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Are We Afraid to Talk about Love? Please Comment
July 26, 2021
One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.

Dear Exchange Community,

Last Monday, we quoted Ashely Montagu’s article, in one of the Art of Leadership books, where he wrote, “the teaching of love should be the central core of all early childhood curriculum – with all other subjects growing naturally out of such teaching.”

Two public comments on that ExchangeEveryDay were intriguing. Francis Wardle wrote that “While I totally agree with this view, I bet you can’t find love in any state early childhood standards.” And Joyce Kinney wrote: “Love this concept. I’m wondering about resources for accomplishing this. I can think of several but the word “love” isn’t included in the why’s of using specific strategies such as the Pyramid. Are we afraid of talking specifically about love?”

It’s a great question, so we’re asking you, Exchange readers, what you think. Is the early childhood field afraid to talk about love? And if so, why is that?

We’ve been looking at some of our Exchange resources which we think address the importance of love in early care and education: Illuminating Care, Heart-Centered Teaching Inspired by Nature and Happiness is Running through the Streets to Find You. But perhaps we need to be more explicit about using the word love?

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts (in the comments) on this important topic. We’d love to hear from you.

With gratitude,
Your Exchange Team

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Comments (14)

Displaying 5 of 14 Comments   [ View all ]
Tiffany Peckham · July 27, 2021
Lincoln, Nebraska, Australia

I want to thank everyone for having an engaging conversation on the topic of love in early childhood education. I loved reading all of your perspectives. I'm glad we have this space to discuss important topics.

-Tiffany at Exchange

Linda Boss · July 26, 2021
University of WI-Platteville
Lewistown, PA, United States

There was a time when candidates for a position in ECE would say they wanted to work in this field because they loved children. I fear we may now convey the impression that loving children is not enough to qualify someone to do this important work.
I think some questions to ask are "What does it mean to love children?" and "How do we demonstrate love of children through our work?" I think these would be good questions to add to the interview process.

Therese Wiart Jenkinson · July 26, 2021
Mount Royal University
Calgary, AB, Canada

I use to receive this daily and then I had to cancel my email. I missed the daily words of wisdom. I'm back!

Kirsten Haugen · July 26, 2021
Eugene, OR, United States

This is an even trickier issue for my male colleagues in ECE, many of whom I've gotten to know through the World Forum Working Group on Men in ECE. These are some of the most loving and values-driven people I know, and they often face incredible discrimination, usually in the form of doubt or suspicion, for choosing to care for young children. I would love to delve into the issue of love in ECE, and include the issues particular to men in the field. On a more positive note, there's a whole lot of love in the world of caregiving, and I'm super excited to read the book currently on my bedside table: Illuminating Care, by Carol Garboden Murray!

Joyce Kinney · July 26, 2021
Omaha, NE, United States

Glad to see Frances and I agree on this. Love is a concept that still has a lot of differing perspectives on it. I think it will be a while before it can show up in state standards, but maybe we look at other ways of saying it. I'm wondering if it might be expressed somehow in the New DAP. Think I'll take a look.

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