Who is a pedagogist?

Pedagogists are deeply immersed in educational studies and curriculum theory and work with early childhood educators in their context. Pedagogists play a role similar to that of pedagogisti in Italy and pedagogic coordinators in Belgium. Immersed in early childhood programs with children and educators, pedagogists support the efforts of educators to engage with children and families in innovative and critical ways, introduce new ideas, theories, materials, opportunities, and media. Often pedagogists’ work draws heavily on the intersections between pedagogy and other disciplines such as the arts, anthropology, sociology, and critical psychology amongst others.

© Sarah Hennessy, 2020

The pedagogist does not provide one-time professional development (for example, in the form of workshops), but rather is intimately connected to the pedagogical project enacted by educators, children, and families.  In fact, the role of the pedagogist is to lead the creation of strong pedagogical work within early years programs, not by following a doctrine or a particular practice but by inventing and thinking otherwise.

A pedagogist always works in relation to pedagogical orientations. Not only does her work engage and support the specificity of pedagogical projects that take place in early years programs, but it also attends to the connections that such projects have with broader pedagogical orientations and ethos.