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ERIC Number: EJ1174786
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1463-9491
Unruly Affect in the Kindergarten Classroom: A Critical Analysis of Social-Emotional Learning
Stearns, Clio
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, v19 n1 p8-19 Mar 2018
This article offers a critique of social-emotional learning programs through the lens of psychoanalytic theory and with a particular focus on the theoretical contributions of Kleinian psychoanalysis. In particular, the article draws on concepts of affective positions to show that social-emotional learning is mired in a paranoid-schizoid mentality that does not allow for ambivalence or exploration of disappointment. The article contends that social-emotional learning offers a rendition of learning that makes too little space for negative affect and difficult feelings, including aggression and excitement, in the early childhood classroom. After reviewing literature about social-emotional learning, showing the importance in social-emotional learning discourse of positive affect, the regulated self, and the managed classroom, the article explicates the concepts of paranoid-schizoid and depressive functioning, showing what the depressive position in particular might imply for learning and classroom relationships. The article draws on three vignettes from a qualitative research project in a public kindergarten classroom, theorizing these vignettes via a psychoanalytic lens. It argues for the importance of making space for negative affect, aggression, and awareness of the body in the classroom, showing how working with and through these phenomena allows for creativity and learning.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A