An upcoming webinar hosted by Brock University will focus on how power and power dynamics play out in the learning and development of young children.
Held Tuesday, Oct. 18 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., the event will explore age differences in the use of power, how power is expressed in different contexts and how caregivers can support positive power dynamics at home or in educational settings.
The free webinar will be led by Sandra Della Porta, Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and Program Director for Brock’s Bachelor of Early Childhood Education program.
While power is often associated with dominance and control, Della Porta’s work explores power in all its forms. She defines power as a means of influencing others, or being influenced, that changes based on social and environmental contexts.
Power exists in similar ways for different age groups when thinking of its function and strategies, says Della Porta. Children can manipulate situations to get what they want using strategies that differ from adults based on their age or stage of development as well as whether they’re dealing with an adult or peer.
“Children grow up as part of multiple systems — distinct familial, cultural and social systems — developing their identity and learning lifeways,” she says. “Power is part of all life processes that impact children’s sense of self, personal identity and well-being.”
Della Porta’s current research projects examine how young children develop conceptual understandings and senses of power as well as how power relations are represented in pedagogy and day-to-day teaching and learning practices. Ultimately, she hopes to identify ways of creating positive power relationships and spaces for harmonious power dynamics in early childhood.
“Studying children’s use and understanding of social power has many implications, including building knowledge concerning children’s agency and assertiveness, interpreting how children learn concepts of equity and fairness, understanding the influence of cultural spheres on a child’s development, and gaining insight into children’s social and cultural knowledge through their language and communication,” Della Porta says.
The webinar, which is part of Brock University’s Lifespan Development Research Institute’s community speaker series, is free and open to the public. Registration is required to gain access to the online event. To RSVP, visit the Lifespan Development Research Institute website.
For more information, contact Brock University Knowledge Mobilization Officer Jayne Morrish at firstname.lastname@example.org