Boffins in early childhood services

Anne Meade
Vol 11, Number 1, p.22
One of the delights of working in the field of early childhood education is that it is so diverse that many disciplines connect with issues in the field. I want to indulge my delight by playing with some fragments of knowledge, from a number of settings I move amongst, in a Boffin-like fashion; to gather them together in order to analyse where we seem to be in early childhood education in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Gwen Gawith, a creative New Zealand educator, wrote a book for students called Power Learning (1991). In it, she describes four categories of learner: The Boffin, The Butler, The Builder, and The Baker. It is The Boffin who caught my eye. Boffins, Gawith says, 'delight in unrelated fragments of knowledge for knowledge's sake; interesting things happen when Boffins learn to put these fragments into a framework and analyse them' (ibid: 9). I propose to play with some fragments in this paper and then try my hand at some 'connected knowing' (Smith, 1991).