and thereby more hopeful, or at least ambivalent, account of the processes of subjectification by reexamining the peculiar materiality of the nursery. I attempt to redeploy nursery education’s traditional emphasis on experiential and environmental learning towards thinking in terms of a performative and affective pedagogy of the event (largely inspired by Deleuze). In so-doing, I conceive of a different kind of ‘interactive pedagogy’ which enacts myriad encounters and becomings. This reconfigures the relationship between subject and object such that both are understood as continually emergent and constitutionally indeterminate. Thinking in this way is to embrace the disordering that lurks within the very processes of ordering. In this sense, subjectification may not be ‘innocent’. but it is necessary nevertheless.