Slow pedagogy is all about:
Slow pedagogy – making time for children’s learning and development – YouTube
- valuing the present moment
- being attentive to children’s pace, rhythm and interests
- enabling children to revisit their ideas and creations, places and stories
- creating opportunities for children to go deeper in their learning
- supporting time for observation, listening, reflection and documentation
- encouraging unhurried everyday routines with time for wonder and care.
Alison’s research looks at a range of slow practices where there is time for both children and adults to be less hurried.
This has included the following examples where there has been time for:
Froebel Trust | Taking time back
- mealtimes to be important features of the day where there is time for young children to participate fully and be involved in the preparation, sharing food together and tidying up
- outdoor exploring with time to tune into the pace and rhythm of children
- opportunities for children to revisit the same environment and to develop a connection and sense of belonging
- stories to be invented, extended and reimagined many times
- unhurried personal everyday routines such as nappy changing
- exploring materials such as clay and wood that ‘hold time’ in a particular way and open up many possibilities for play and creativity
- projects to be developed to respond to children’s interests and concern and developed over time.
The concept of a ‘slow pedagogy of place’ has emerged from environmental/outdoor education (Payne and Wattchow 2009) connecting the values of the Slow movement with approaches to teaching about our relationship with the planet.Slow Knowledge and the Unhurried Child: Time for Slow Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education by Alison Clark
The concept of ‘being with’ is linked to finding the rhythm of the children but also attention to the ‘rhythm’ of colleagues, materials and ideas.Slow Knowledge and the Unhurried Child: Time for Slow Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education by Alison Clark
The “Going ‘off track’” section of “Slow Knowledge and the Unhurried Child: Time for Slow Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education by Alison Clark” fits our advocacy on created serendipity, rabbit holes, emergence, bricolage, designing at the edges, accommodating spiky profiles, and more.
‘Lines of flight’ drawing on Deleuze and Guattari (2004) are the moments when something unexpected breaks the expected pattern of what comes next. Olsson explains: ‘A line of flight runs like a zig-zag crack in between the other lines – and it is only these lines that, from the perspective of Deleuze and Guattari, are capable of creating something new’ (Deleuze and Guattari 2004: 238 in Olsson 2009: 58). I like the idea of children finding a zig-zag crack or track that takes them into new ideas, new connections and relationships.
‘Going off track’ in a slow pedagogy can be seen as offering possibilities. This connects with the anthropologist Tim Ingold’s concept of wayfaring (2015):
In the carrying on of the wayfarer, every destination is by the way; his path runs always in between. The movement of the navigator, by contrast, are point-to-point, and every point has been arrived at, by calculation, even before setting off towards it. (Ingold 2015: 133)
Solveig Nordtømme drew attention to the value of the in-between in our discussion:
I love the concept ‘in between’. So, I think that ‘in between’, could be one way of defining slow pedagogy because this is a small space for wondering, for a pause. . . . it’s about thinking. In between is this magic space for possibilities and entanglements. Something can emerge without knowing how and to be prepared for it.
So it’s an alternative to this technical learning instrumental approach that ‘if you use this, you will end up with this’. This is how I think about slow pedagogy -it’s not a way of doing it in a certain way but it’s open, and it’s ready for many possibilities. (Solveig Nordtømme, interview, September 2020)
A wayfarer is unafraid of the unexpected and the unknown represents possibilities rather than distractions.Slow Knowledge and the Unhurried Child: Time for Slow Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education by Alison Clark
‘A key advantage of the wayfaring metaphor is that it allows for children to take other roads on their developmental journeys, and to follow their own (emergent rather than inbuilt) timetable’ (Gallacher In Press).Slow Knowledge and the Unhurried Child: Time for Slow Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education by Alison Clark
Slow practices I regard as being present in the moment with the child/children and engaging in cocreation of what comes next – you carry your adult responsibility for the children being safe, but you support their exploration leaving your expectations and preunderstandings behind. (Persille Schwartz, interview, September 2020)Slow Knowledge and the Unhurried Child: Time for Slow Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education by Alison Clark