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Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology

versão On-line ISSN 1445-7377
versão impressa ISSN 2079-7222

Indo-Pac. j. phenomenol. (Online) vol.12 no.1 Grahamstown Mai. 2012 

Reconstruction: Meltdown in the midst of beauty



Will Parnell




Watching a dramatic musical television episode reminded me of my own meltdown and reconstruction during the collection of my dissertation research. This stir of memory led me to write down my story. Seeking meaning in the experience of the studio teacher in an early childhood school, I co-participated in events that led me through a dramatic and transformative experience that deepened my awareness and understanding of what it means to teach and learn in the wondrous space of the atelier, otherwise called the early childhood studio. We engaged in the meaning making process of our studio endeavours through keeping field notes and a journal, informally interviewing and engaging in collaboration sessions with the studio teachers, and reviewing the dissertation manuscript for authenticity. Through active listening and engagement, I collided with predicament. I learnt that the only way to move through the crisis-point is to 'keep on living'. In the end, I came to a new sense of how to live and work in an early childhood studio and I also came to understand that life eats entropy. My experience in the studio became about the beauty of courage, time, and deep listening, as examined through the experiences of fear of the new and of my reconstruction into something more.



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About the Author



Professor Will Parnell is an Assistant Professor in Education and is the Pedagogical Director of the early childhood schools ( at Portland State University. He also coordinates the Master's specialization in early childhood education for the Graduate School of Education's Curriculum and Instruction Department.

Will currently serves on the Portland Children's Council of Oregon, the Reconceptualising Early Childhood Education program committee. He is also a School Board member at a local charter school (The Emerson School) and at a private elementary school (A Renaissance School of Arts and Sciences).

Will finished his doctorate in education at PSU in 2005, and has since been researching the experiences and meaning of the Reggio-inspired studio and children's creative expression and representational work. Will's specialty areas are making meaning of studio teaching experiences, researching environments, designs, and cultural equity in early education, as well as documenting young children's learning, and facilitating teacher narratives.

Will has been in the early education field since 1986 and has a wide background in teaching and leadership, including work in places such as lab schools, parent cooperatives, and public school settings. Serving as a consultant, he has started several schools for young children and has also been engaged with the design of children's indoor and outdoor spaces with local architects. Will's passion for learning spaces can been seen through his work in the all the program he touches. E-mail address:

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