Keynote Ditte Winther-Lindqvist

Danish School of Education, UNESCO CHAIR

Caring well for children and for the world – a new conception of care

In this presentation I’ll introduce a broader thinking of care as a question of ethical values and cultural practice. I introduce a vocabulary for addressing the ethical crisis of caring about each other and caring about the more than human world in contemporary society and landscapes for pedagogics in early years education. In traditional developmental psychology, care is understood as a natural inclination in the parent, directed at the child, who are in need of receiving care. This strong prototype of “natural” care from the family setting has migrated into professional settings in problematic ways – i.e. making other caring relationships and caring dynamics invisible and limiting care understandings to an adult-to-child matter. In day-care the educators’ collaborative caring for the whole group of children through a pedagogical atmosphere of playfulness and exploration - is the most central task. This task also involves supporting children in being caring towards each other. We thus have to think anew of what caring is and why it is important – in different institutional settings, and in more inclusive ways. Due to the bio-diversity and climate crisis, we have to think about caring for the world and all its living beings and their habitats – I therefore suggest a terminology for thinking caring as nested domains of: self-care, we-care, other-care and world-care. The latter, world-care, is a new caring task that forces us to think differently about our entanglement with nature and our relations to the world.


About the speaker

Bio - Ditte Winther-Lindqvist, PhD, is Ass. Prof. at Danish School of Education, DPU, Aarhus University and UNESCO CHAIR. Dittes work is cross-disciplinary as she integrates philosophical, phenomenological, existential, and cultural-historical approaches to developmental psychology. She aims at developing an existential developmental psychology that investigates phenomena that matter to children in their lives. Research on children’s play, friendships, care, professional care and education, bereavement/loss, crisis, identity transitions are longstanding themes in her empirical and theoretical work, whereas world-care and sustainability in education is a new topic.

Winther-Lindqvist, D. (in press) Kærlighed og Omsorg: - for børn i professionelle og private relationer. I A. B. Sköld (red). Kærlighed – XX. Klim

Winther-Lindqvist, D. 2020. Caring well for children in ECEC from a wholeness approach – The role of moral imagination, Learning, Culture and Social Interaction. 30(2):100452

Winther-Lindqvist, D. (2020). Kort og godt om Leg. Dansk Psykologisk Forlag.