Maria Kromidas, “Becoming convivial with child: Dismantling the race/child/learning/human assemblage” (Chapter from Childhoods in More Just Worlds, 2021)

Childhoods in More Just Worlds: An International Handbook, edited by Timothy Kinard and Gaile S. Cannella – Myers Education Press

“No one ever asked me what I was interested in nor did they ask for my consent to participate in their system. My experience of education was one of continually being measured against a set of principles that required surrender to an assimilative colonial agenda …”

“the radical demands of centering loving relations with humans and more-than-human others while keeping coloniality in view have inspired scholars decolonizing environmental and place-based education”

“By nurturing children’s loving relations with land, these interventions help bring forth values that “seek and sustain life” (Cajete in Grande, 2014, p. 122), that teach us to be “real human beings” (Jacob, 2018). These different ways of knowing the world entail relations of learning, where desire, joy, and consent are integral aspects of it.”

“Admittedly, development’s perpetual becoming child is unilinear, with the known endpoint of complete adult adapted to an already existing world. Sociality refigures this perpetual becoming: without a known end point, unpredictable, open to various potentialities, unruly. Moving children from margins to the center of being human, such critiques ask adults to take seriously children’s defamiliarizations of accepted meanings and relations that uphold the current order. It is a call to recognize that culture is never replicated in transmission, and children’s unique, fantastical, playful, and critical perspectives are necessary to enact convivial relations with living and nonliving beings. Within the field of education, scholars have explicitly or implicitly been inspired by centering relations with children and opened up vistas to reimaging being human and learning as becoming with children. What unites these scholars are their insistence that children’s knowledge and meaning-making are not only unique and worthy of being heard but that learning and subjectivity are “relational fields” that transform adults and children (Olsson, 2009, p. 20).”

“The biocentric child as ground zero, the antithesis of the fully formed adult human daily obfuscates the epistemic violence enacted against children.”

Roberto Greco