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Watching two-year olds jump: video method becomes ‘haptic’

Macrae, Birgit and Maclure, Maggie (2021) Watching two-year olds jump: video method becomes ‘haptic’. Ethnography and Education. ISSN 1745-7823

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Abstract

This article explores emerging findings in a sensory ethnography based in a nursery setting where video data has been co-produced with parents, practitioners and 2-year-old children. The project mobilises Froebel’s twin concepts of ‘unfoldment’ and ‘self-activity’, reinstating the importance of the sensory-motor register as a form of knowledge production. It maps some interesting affinities between aspects of Froebel’s thinking and a Deleuzian philosophy of movement and sensation. Focussing on proprioception as the felt-sense of bodies in motion, we discuss a video-based methodology that allows us to experiment with new ways of attending to the actions of 2-year-olds. Slowing the speed of video complicates the ocular conceptions of sight often associated with ethnographic observation. We propose instead practices of watching - of attentiveness and kinaesthetic receptiveness, where vision becomes ‘haptic’. We confine ourselves here to video data of jumping bodies, making sense of/with the event of a jump within a philosophy of attention.

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