What is Unswaddling Pedagogy?

An Unswaddling Pedagogy. This kind of pedagogy introduces teachers to new conceptual and practical territories that are meant to release the tensions that define today’s Western education. If our models of education consider each individual child in his/her wholeness, as a complex being who embodies the world: environment, community, humanity, justice, fears, dreams, life stories, care, wonder, and all the rest that brings us into presence, then educators, in their practice will learn to co-imagine and co-create meanings of the world with their students. By proposing an Unswaddling Pedagogy, I seek to unswaddle the wings of educators and students alike.

Unswaddling Pedagogy is a pedagogy that welcomes and releases the creativity, imagination, and all other meaning making qualities and capacities of children. Through my work I am hoping to inspire teachers to be with young children in ways that would literally free everyone and everything involved in the relationship (children, teachers, environment, community, etc.) from activities, actions, experiences, and events that would restrict rather than encourage and guide children’s imaginative and creative ways of making meaning of the world.

DISCOVER Unswaddling Pedagogy

I use the term “unswaddling” as a metaphor of an education that protects, feels, imagines, inspire, loves, cares, and respects the child and his/her qualities of being in the world. “Unswaddling” is not meant to signify a complete, chaotic, and unguided liberation; it rather points to a relationship of reciprocal qualitative acknowledgment of capacities and abilities of making knowledge live.

“Children taught me how to practice, and adults taught me how to talk about practice.”

To practice a non-swaddling pedagogy from the very beginning of a child’s pedagogical journey requires the following aspects (enumerated from the perspective of the six fundamental elements of my own un-swaddling):

OPENESS – a pedagogy that is open to a constant change and adaptation to the organic fluidity of students’ rich, emergent capacities; knowledge and deep pedagogical awareness of the multitude of gains acquired by children through their valuable qualities and capacities if allowed proper space, time, and care;

TRUST – a practice that recognizes and trusts, celebrates, and supports the value of the initial lived experience of the very young;

RELATIONSHIP – a pedagogy that needs to be built on a strong, powerful, and genuine relationship between all involved;

MOVEMENT – an education seen as a dance; movements that connect and constantly reconnect the Somatic kind of understanding (see the theory of Imaginative Education) to the subsequent ones;

IDENTITY – an educational practice that considers the uniqueness of each student and their personal view on the world; a pedagogy that perceives difference as gain and not deficit;

AFFECT – a non-swaddling pedagogy cannot be practiced without the full emotional engagement of the teachers in the content, environment and their role as world-guides in the lives of their students.