Reframing the Emotional Worlds of the Early Childhood Classroom  book cover
1st Edition

Reframing the Emotional Worlds of the Early Childhood Classroom

ISBN 9780415833851
Published November 12, 2014 by Routledge
220 Pages

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Book Description

This volume examines the emotional world of the early childhood classroom as it affects young children (whose emotional wellbeing is crucial to successful learning), educators (for whom teaching is never a solely cognitive act), parents, and administrators. In a culture where issues such as bullying and teacher burnout comprise major challenges to student success, this book brings together diverse voices (researchers, practitioners, children, and parents) and multiple perspectives (theoretical and personal) to refocus attention on the pivotal role of emotion in schools.

To do so, editors Samara Madrid, David Fernie, and Rebecca Kantor envision emotion as a dynamic, fluid, and negotiated construct, performed and produced in the daily lives of children and adults alike. A nuanced yet cohesive analysis, Reframing the Emotional Worlds of the Early Childhood Classroom thus presents a challenge to the overriding concern with quantifiable classroom achievement that increasingly threatens to push the emotional lives of classroom participants to the margins of educational and public discourse.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction to reframing emotion. Samara Madrid, David E. Fernie, and Rebecca Kantor

Just Practices and Emotional Discomfort

Chapter 2: A family, a fire, and a framework: Emotions in an anti-bias school community. Caryn Park, Debbie LeeKeenan, and Heidi Given

Commentary: Patricia Ramsey

Chapter 3: Guinea pigs, Asperger’s Syndrome, and my son: When teachers struggle to recognize humanity. Steve Bialostok

Commentary: Margarita Bianco

Chapter 4: Food fight: Difficult negotiations between adults in an early childhood center. Susan Twombly

Commentary: Tamar Jacobson

Place and Spaces for Emotional Intimacy and Challenge

Chapter 5: Recognizing, respecting and reconsidering the emotions of conflict. Ellen Hall and Alison Maher

Commentary: Mary Jane Moran

Chapter 6: How to hold a hummingbird: Using stories to make space for the emotional lives of children in a public school classroom. Melissa Tonachel 

Commentary: Laurie Katz

Chapter 7: The woods as a toddler classroom: The emotional experience of challenge, connection, and caring. Dee Smith and Jeanne Goldhaber

Commentary: John Nimmo

Understanding Emotion Within Roles and Relationships

Chapter 8: Critical friends work through the emotions of beginning teaching together. David Fernie

Commentary: Barbara Seidl

Chapter 9: Emotional intersections in early childhood leadership. Nikki Baldwin

Commentary: Holly Elissa Bruno

Chapter 10: Promoting peer relations for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The LEAP preschool experience. Phillip S. Strain and Edward H. Bovey 

Commentary: Michelle Buchanan



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Samara Madrid is an Associate Professor in the Department of Elementary and Early Education at the University of Wyoming.

David Fernie is Professor of Early Childhood Education and former Dean of Education at Wheelock College.

Rebecca Kantor is Dean of the School of Education and Human Development at Colorado University, Denver.


"This book examines the emotional world of the early childhood setting and how it affects young children. Just as an environment needs to be educationally conductive to learning, even more important is a child's emotional wellbeing within that learning environment to help them access it. If they are unhappy or unwell they will not be able to make the most of the potential for learning, no matter how outstanding the learning environment." - Martine Horvath, EYE Magazine

"As the early childhood education community is pressured to focus attention on the cognitive dimensions of development, it is heartening to have a book like Madrid, Fernie and Kantor's Reframing the Emotional Worlds of the Early Childhood Classroom. Its narratives provide wonderful examples of hitting that sweet spot that balances the professional, intellectual, and emotional. The authors remind us of our relational responsibilities in early childhood through narratives from the heart that are thoughtful, challenging, and human." - Beth Graue, Sorenson Professor of Early Childhood Education, University of Wisconsin, USA

"This book is filled with compelling stories, celebrations, confessionals--some tough to read--about the essential place of emotions in the life of the classroom. Through their multiple frames (as parent, teacher, researcher, administrator), the authors remind us that an authentic early childhood classroom works best when it's open to the emotionally-rich experiences of our real and imagined lives. Everyone learns when emotions are elicited, respected and shared, whether fear of a fire, delight in exploring the woods, confusion over the death of guinea pigs, the courage to generate conflict or the awe-some-ness of a hummingbird rescue. This book will help you pay better attention to children, their families, your colleagues and yourself." - Rebecca Staples New, Associate Professor of Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA