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The Missing Discourse

Pleasure and Desire in Early Childhood Education: Where Have They Gone?

Hailey Voges

on 29 April 2010

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Transcript of The Missing Discourse

"Any event suggestive of
sexuality is problematic
and even potentially dangerous." (p. 1) "Holds a 3-yr-old girl
on his lap as he reads
her a story." "Kissing them when
she catches them." "Seems more like
a girl than a boy..." Any others?? "Ignorance, inattention , fear,
and hostility to pleasure and
desire are diminishing the
quality of life for
young children
and their teachers."
(p. 2) Tobin:
Kiyomi Phelan:
Yun Yu
Rani What is Tobin trying to say?
Is he calling for something new here?
Why do you think they are missing in this sense?
What might have lead to this?
Look for discourses of power! Pleasure and Desire in Early Childhood Education:
Where Have They Gone??
Perspectives Disembodiment
of Children Deeroticization
of Teaching Moral
Panics Panopticism in
Preschool Settings The Carnivalesque Gender
Performances Pedophilia
Childhood Innocence Queer Theory Tensions Well-Being of Children
& Rights/Happiness of
Teachers Concerns of Parents
& Teachers Sex & Gender Theory
for Practice The Missing Discourse
of Pleasure and Desire Joseph Tobin, 1997 Classroom Management
and the Erasure
of Teacher Desire Anne M. Phelan Order
Control "The discourse-practices of
classroom management have
engendered a fear of disorderly
classrooms where the playful
exists alongside the serious,
of disorderly children whose
bodies touch, and of disorderly
women (and a few men) who
experience pleasure from their
attachment to and community
with their students." (p. 77) "A concern with order belies
a fear of the erotic."
(p. 77) Eros "Eros is the drive that
impels human beings
toward union." (p. 77) "In education, eroticism
takes the form of a desire
to break with the established
patterns of classroom order
which are basic to our
discontinuous mode of
existence as separate
and defined individuals." (p. 78) Anxiety Individuation Obscenity Overt
Message Activity Exploration Openness Covert
Message Good Behavior Neatness Rule-Following The Washington Post 10.21.2007 Is That
A Sex Offender? Performativity Maintaining flow of
activity so that
learning (work) can occur. Prevention of Disorder Restoration
of Order "We teach self-possession
and self-control by
deriving a list of
prohibited behaviors." (p. 82) "We develop rules and
routines to offset the
possibility of disorderly
conduct, which we tell
ourselves might disrupt
the work of teaching
and learning." (p. 83) In small groups, create
a set of "rules" for the
classroom, school, home, workplace
without prohibiting anything. "Children learn to live outside
themselves, outside their impulses
and desires, on external directives
only rather than from [their] internal
knowledge and needs...away from
those erotic guides... to conform to the
needs of a structure that is not based
on human need." (p. 58) "Teachers are expected to
distance themselves from
their students, to exercise
self-control, to honor a static
notion of autonomy that
eliminates the possibility of
intimacy with children, and
to maintain a serious attitude
in the classroom." (p. 87) "Early childhood teachers
must hide their pleasure and
desire from the children lest
they be misconstrued. Teachers
are in fear that their touch may
be framed as molestation, their
emotional expression as
professionally inappropriate."
(p. 89) "What would it mean
to raise the voice of
the erotic?" (p. 96) Generative tension between
the erotic and rationality. "When we eroticize classroom
work, we open up new vistas
of learning and creativity." (p. 96) "...So that we can enter
the classroom whole and
not as disembodied spirits."
(p. 97) Coda One:
Reclaiming the
Progressive Agenda Coda Two:
Q.A.P. "By destabilizing--queering--the notion that what we do with children will lead inexorably to certain outcomes (traumatization, ego fragility, gender disorders, lawsuits), we can free ourselves to be more spontaneous with children and less anxiety ridden." (p. 33) Missing as Uncharted, Unexplored, Undiscovered
Missing as in Lost
Missing as in Disappeared
Missing as in Repressed
Missing as in Unspeakable/Unthinkable
Missing as in Overlooked
Missing as in Depleted (Desire Under Late Capitalism)
Missing as in Disembodied Tobin, J. J. (1997). The missing discourse of pleasure and desire. In J.J. Tobin (Ed.), Making a place for pleasure in early childhood education (pp. 1-38). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Phelan, A.M. (1997). Classroom management and the erasure of teacher desire. In J.J. Tobin (Ed.), Making a place for pleasure in early childhood education (pp. 76-100). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.


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