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Children Framing ChildhoodsWorking-Class Kids' Visions of Care$
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Wendy Luttrell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447352853

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447352853.001.0001

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School choreographies of care: being seen, safe, and believed

School choreographies of care: being seen, safe, and believed

(p.121) 4 School choreographies of care: being seen, safe, and believed
Children Framing Childhoods

Wendy Luttrell

Policy Press

This chapter explores how the children portrayed the hub of classroom life, the web of adult female caregivers in their “schoolplaces.” Just as they used their cameras to highlight their mothers as loving, caring, and present, and to portray themselves as active participants in their own family choreographies of care, they also used them to render visible the care work taking place in their elementary school. Their images and accounts depicted a school choreography of care that was similarly intentional and relational, and also influenced by gendered and racialized undercurrents. From the children's perspective, schools are “affective enterprises” in which both teaching and learning are deeply intertwined with relational, ethical, and affective dimensions of care and interdependence in ways that challenge an individualized and unidirectional concept of care. Moreover, the children express a critical awareness that learning goes beyond student–teacher relationships. Even when teachers are perceived as “nice” and “caring” and children's educational needs are met, students also recognize that they themselves are playing an active role in this dynamic—they are helping each other to make learning happen.

Keywords:   children, classroom life, female caregivers, care, elementary school, choreography of care, teaching, learning, student–teacher relationships, educational needs

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