What does a pedagogist do?

Pedagogists collaborate with educators, children, and families to create and sustain a pedagogical project that responds to the conditions, concerns, and ethics of a situated place. In particular, pedagogists offer timely but unfamiliar concepts, ideas, or questions, and then actively follow the transformations and inventions of thinking with these provocations in close conversation with educators, children, and families. A pedagogist, then, joins and nurtures a collective, creative pedagogical space where the creation of new thought is possible. Pedagogists resist the impulse to resolve problems or to seek ideas that offer recognizable solutions to complex tensions. Instead, pedagogists create a space for thinking together without always knowing how to proceed or without always having an answer. Hospitality, generosity, experimentation, hope, and the unthought are crucial to the educational practice of a pedagogist. Pedagogists care deeply about sustaining diffractive conversations – that is, conversations where the encounters of ideas from participants, inheritances, curriculum, theory, media, arts (and on) bend into something new. This educational practice demands reciprocity and contamination. Accordingly, pedagogists do not act as an instructor, mentor, or authority. Rather, they co-labour with others, working at something together. Importantly,  pedagogists’ work is grounded in an affirmative and collective ethics concerned with both disrupting and reinventing Euro-Western early childhood education as we know it now. As such, pedagogists work to create alternative possibilities for curriculum-making that refuse universalism, developmentalism and (quantified, pre-determined) “quality”.  Instead they orient toward accountability, reciprocal relations, situated politics and living well together in complicated worlds.