The Essential Shift

Sometimes we are moved into shifts. And that is what happened here. In the process of refining my values, vision, intentions, and ethos within this space, I was moved to reconsider the name of the this podcast. While play is embedded within my values, I realized I required a new name that opened me towards new possibilities and propelled me to take up the quest within the questions.  Welcome to Pursuing Questions, formerly known as The Playful Podcast: Imprints of Inquiry. Possibilities for Play. Provocations for Living. Welcome to the quest within the questions.


Welcome to pursuing questions.     Imprints of inquiry, possibilities for play, and     provocations for living. This podcast, formerly known as The     Playful Podcast, is for those cultivating an ethos towards     mutual flourishing, healing, learning, and living well     throughout the human experience.     Here we linger at the intersections of reflection and     revisiting in hopes of nudging ourselves into intentional,     innovative, and reclaimed ways of being, thinking and     imagining. Within our lifelong learning journeys, we transcend     predetermined scripts and boundaries by harnessing the     interdisciplinary wisdom of early childhood educators and     really, anyone who facilitates experiences with humans, big or     small. I’m your host, Kim Barton, and I am living, loving,     learning, and playing in Guelph ON the city known as two.     Rivers and the lands traditionally governed by the     dish with one spoon Covenant. Join me in the quest within the     questions. I’m excited to wonder, Wonder, Marvel and play     alongside you.        

Welcome to another mini episode. This felt necessary to share,     and I kind of feel vulnerable in doing it at the same time     because.     What I’m going to claim here is a shift for me that happened in     this podcast and the reason I feel vulnerable is because I     already just did some shifting. I have a new logo. I sort of     regenerated or re energized this podcast after a long pause and     so sort of shifting or evolving.     Again, feels a bit whimsical or noncommittal or a bit.     I don’t know.     Like I might lose something that I started perhaps.     And at the same time the shift feels so aligned with my values.     And that’s something I’ll actually talk about a little bit     more in this episode. But, um, I guess what I’m saying is I just     need to claim this shift that’s happening internally for me and     through this podcast so that you know what to expect. And also     that I can get clear on my vision for this space because     clearly it’s evolved over the past two years.     And I I kind of wanted to start with a little reintroduction of     myself.     And if you know me, this might feel funny, but also it might be     a good time for me to kind of, I don’t know, like reacquaint     myself with you. And I’d invite you to do the same next time we     encounter each other.

I guess to start, my name is Kim. I am a     proud, passionate and very privileged early childhood     educator. I am one of those people who has worked with     children and humans since I was, like, allowed to, since I, like,     completed my babysitting course. But the interesting thing for me     is that as I became.     An adult and participating in professional.     Accreditation. I guess I became more and more curious about     adults who work with young children, and I’m starting to     think that this is kind of my.     Thing, at least for the next few years. And it makes sense     because I.     Have worked in the several different leadership capacities,     I would say I’m still very much an emerging leader. I am still     fully finding my footing. I often say I feel like a toddler.     I’m like stumbling around figuring out how to move in this     role.     In my current role, I am like four months old, I think, and so     grateful. I’ve so much gratitude for the support I have in my     role and to be in a position where I get to talk with adults     about what they’re experiencing.     Um, for the past two years I’ve worked as a pedagogical leader     in a couple different organizations.     I worked for a college and then a municipality, and now for an     individual childcare program.     And I guess the point in me talking about my role is that     it’s really allowed me to become even more curious about how educators learn and play and flourish, particularly when working in relationship based fields like early childhood education, but also social work or anyone who’s designing     experiences or programming for other humans.     And initially I started this podcast, I think when I started     in my role as a pedagogical leader, or around the same time     at least. And I’ve been thinking about a podcast for a while and     I’ve been blogging and things like that. And in all honesty,     when I first started the podcast I had hopes and dreams that it     would become a source of professional learning for other     adults. And yet would I discovered, is that it became a     reflective practice tool and a pedagogical documentation     practice for myself.     At the same time I also stumbled into some really big ideas and     some.     Really huge questions.     That I felt like, couldn’t really be pursued when calling     it the playful podcast or by suggesting that it was sort of a     place to find professional learning.  

In order to kind of follow these ideas, I felt like I     needed to shift away from this being a place to find tools or     strategies or sort of how to type of answers and instead     shift towards being a space of generating questions.     And really listening to the nuances of ideas and knowledge and questions and reflections and the capturing of moments, all of those things. And I guess as somebody who is so deeply curious, almost to a fault.     I found that I really needed a space to marinate in some ideas     and to kind of generate new possibilities. Consider how  different ideas or theories or concepts connect and where their  edges are the edges of what we know and what we don’t know yet. I think there’s so much out there that we don’t know enough     about, and I think children are really good at asking us     questions that the world has never really heard before and     certainly never asked before.    

So I guess to stay aligned with all of these sort of ideas, I     started changing my logo about a year ago. I wanted something     that reflected this idea of revisiting my obsession with     spirals.     The logo with the footprint.     It was really just me trying to play around with the spiral     imagery, and I wanted something that reflected sort of like     topography lines and the layering, kind of insinuating,     like a map or the process of mapping. And I also wanted     something that resembled kind of like a fingerprint, an imprint.     Something that kind of signals that each episode is merely like     one trace of where I have been at one point in time, and kind     of marking the landscape and geography of my thinking. There     are some larger threads being explored throughout the seasons     of Inquiry, for sure.     All of this really is to say that the process of generating a     new logo actually and and thinking about spirals got me     thinking about like, well, what is my vision here? Like, where     are my guiding values? What’s my ethos in this podcast? Because     I’ve dabbled in having some guests on and I’ve really sort     of let that go as a priority because I wanted to be clear on     what I was really wanting to do and say and pursue here.     So let me just share a few of the values that I’m working from     at this moment in time.    

The first is interconnection. Um, although I often prefer the     term interdependence, I have known for many years that I have     a value of interconnection and that it guides me to pursue     connection always and leading through connection. And so this     shows up as me sort of me being very mobilized by serendipity     and the linking of different ideas, those edges and     boundaries of where concepts connect, and also connection in     the form of relationships. We are all connected in multitudes.     My next value here is curiosity. I truly view curiosity as my     compass. I ask questions and work from a place of pursuing     curiosity over compliance, normalcy, or acceptance, and I     believe in living the questions now, hence the new title     Pursuing questions. Another value I have is reciprocity. I     believe in sharing knowledge generously. I believe in making     thinking available and accessible to others, which is     similar to making learning visible.     Through the practice of pedagogical documentation.     And this is because I aim to live in a world where we receive     and give openly.     So here is a place where I’m model generous knowledge,     sharing not only knowledge that I have, but also bringing     forward knowledge that I have been gifted or entered into     relationship with.     Another value I hold is wisdom. I believe in entering into     embodied relationship with wisdom as lived, rather than     consuming or producing facts or information. And you’ll see this     in one of my upcoming episodes at least, where I talk about     sort of the limits of research and sort of the expansiveness of     pedagogy.     So in that regard, I consider lived experience and     generational knowledge to be as valued as reliable and     reproducible data.     And then finally, my last value is kind of a quirky one. It’s     upwards spirals and this really just means joy, flow and     purpose, I believe in pursuing the paths towards and the     ingredients to sustain upward spirals of flourishing and     passion. So those are my values.    

When it comes to my sort of vision and ethos, I want to say     it’s what I’ve started to include in my introductions. So     basically, it’s the pursuit towards mutual flourishing,     healing, living and learning well throughout the human     experience. And I often say how we do this, and it’s through     lingering in dialogue and sort of generating new ways of     thinking and reflecting on our world.     And then interestingly, the process of sort of writing that     vision and reflecting on my values led me to, I don’t really     know what to call this. I don’t know if it’s like I’m, I don’t     think it’s a mission either way. I just sort of have three other     guideposts that I’m working from and that’s this idea of imprints     of inquiry, possibilities for play and provocations for living     and.     And so Imprints of Inquiry is just this idea that.     This is like that moment in time that sort of trace, and it’s     because I believe that these traces are worthy of being     studied through revisiting. And I guess the purpose of this is     really just to cultivate my own awareness, reflection, and     empowerment in being able to move my practice from feedback     to myself.     And then Possibilities for Play is really just here because I     strive to expand the potential of parallel practices.     I think that it’s through this sharing of knowledge, half     knowledges, half thoughts, whatever. That’s how we sort of     become nudged within our journeys, whether that’s     forwards or towards something new or back to something to     revisit and and reclaim it. And I think it’s this movement that     allows us to be improvisational and nimble and to be moved by     what we experience and reflect on and hear from others.     And then finally provocations for living. This reflects that I       about fostering our     dispositions, pursuing multi species flourishing, really     wanting to broaden relationships across humans but also across     and between them more than human world.     And I also want to unravel this word pedagogy and inspect its     ideals, protagonists and assumptions.     This, to me, is not just about learning in the way that we’ve     learned about it, but it’s also a reflection of living     throughout the human experience.     So in the spirit of sharing knowledge generously, I also     just wanted to be clear on a few of the things that have inspired     me, and I can’t remember at this moment in time what I’ve shared     on here already and what I haven’t.

So I’m just going to     read a few poems that that really speak to me.     The 1st and the reason behind the name change is a poem by     Rainer Maria Rilke. Without further ado, here’s the poem.     Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart.     And try to love the questions themselves, as if they are     locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t     search for the answers which could not be given to you now,     because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to     live everything. Live the questions now, perhaps then,     someday, far into the future, you will gradually, without even     noticing it, live your way into the answer.    

And there you have it, pursuing questions.    

The other segment I wanted to read is by Carolina Rinaldi, and     I might have read this in an old episode, but it’s about the     pedagogy of listening.     So Carlina Rinaldi says. What is listening?     Listening should be sensitive to the patterns that connect us to     others.     Our understanding in our own being are a small part of a     broader integrated knowledge that holds the universe     together.     Listening should be open and sensitive to the need to listen     and be listened to and the need to listen with all our senses,     not just our ears.     Listening should recognize the many languages, symbols, and     codes that people use to express themselves and communicate.     Listening to ourselves. Internal listening encourages us to     listen to others, but in turn is generated when others listen to     us.     Listening takes time. When you really listen, you get into the     time of dialogue and interior reflection and interior time       but also past and future time,     and is therefore outside chronological time. It is a time     full of silences.     Listening is generated by curiosity, desire, doubt and     uncertainty. It is not insecurity but the reassurance     that every truth is so only if we are aware of its limits and     its possible falsification. And here’s the bit that I love     listening produces questions, not answers.     Listening is emotion. It is generated by emotions, is     influenced by the emotions of others, and it stimulates     emotions. Listening should welcome and be open to     differences, recognizing the values of others,     interpretations and places.     Listening is an active.     Gloves.     Reputation giving meaning to the message and valuing those who     are.     Listening is not.     It requires a deep awareness and a suspension of our judgments     and prejudices. It requires openness to change. It demands     that we value the unknown and overcome the feelings of     emptiness and precariousness that we experience when our     certainties are questioned.     Thus, the pedagogy of listening is not only a pedagogy for     school, but also an attitude for life.    

And there you have it.     The intersection of questions and listening and sharing knowledge.     I hope this helps to clarify why I felt the shift in the name was     so essential and necessary. I guess I typically end the     episodes by saying stay playful, which I will continue, but I     also want to say keep taking up the quest within the questions.

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