Pandemic-Provoked “Throwntogetherness”: Narrating Change in ECEC in Canada




In Canada, multiple, intersecting, and incommensurable narratives promote investment in a public ECEC system. These dominant narratives are typically justified through an entanglement of discourses, including gender equity, colonialism, developmentalism, investment in children as future workers, and childcare as social infrastructure. With COVID-19, renewed economic arguments propose ECEC as an essential service, jump-starting an economy ravaged by the pandemic. Taking up a conversational approach, we question the potency of dominant narratives proliferated in media and policy initiatives as a way to effect large-scale change, and we seek to better understand alternative narratives of ECEC. We are drawn to those spaces where a range of new texts and narratives are generating possibilities for transformative changes. We co-create a bricolage of minor stories (Taylor, 2020) of change, keeping in mind Eve Tuck’s (2018a) theory of change and Elise Couture-Grondin’s (2018) premise of stories as theory.

Keywords: early childhood education, policy, change, COVID-19, colonialism, throwntogetherness

Author Biography

Jane Hewes, Thompson Rivers University

Dr. Hewes is Associate Dean, Faculty of Education and Social Work, Thompson Rivers University