Civic action and play: examples from Maori, Aboriginal Australian and Latino communities

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Using data from an international, comparative study of civic action in preschools in New Zealand, Australia and the US, we consider some of the types of civic action that are possible when time and space are offered for children to use their agency to initiate, work together and collectively pursue ideas and things that are important to the group. We use an example from each country and apply the work of Rancière and Arendt to think about collectivity as civic action in young children’s schooling lives. Play, rather than an act itself, is positioned here as political time and space that make such civic action possible in the everyday lives of children. We argue here that play is the most common (and endangered) time and space in which children act for the collective.