Journal of Public Pedagogies
School of Education / Edith Cowan Institute for Education Research
We propose weather wanderings as a critical and postdevelopmental intervention (Blaise, 2010) into a developmentally appropriate or child-centred approach to walking. A developmentally appropriate approach emphasises an autonomous, white, able-bodied, middle-class, and developing boy child that discovers and explores the natural world as an external thing to ‘know’ and control. A developmental approach is concerned with discovery and conquest; legacies of settler colonialism. All too often, in early childhood education, when (and if) children and teachers leave the preschool to go on walks, these quickly turn into destination- and education-focused events that are full of regulation and control (Springgay & Truman, 2019). During these kinds of walks, teachers attend to children’s behaviour, safety, and physical capacity, all understood as developing along a linear trajectory of progress towards being able to navigate the world as a capable and competent adult. Planning for a child-centred weather walk usually begins with a large group discussion about the weather as external to a child’s body and external to the learning space. Weather is always outside. Children might be asked to recall what the weather felt like on their way to preschool or to look outside the window to determine if it is ‘sunny’ or ‘rainy’. Often, if these weather conditions are considered to cause discomfort (it’s too windy, it’s too cold, it’s too hot, etc.) then a decision is made to stay inside.
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