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Working with Young Children in a New World Replete with Assumptions

Abstract

We lived in an assumptive world until COVID-19 told us that all forms of coziness and security seem to have vanished. By focusing on three basic assumptions about worldview, that the universe is compassionate, that the world is important, and that the world is worthy of itself, we explore how to cope with trauma and sophisticated emotional information. We focus on teachers and their relationship with young children as both groups try to develop strategies to handle their own trauma—teachers helping children cope and teachers managing their own trauma. We worked in a preschool that supports a large number of children that have experienced trauma. Our work focused on 10 teachers and 100 children. The Seasonal Model (2019) was implemented, and groups ran over a 10-week period. Outcomes showed positive trends toward helping teachers develop a deeper understanding of “big behaviours” and managing them, enabling them to help children build strategies to handle their trauma and emotions.

Additionally, outcomes showed that teachers were better equipped to handle their own trauma, whether personal or related to “taking in” the traumatic experiences of the children they were working with. Here is an attempt to knit together the assumptions of educators and young children through the language of art and social work. A conversation is carefully re-crafted around the concept of the assumptive world. This attempt also intends to see how else we can build a world with those who have survived and help them attain their well-being whilst dealing with and coming to terms with their losses. 

Keywords

Assumptive World, COVID-19 Human Narratives

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