Dr. Candace Kuby, University of Missouri
October 24, 2011
“Understanding an Early Childhood Inquiry Curriculum through Crystallizing Autoethnography, Practitioner Research, and a Critical Performative Analysis of Emotion”
This study examines how “doing” emotion matters in a critical literacy curriculum. The focus is on the inquiries of relatively affluent five and six year-old children in an urban summer program in the southern United States around an injustice that occurred on their playground, which led to an investigation about Rosa Parks. Drawing upon a methodology of crystallization, this study shifts through three recursive stages: 1) autoethnography; 2) practitioner inquiry; and 3) a critical performative analysis of emotion. Eight insights and recommendations are: 1) it is important to embrace emotion as a verb; 2) children are curious to explore social injustices through verbal role-play and persistent questions; 3) fissures are productive spaces of instruction; 4) it is valuable to think of social action as embodied; 5) spaces for critical dialogue are fostered through dialogic performances and moments of shared power; 6) teaching/researching tensions can be viewed as resources; 7) autoethnographic reflexivity is a dynamic process; and 8) the crystallization of theories, analytic tools and genres are beneficial.