Becoming Intimate With Developmental Knowledge: Pedagogical Explorations With Collective Biography


  • Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw University of Victoria
  • Kathleen Kummen Capilano University
  • Deborah Thompson University of British Columbia



embodied experience, critical child development, collective biography, subjectivity


In this article, we draw on postfoundational frameworks to make visible the subjectification processes by which practitioners simultaneously master and become mastered by developmental theories. We emphasize the implication of the entire minded-body in the processes of the developmental worker formation. We show these processes through empirical investigation with data gathered through collective biography in a child development graduate course in a child and youth care program. Often developmental psychology masks itself as “just natural” knowledge that informs our practice. However, the article shows that our relationship with developmental psychology is much more intricate and intimate than we might believe. This intimate relationship can provide new possibilities for resisting developmental knowledge in practice and training.

Author Biographies

Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw, University of Victoria

Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw is an associate professor and Coordinator of the Early Years Specialization in the School of Child and Youth Care and a co-director of the Investigating Quality Project and the BC Early Learning Implementation Framework Project. She teaches and conducts research on issues related to poststructural, feminist, and postcolonial theory-practice in early childhood education.

Kathleen Kummen, Capilano University

Kathleen Kummen is an instructor in the Department of Early Childhood Education and a doctoral student at the School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria. Kathleen’s research interests focus on exploring theory and practice in preservice training and ongoing professional development of early childhood educators.

Deborah Thompson, University of British Columbia

Deborah Thompson works as an early childhood educator in a multi-age childcare center, a pilot project at UBC Child Care Services in Vancouver. As a doctoral candidate in the School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria, Deborah will be leading an action research project examining multi-age grouping in the organization of childcare services at UBC Child Care Services.