What is 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.