Research Handbook on Childhoodnature - Assemblages of Childhood and Nature Research 978-3-319-67285-4

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Research Handbook on Childhoodnature - Assemblages of Childhood and Nature Research
 978-3-319-67285-4

Table of contents :
Ara Mai He Tetekura: Māori Knowledge Systems That Enable Ecological and Sociolinguistic
Survival in Aotearoa
Mere Skerrett, Jenny Ritchie
Artists as Emplaced Pedagogues: How Does Thinking About Children’s Nature Relations
Influence Pedagogy?
Elsa Lee, Nicola Walshe, Ruth Sapsed, Joanna Holland
Becoming Childhoodnature: Experimenting a Research Assemblage
Diana Masny
Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense, Poetics, and
Imagining by Children and Young People
Helen Widdop Quinton, Laura Piersol, David Rousell, Joshua Russell, Ricco Dezan, Tayla Shannon et
al.
Challenging Taken-for-Granted Ideas in Early Childhood Education: A Critique of
Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory in the Age of Post-humanism
Sue Elliott, Julie M. Davis
Challenging the Anthropocentric Approach of Science Curricula: Ecological Systems
Approaches to Enabling the Convergence of Sustainability, Science, and STEM Education
Marianne Logan
Child-Nature Interaction in a Forest Preschool
Peter H. Kahn Jr., Thea Weiss, Kit Harrington
Childhood Animalness: Relationality, Vulnerabilities, and Conviviality
Joshua Russell, Leesa Fawcett
Childhoodnature Alternatives: Adolescents in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh Explore Their
Nature Connectedness
Helen Widdop Quinton, Ferdousi Khatun
Childhoodnature and the Anthropocene: An Epoch of “Cenes”
Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, Karen Malone, Hilary Whitehouse
Childhoodnature Animal Relations: Section Overview
Tracy Young, Pauliina Rautio
Childhoodnature Ecological Systems and Realities: An Outline
Marianne Logan, Helen Widdop Quinton
Childhoodnature in Motion: The Ground for Learning
Martha Hart Eddy, Ann Lenore Moradian
Childhoodnature Pedagogies and Place: An Overview and Analysis
Robert B. Stevenson, Greg Mannion, Neus (Snowy) Evans
Childhoodnature – An Assemblage Adventure
Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, Karen Malone, Elisabeth Barratt Hacking
Children Becoming Emotionally Attuned to “Nature” Through Diverse Place-Responsive
Pedagogies
Ron Tooth, Peter Renshaw
Children Caring for the Australian Wet Tropics as a Response to the Anthropocene
Hilary Whitehouse, Neus (Snowy) Evans, Clifford Jackson, Marcia Thorne
Children in the Anthropocene: How Are They Implicated?
Karen Malone
Children’s Imaginative Play Environments and Ecological Narrative Inquiry
Deborah Moore
CineMusicking: Ecological Ethnographic Film as Critical Pedagogy
Michael B. MacDonald
Closing the Gap Through Rewilding, Interacting, and Overcoming
Sean Blenkinsop, Peter H. Kahn Jr.
Conceptualizing Parent(ing) Childhoodnature Through Significant Life Experience
Simone Miranda Blom
Developing Youth Agency Through Place-Based Education: Challenges and Opportunities
Bob Coulter
Eco-aesthetics, Metaphor, Story, and Symbolism: An Indigenous Perspective
Gregory A. Cajete, Dilafruz R. Williams
Embodied Childhoodnature Experiences Through Sensory Tours
Carie Green
Everyday, Local, Nearby, Healthy Childhoodnature Settings as Sites for Promoting Children’s
Health and Well-Being
Janet Dyment, Monica Green
Experiences of Pet Death in Childhood Memories
Nora Schuurman
Exploring Space and Politics with Children: A Geosocial Methodological Approach to Studying
Experiential Worlds
Kirsi Pauliina Kallio
Exploring the Significant Life Experiences of Childhoodnature
Elisabeth Barratt Hacking, Debra Flanders Cushing, Robert Barratt
Eye-to-Eye with Otherness: A Childhoodnature Figuration
Iris Duhn, Gloria Quinones
Fostering an Ecological Worldview in Children: Rethinking Children and Nature in Early
Childhood Education from a Japanese Perspective
Michiko Inoue
Future Shock, Generational Change, and Shifting Eco-Social Identities: Forest School
Practitioners’ Reasons to Train
Mel McCree
Greedy Bags of Childhoodnature Theories
Karen Malone, Iris Duhn, Marek Tesar
How Urban Wetland-Based Environmental Education Activate School Children’s
Childhoodnature in Anthropocene Times: Experience from Chinese Curriculum Reform
Yu Huang, Jian Liu, Jin Wang, Yan-ni Xie
Impact of Significant Childhoodnature Experiences on Environmental Identity Formation for
Globally Mobile Children Attending International Schools
Rianne Carolina van Zalinge
In Place(s): Dwelling on Culture, Materiality, and Affect
Sue Waite, John Quay
Insect and Human Flourishing in Early Childhood Education: Learning and Crawling Together
Elizabeth Y. S. Boileau, Constance Russell
Moving Beyond Innocence: Educating Children in a Post-Nature World
Helen Kopnina, Michael Sitka-Sage, Sean Blenkinsop, Laura Piersol
Mundane Habits, Ordinary Affects, and Methodological Creations
Rachel Holmes, Liz Jones, Jayne Osgood
Nanotechnology, Anthropocene, and Education: Scale as an Aesthetic Catalyst to Rethink
Concepts of Child/Nature
Patti Vera Pente
Nature Cements the New Learning: Expanding Nature-Based Learning into the K-5 Curriculum
David Sobel, Rachel Larimore
Nature Experience Areas: Rediscovering the Potential of Nature for Children’s Development
Dörte Martens, Claudia Friede, Heike Molitor
Outlining an Education Without Nature and Object-Oriented Learning
Stefan L. Bengtsson
Patterning in Childhoodnature
Shelley Hannigan, Anna Kilderry, Lihua Xu
Phenomenology with Children: My Salamander Brother
Adonia F. Porto, Janice Kroeger
Porous, Fluid, and Brut Methodologies in (Post)qualitative Childhoodnature Inquiry
Mirka Koro-Ljungberg, Marek Tesar, Vicki Hargraves, Jorge Sandoval, Timothy Wells
Post-critical Framing of Methodological Inquiry and Childhoodnature
Paul Hart
Posthuman Child and the Diffractive Teacher: Decolonizing the Nature/Culture Binary
Karin Murris
Posthuman Theory and Practice in Early Years Learning
Margaret Somerville
Propositions for an Environmental Arts Pedagogy: A/r/tographic Experimentations with
Movement and Materiality
David Rousell, Alexandra Lasczik Cutcher, Peter J. Cook, Rita L. Irwin
Rachel Carson’s Childhood Ecological Aesthetic and the Origin of The Sense of Wonder
David A. Greenwood
Rats, Death, and Anthropocene Relations in Urban Canadian Childhoods
Narda Nelson
Re-examining the Human-Nonhuman Animal Relationship Through Humane Education
Maria Helena Saari
Re-turning Childhoodnature: A Diffractive Account of the Past Tracings of Childhoodnature as
a Series of Theoretical Turns
Karen Malone
Remembering and Representing the Wonder: Using Arts-Based Reflection to Connect Preservice Early Childhood Teachers to Significant Childhoodnature Encounters and Their
Professional Role
Alison L. Black
Renaturing Science: The Role of Childhoodnature in Science for the Anthropocene
Donald Gray, Edward M. Sosu
Responsive Environmental Education: Kaleidoscope of Places in the Anthropocene
Anneliese Mueller Worster, Jennifer Whitten
Rethinking Children’s Connections with Other Animals: A Childhoodnature Perspective
Gail F. Melson
Section Introduction: Ecological Aesthetics: New Spaces, Directions, and Potentials
David Rousell, Dilafruz Williams
Significant Life Experiences that Connect Children with Nature: A Research Review and
Applications to a Family Nature Club
Chiara D’Amore, Louise Chawla
Situating Indigenous and Black Childhoods in the Anthropocene
Fikile Nxumalo
Socializing Superiority: The Cultural Denaturalization of Children’s Relations with Animals
Matthew Cole, Kate Stewart
Sticky: Childhoodnature Touch Encounters
Louise Gwenneth Phillips
The Child-Nature Relationship in Television for Children
Åsa Pettersson
The Flat Weasel: Children and Adults Experiencing Death Through Nature/Culture Encounters
Debra Harwood, Pam Whitty, Enid Elliot, Sherry Rose
The Influence of Nature on a Child’s Development: Connecting the Outcomes of Human
Attachment and Place Attachment
Sarah Little, Victoria Derr
The Mesh of Playing, Theorizing, and Researching in the Reality of Climate Change: Creating
the Co-research Playspace
Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, David Rousell
The Nature of Childhood in Childhoodnature
Bryan Wee
Third Culture Kids and Experiences of Places
Oliver Picton, Sarah Urquhart
Tin Shed Science: Girls, Aesthetics, and Permeable Learning
Lucinda McKnight
Toward a Pedagogy for Nature-Based Play in Early Childhood Educational Settings
Julia Truscott
Toward Decolonizing Nature-Based Pedagogies: The Importance of Sociocultural History and
Socio-materiality in Mediating Children’s Connectedness-with-Nature
Chesney Ward-Smith, Lausanne Olvitt, Jacqui Akhurst
Troubling Intersections of Childhood/Animals/Education: Narratives of Love, Life, and Death
Tracy Young, Jane Bone
Uncommon Worlds: Toward an Ecological Aesthetics of Childhood in the Anthropocene
David Rousell, Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles
Unconscious Activisms and the Subject as Critic: A Slam Articlepoem
Anne B. Reinertsen
Unearthing Withling(s): Children, Tweezers, and Worms and the Emergence of Joy and
Suffering in a Kindergarten Yard
Tuure Tammi, Pauliina Rautio, Riitta-Marja Leinonen, Riikka Hohti
Unplanning Research with a Curious Practice Methodology: Emergence of Childrenforest in
the Context of Finland
Anna Vladimirova, Pauliina Rautio
Wild Hope: The Transformative Power of Children Engaging with Nature
Cheryl Charles, Richard Louv
Wild Pedagogies: Six Touchstones for Childhoodnature Theory and Practice
Sean Blenkinsop, Bob Jickling, Marcus Morse, Aage Jensen
“I Don’t Know What’s Gotten in to me, but I’m Guessing It’s Snake Germs”: Becoming Beasts
in the Early Years Classroom
Casey Y. Myers
“She’s Only Two”: Parents and Educators as Gatekeepers of Children’s Opportunities for
Nature-Based Risky Play
Laura McFarland, Shelby Gull Laird

Citation preview

TABLE OF CONTENTS Ara Mai He Tetekura: Māori Knowledge Systems That Enable Ecological and Sociolinguistic Survival in Aotearoa Mere Skerrett, Jenny Ritchie Artists as Emplaced Pedagogues: How Does Thinking About Children’s Nature Relations Influence Pedagogy? Elsa Lee, Nicola Walshe, Ruth Sapsed, Joanna Holland Becoming Childhoodnature: Experimenting a Research Assemblage Diana Masny

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense, Poetics, and Imagining by Children and Young People Helen Widdop Quinton, Laura Piersol, David Rousell, Joshua Russell, Ricco Dezan, Tayla Shannon et al. Challenging Taken-for-Granted Ideas in Early Childhood Education: Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory in the Age of Post-humanism Sue Elliott, Julie M. Davis

A

Critique

of

Challenging the Anthropocentric Approach of Science Curricula: Ecological Systems Approaches to Enabling the Convergence of Sustainability, Science, and STEM Education Marianne Logan Child-Nature Interaction in a Forest Preschool Peter H. Kahn Jr., Thea Weiss, Kit Harrington Childhood Animalness: Relationality, Vulnerabilities, and Conviviality Joshua Russell, Leesa Fawcett

Childhoodnature Alternatives: Adolescents in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh Explore Their Nature Connectedness Helen Widdop Quinton, Ferdousi Khatun Childhoodnature and the Anthropocene: An Epoch of “Cenes” Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, Karen Malone, Hilary Whitehouse Childhoodnature Animal Relations: Section Overview Tracy Young, Pauliina Rautio Childhoodnature Ecological Systems and Realities: An Outline Marianne Logan, Helen Widdop Quinton

Childhoodnature in Motion: The Ground for Learning Martha Hart Eddy, Ann Lenore Moradian Childhoodnature Pedagogies and Place: An Overview and Analysis Robert B. Stevenson, Greg Mannion, Neus (Snowy) Evans Childhoodnature – An Assemblage Adventure Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, Karen Malone, Elisabeth Barratt Hacking Children Becoming Emotionally Attuned to “Nature” Through Diverse Place-Responsive Pedagogies Ron Tooth, Peter Renshaw Children Caring for the Australian Wet Tropics as a Response to the Anthropocene Hilary Whitehouse, Neus (Snowy) Evans, Clifford Jackson, Marcia Thorne Children in the Anthropocene: How Are They Implicated? Karen Malone Children’s Imaginative Play Environments and Ecological Narrative Inquiry Deborah Moore CineMusicking: Ecological Ethnographic Film as Critical Pedagogy Michael B. MacDonald Closing the Gap Through Rewilding, Interacting, and Overcoming Sean Blenkinsop, Peter H. Kahn Jr. Conceptualizing Parent(ing) Childhoodnature Through Significant Life Experience Simone Miranda Blom Developing Youth Agency Through Place-Based Education: Challenges and Opportunities Bob Coulter Eco-aesthetics, Metaphor, Story, and Symbolism: An Indigenous Perspective Gregory A. Cajete, Dilafruz R. Williams Embodied Childhoodnature Experiences Through Sensory Tours Carie Green

Everyday, Local, Nearby, Healthy Childhoodnature Settings as Sites for Promoting Children’s Health and Well-Being Janet Dyment, Monica Green Experiences of Pet Death in Childhood Memories Nora Schuurman

Exploring Space and Politics with Children: A Geosocial Methodological Approach to Studying Experiential Worlds Kirsi Pauliina Kallio Exploring the Significant Life Experiences of Childhoodnature Elisabeth Barratt Hacking, Debra Flanders Cushing, Robert Barratt Eye-to-Eye with Otherness: A Childhoodnature Figuration Iris Duhn, Gloria Quinones

Fostering an Ecological Worldview in Children: Rethinking Children and Nature in Early Childhood Education from a Japanese Perspective Michiko Inoue

Future Shock, Generational Change, and Shifting Eco-Social Identities: Forest School Practitioners’ Reasons to Train Mel McCree Greedy Bags of Childhoodnature Theories Karen Malone, Iris Duhn, Marek Tesar How Urban Wetland-Based Environmental Education Activate School Children’s Childhoodnature in Anthropocene Times: Experience from Chinese Curriculum Reform Yu Huang, Jian Liu, Jin Wang, Yan-ni Xie Impact of Significant Childhoodnature Experiences on Environmental Identity Formation for Globally Mobile Children Attending International Schools Rianne Carolina van Zalinge In Place(s): Dwelling on Culture, Materiality, and Affect Sue Waite, John Quay Insect and Human Flourishing in Early Childhood Education: Learning and Crawling Together Elizabeth Y. S. Boileau, Constance Russell

Moving Beyond Innocence: Educating Children in a Post-Nature World Helen Kopnina, Michael Sitka-Sage, Sean Blenkinsop, Laura Piersol Mundane Habits, Ordinary Affects, and Methodological Creations Rachel Holmes, Liz Jones, Jayne Osgood Nanotechnology, Anthropocene, and Education: Scale as an Aesthetic Catalyst to Rethink Concepts of Child/Nature Patti Vera Pente Nature Cements the New Learning: Expanding Nature-Based Learning into the K-5 Curriculum David Sobel, Rachel Larimore Nature Experience Areas: Rediscovering the Potential of Nature for Children’s Development Dörte Martens, Claudia Friede, Heike Molitor Outlining an Education Without Nature and Object-Oriented Learning Stefan L. Bengtsson Patterning in Childhoodnature Shelley Hannigan, Anna Kilderry, Lihua Xu Phenomenology with Children: My Salamander Brother Adonia F. Porto, Janice Kroeger Porous, Fluid, and Brut Methodologies in (Post)qualitative Childhoodnature Inquiry Mirka Koro-Ljungberg, Marek Tesar, Vicki Hargraves, Jorge Sandoval, Timothy Wells Post-critical Framing of Methodological Inquiry and Childhoodnature Paul Hart Posthuman Child and the Diffractive Teacher: Decolonizing the Nature/Culture Binary Karin Murris Posthuman Theory and Practice in Early Years Learning Margaret Somerville

Propositions for an Environmental Arts Pedagogy: A/r/tographic Experimentations with Movement and Materiality David Rousell, Alexandra Lasczik Cutcher, Peter J. Cook, Rita L. Irwin

Rachel Carson’s Childhood Ecological Aesthetic and the Origin of The Sense of Wonder David A. Greenwood Rats, Death, and Anthropocene Relations in Urban Canadian Childhoods Narda Nelson Re-examining the Human-Nonhuman Animal Relationship Through Humane Education Maria Helena Saari

Re-turning Childhoodnature: A Diffractive Account of the Past Tracings of Childhoodnature as a Series of Theoretical Turns Karen Malone

Remembering and Representing the Wonder: Using Arts-Based Reflection to Connect Preservice Early Childhood Teachers to Significant Childhoodnature Encounters and Their Professional Role Alison L. Black Renaturing Science: The Role of Childhoodnature in Science for the Anthropocene Donald Gray, Edward M. Sosu Responsive Environmental Education: Kaleidoscope of Places in the Anthropocene Anneliese Mueller Worster, Jennifer Whitten Rethinking Children’s Connections with Other Animals: A Childhoodnature Perspective Gail F. Melson Section Introduction: Ecological Aesthetics: New Spaces, Directions, and Potentials David Rousell, Dilafruz Williams Significant Life Experiences that Connect Children with Nature: A Research Review and Applications to a Family Nature Club Chiara D’Amore, Louise Chawla Situating Indigenous and Black Childhoods in the Anthropocene Fikile Nxumalo Socializing Superiority: The Cultural Denaturalization of Children’s Relations with Animals Matthew Cole, Kate Stewart Sticky: Childhoodnature Touch Encounters Louise Gwenneth Phillips

The Child-Nature Relationship in Television for Children Åsa Pettersson The Flat Weasel: Children and Adults Experiencing Death Through Nature/Culture Encounters Debra Harwood, Pam Whitty, Enid Elliot, Sherry Rose The Influence of Nature on a Child’s Development: Connecting the Outcomes of Human Attachment and Place Attachment Sarah Little, Victoria Derr

The Mesh of Playing, Theorizing, and Researching in the Reality of Climate Change: Creating the Co-research Playspace Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, David Rousell The Nature of Childhood in Childhoodnature Bryan Wee Third Culture Kids and Experiences of Places Oliver Picton, Sarah Urquhart Tin Shed Science: Girls, Aesthetics, and Permeable Learning Lucinda McKnight Toward a Pedagogy for Nature-Based Play in Early Childhood Educational Settings Julia Truscott

Toward Decolonizing Nature-Based Pedagogies: The Importance of Sociocultural History and Socio-materiality in Mediating Children’s Connectedness-with-Nature Chesney Ward-Smith, Lausanne Olvitt, Jacqui Akhurst Troubling Intersections of Childhood/Animals/Education: Narratives of Love, Life, and Death Tracy Young, Jane Bone Uncommon Worlds: Toward an Ecological Aesthetics of Childhood in the Anthropocene David Rousell, Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles Unconscious Activisms and the Subject as Critic: A Slam Articlepoem Anne B. Reinertsen

Unearthing Withling(s): Children, Tweezers, and Worms and the Emergence of Joy and Suffering in a Kindergarten Yard Tuure Tammi, Pauliina Rautio, Riitta-Marja Leinonen, Riikka Hohti

Unplanning Research with a Curious Practice Methodology: Emergence of Childrenforest in the Context of Finland Anna Vladimirova, Pauliina Rautio Wild Hope: The Transformative Power of Children Engaging with Nature Cheryl Charles, Richard Louv Wild Pedagogies: Six Touchstones for Childhoodnature Theory and Practice Sean Blenkinsop, Bob Jickling, Marcus Morse, Aage Jensen “I Don’t Know What’s Gotten in to me, but I’m Guessing It’s Snake Germs”: Becoming Beasts in the Early Years Classroom Casey Y. Myers “She’s Only Two”: Parents and Educators as Gatekeepers of Children’s Opportunities for Nature-Based Risky Play Laura McFarland, Shelby Gull Laird

Ara Mai He Tetekura: Māori Knowledge Systems That Enable Ecological and Sociolinguistic Survival in Aotearoa Mere Skerrett and Jenny Ritchie

Contents Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reading the World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Interconnectivity Across the Bioculture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Māori Ecological Literacy: Navigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Māori Ecological Literacy: Food Gathering – Rapu Tītī (Mutton-Birding) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Learning from Elders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tribal Sayings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Embodied (Land and Language) Knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ontological Values: Rangatiratanga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Te Awa Tupua: Landmarks Are Ancestors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tribal Rāhui . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rāhui in and Early Childhood Care and Education Setting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kaitiakitanga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kaitiakitanga in Early Childhood Care and Education Setting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Concluding Thoughts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cross-References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2 4 4 7 8 8 10 11 11 13 14 15 16 16 17 18 19 19

Abstract

This chapter offers an in-depth exploration of Māori systems of knowledge, outlining an ecological literacy grounded in a deep interconnectedness to land, rivers, and other geographical features made available to children through their integral engagement with whenua (land) and whānau (extended family). This

M. Skerrett (*) · J. Ritchie Victoria University of Wellington/Te Whare Wānanga o te Ūpoko o te Ika, Wellington, New Zealand e-mail: [email protected]; [email protected] # Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018 A. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, Springer International Handbooks of Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51949-4_59-1

1

2

M. Skerrett and J. Ritchie

ecoliteracy was symbiotically emergent in relation with the cohabitants of these places, generating a mutually beneficial biocultural diversity. This biocultural diversity, that is, the Māori language, their lands, and the biodiversity that previously thrived upon these, has all been threatened by the onslaught of colonization, of which the ultimate result is monocultures of the mind and of the land. The complexity of Māori onto-epistemologies, their belief and knowledge systems, is illustrated with an explanation of how their complex navigation systems enabled their settlement of Aotearoa and ongoing navigation around their own islands, as well as between those of the South Pacific. These knowledges are passed on intergenerationally through children’s participation in biocultural practices such as sustainable mutton-birding. Tribal sayings serve as detailed identity markers and also preserve wisdom that is thus transmitted to young children. Finally, some key Māori values that relate to biocultural sustainability are explained, along with some examples of their application within early childhood care and education settings. Keywords

Biocultural sustainability · Ecocultural literacy · Māori · Indigenous · Early childhood

Glossary Aotearoa Aroha Atua Hapū Harakeke Iwi Kaitiakitanga Karakia Kaupapa Māori education Kōhanga Reo Kura Kura Kaupapa Māori Māhutonga Mana Manaaki Māori Marae Mātauranga Māori

Land of the Long White Cloud Respectful mindfulness, love God, deity, supernatural beings Sub-tribe/pregnant Flax Tribe, people, bones Guardianship, stewardship, trusteeship Highly ritualized ceremonies, prayers and incantations A distinctly Māori, philosophically and linguistically enriched, education system Māori language nest School Kaupapa Māori immersion schools Southern Cross Prestige, authority, control, power, influence, status, spiritual power To support, take care of, give hospitality to, protect Indigenous People of New Zealand Formal Māori gathering place Māori knowledge

Ara Mai He Tetekura: Māori Knowledge Systems That Enable Ecological. . .

Mirimiri Mokopuna Moutere Tītī Ngāi Tahu Pākēhā Papatūānuku Pepeha Pūrākau Rangatiratanga Rāhui Rakiura Māori Rangi Ranginui Ritenga Rongoā Tamaiti Tamariki Tangaroa Taniwha Tāngata whenua Tapu Te ao Māori Te ao Pākehā Te Moana Nui a Kiwa Te reo Te Waipounamu Tikanga Tino Rangatiratanga Tiriti o Waitangi Tītī Titiro, whakarongo, kōrero Tōhunga Wairua Waka Whakapapa Whakarongo Whakatauākī Whakataukī

3

Similar to massage/physiotherapy Grandchild Muttonbird Islands Tribal group, South Island Non-Māori New Zealanders Mother Earth Tribal sayings Narratives and storytelling Chieftainship, right to exercise authority, chiefly autonomy, sovereignty, chiefly responsibility Restricted access, prohibition Southern tribal grouping Sky Sky Father Incantations and rituals involved with healing Physical remedies derived from trees, leaves, berries, fruits, bark, and moss Small child Children God of the Seas Powerful creature, chief, powerful leader, something or someone awesome People of the land Sacred, prohibited, under protection, restricted Māori worldviews Pākehā worldviews The Ocean of Kiwa or Pacific Ocean The language South Island Custom, cultural ways of being and doing Right to exercise authority, chiefly determination Treaty of Waitangi Sooty shearwater Look and listen before you speak

autonomy,

Reader of signs from nature, spiritual expert, and healer Spirit Canoe Genealogy Listen Proverbial saying according to someone Proverbial saying

self-

4

Whānau Whanaungatanga Whare Whāriki Whatumanawa Whenua

M. Skerrett and J. Ritchie

Family (including extended) Relationships, connectedness House Flax mat Inner heart, core Land

Introduction Māori, the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa (New Zealand), have their own ecological literacies, ecological thinking, and ecological identities, grounded in their own onto-epistemological systems. Connectedness and interrelatedness with their lands, mountains, rivers, lakes, languages, and oceans is at the center of these systems. Genealogically, Māori, as descendants of Papatūānuku and Ranginui, the Earth Mother and Sky Father, are related to these ancestral landmarks, and to the trees and creatures that coinhabit with them, and are required therefore to exercise kaitiakitanga (Māori words are translated on the first appearance and also listed in the glossary section.) and rangatiratanga, that is, guardianship, care, and responsibility in relationship with all manner of beings and things. Indigenous languages are an integral part of the cosmology and onto-epistemology. They bridge the spaces between knowledge/knowing and experiential/physical domains and reflect both cosmological thought and the biocultural diversity of the land. Indigenous languages are embodied languages and grow out of the lands, seas, and skies. They exemplify critical knowledges of global ecological systems and are crucial to their sustainability. Beginning with an explanation of Māori ecological literacies as key to understanding Māori onto-epistemologies, this paper explains traditional applications of these ecological literacies in the realms of navigation and sourcing food sustainably. Key constructs such as rangatiratanga, kaitiakitanga, and rāhui (protective prohibitions) are then explained, followed by some examples of these constructs as they were applied in early childhood care and education settings. In this paper we draw upon our own research in the field of critical early childhood studies and Māori pedagogies.

Reading the World The term “biocultural diversity” represents the interlinkages between linguistic, cultural, and biological diversity as interrelated components representing life on our planet (Skutnabb-Kangas, Maffi, & Harmon, 2003). Indigenous languages are integral to Indigenous onto-epistemologies, and therefore these must be supported if global biocultural systems are to be sustained (Skutnabb-Kangas et al., 2003). A biocultural perspective recognizes the interdependence of all living organisms,

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plants, animals, bacteria, and humans, living and flourishing together in networks of complex and delicate relationships. Further, it understands that damage to any part of the network (with or among humans or the ecosystem) will result in unforeseen, perhaps unintended, and likely harmful consequences for the whole system. It is the diversity across the delicate and complex network of the ecosystem, which reflects eons of coevolutionary symbiosis, that continues to provide the potential for further adaptation and diversity (Flannery, 2010). Our human histories are characterized by increasing adaptation and diversification as we settle into new environments, adapting to new landscapes, ecosystems, and climatic conditions. Languages too diversify and adapt as they connect to new lands and the ecosystems therein. Linguistic diversity and biological diversity are, therefore, seen as inseparable. Moreover, in the language of ecology, the strongest ecosystems are those that are the most diverse. That is, diversity directly relates to stability; variety is important for long-term survival. Uniformity endangers species by providing inflexibility and inadaptability (Skutnabb-Kangas et al., 2003). Our success on this planet has been due to an ability to adapt to different kinds of environments (cosmic, atmospheric, and ecological as well as cultural-linguistic) over millennia (Flannery, 2010). Survivability and sustainability are born out of diversity and adaptability. Linguistic and cultural diversity maximizes chances of human success and adaptability; our futures are dependent on it. Creation and innovation are born out of it. Therefore, as Skutnabb-Kangas et al. (2003) assert, the diversity of life goes beyond respecting biodiversity to include cultural and linguistic diversity, which is what is meant by the term “biocultural diversity.” Māori are the tāngata whenua (Indigenous people of the land) of Aotearoa. Te reo Māori (the Māori language) is the terralingua of Aotearoa, the Indigenous language of this land. It is the first language mapped on to this land, finely tuned to the geography and ecology of this space and place, with a lexicon that was created and adapted to the biodiversity that is Aotearoa. The language and/or the land are intricately interwoven into what can be described as a “tāniko” (detailed weaving) of fine ornamentation, presenting a delicate network of personification, symbol, metaphor, aphorism, and allegory, recording tribal histories, memories, genealogies, narratives, cultural activities, beliefs, and spirituality. The language and land comes together bundled up in symbiotic relationship with, and alongside, seas, skies, and all manner of creatures. McLintock (1949) alluded to this close relationship between Māori and their deeply embedded relationship with Papatūānuku (Earth Mother) when he proclaimed Māori were simply part of the geography “set in motion” and as such indivisible from more-than-human nature. He argues: In the remote past the physical environment of a society was its dominant factor, and even among primitive people, such as the pre-European Māori, the human being was largely at the mercy of omnipotent nature. Natural phenomena dominated his (sic) thoughts, controlled his life and shaped his religion. In a very real sense, such history could be regarded as merely geography set in motion. (p. 7)

Traditionally, Māori children (mokopuna, tamariki, tuakana, teina) were positioned alongside adults in an inseparable pattern of relationships between the gods,

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ancestors, elders, and wider family members. Mokopuna (the etymology of which stems from moko meaning facial markings or ancient and puna, a sacred spring) then translates to “the ancient spring, or blueprint, of your ancestors,” in today’s world commonly understood to be grandchildren. Tamariki (translated to mean “the descendents of the Gods”) is commonly understood today to mean “children,” tuakana (elder or senior relations to either brothers, sisters, cousins, and/or distant cousins), or teina (younger or junior relations to either brothers, sisters, cousins, and/or distant cousins). The networks or patterns of relationships were a fine-tuned one. The way these terms were used explained the nature of the relationship, whether close or distant, past or future. The “modern” constructs of childhood, child, and grandchild did not exist traditionally but are often transposed today onto Māori society, as is the construct of the nuclear family for “whānau” which, traditionally, also had a much wider compass, not the confined, self-contained entity of “family” in the English language sense. Traditionally children were born into much more dynamic systems of whakapapa (kinship and genealogical ties) and were positioned as representative of all their whakapapa ties, in all facets of their lives in traditional Māori society. Salmond (2017a) argues that it is the relationship itself and its relationality (not its quality or the parties involved) that is ontologically prior. She recalls one of the very first missionaries, the Reverend Samuel Marsden from the Church Missionary Society, commenting on the role of children in the early 1800s. He said The Chiefs are in general very sensible men, and wish for information upon all subjects. They are accustomed to public discussions from their infancy. The Chiefs take their Children from their Mothers breast, to all their public Assemblies. They hear all that is said upon Politics, Religion, War &c by the oldest men. Children will frequently ask questions in public Conversation, and are answered by the Chiefs. I have often been surprised, to see the Sons of the Chiefs at the age of 4 or 5 years sitting amongst the Chiefs, and paying such close attention to what was said. . . There can be no finer children than [those of] the New Zealanders in any part of the world. Their parents are very indulgent, and they appear always happy and playful, and very active. (cited at p. 114)

Salmond argues that Marsden “. . .failed to connect their happiness, however, with the absence of contemporary British child-rearing practices which included harsh physical punishment” (p. 114). The biblical notions of “spare the rod, spoil the child” and “children are meant to be seen, not heard” imposed through British colonialism were foreign concepts to Māori of the 1800s. The imposition of these British values and attitudes had a dire impact on both traditional and contemporary Māori childrearing practices, colonizing the relationships between adults and children as well as their relationships with nature. Drawing on reading the world through nature and natural phenomena, the following provides an exploration of the intimate relationships and interconnectedness across the delicate networking of the bioculture, across the sociolinguistic spaces and ecological diversities.

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Interconnectivity Across the Bioculture The concept of natural phenomena dominating Māori thought, life, behavior, and spirituality is inextricably entangled in our expressive Māori language, which reflects this coexistence. The colonization of the province of Otago provides an example of how Indigenous peoples coexisted with Papatūānuku rather than seeking to conquer and control nature. In The History of Otago, McLintock (1949) raises what he considers to be the age-old “historical problem” of dualism of the actions of “Nature on Man” (sic) or “Man on Nature.” Lack of understanding of Māori ontoepistemologies leads McLintock to hypothesize the nature of the relationship as being one of nature dominating human life, rather than coexisting, and thus the invader deciding the necessary reaction to be one of promoting human determination to control and subdue nature. He argues that the colonization of Otago provides the scope for an effective study of these two phenomena, so effective was that colonization process. The Nature on Man environment is argued as being stark and unsympathetic, where the people (Māori), merely part of the geography, must also be living stark and unsympathetic lives. In the colonial mind-set, that arrangement needed to change, to make way for “progress.” McLintock writes: It is difficult to-day. . .to envisage the Otago landscape as it appeared to the pioneers, and— perhaps more difficult-to recapture the wonder it must have aroused within their minds. For those who assembled on the decks of the John Wickliffe and the Philip Laing to gaze with anxious eyes upon the land destined to be their home were greeted with a vista of what must have seemed an endless sweep of that sub-tropical rain forest, not the least among New Zealand’s glories. .. Even to land-hungry immigrants, the virgin beauty of the scene must have made a strong appeal until the soon familiar sound of axe and saw shattered the brooding spell of centuries. (p. 15)

Southern Māori had cohabited with Papatūānuku for over a thousand years – had lived according to the principles of “rangatiratanga” and “kaitiakitanga” (responsibility and the protocol of giving and taking only what was needed) and manaakitanga (extreme care). But all too soon Papatūānuku became “it,” an apparatus for western colonialist and capitalist expansion and exploitation, something now distanced from the closely respected inter-relationality of a Māori worldview. The mahinga kai (food gathering places) were commodified, cleared, and drained for farming or polluted by excrement by the invader state politics. Such encroachment led to the corresponding disappearance of the forests and birds; But the unique experiences [of the settler pioneers] were all too fleeting and soon, very soon, a solitary bird-note became the echo of a once lovelier song. For it was a tragedy, little understood or heeded in those early decades, that the native birds were fated to disappear at a rate corresponding to the destruction of the forest. (McLintock, 1949, p. 22)

Indigenous people either died of introduced diseases, were killed, or forced into a new (hierarchical) modality of life. Lands were carved up; Indigenous peoples lives decimated in terms of the destruction of whānau (extended family), hapū (sub-tribe),

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and iwi (tribal) structure of Māori. When the invader colonizers arrived, they did not see, understand, respect, or even heed, as McLintock alluded to, the beauty of Aotearoa and her resources. They quickly set about establishing deeds of ownership to turn the majesty of Te Waipounamu (the Greenstone Waters) into Her Majesty’s commodity, essentially farms. As the native birds were fated to disappear at the rate of the destruction of their native habitats, so too were the languages and knowledges which were the voices of those habitats fated to disappear.

Māori Ecological Literacy: Navigation Drawing on the navigation tradition of Māori people provides a closer example of reading the world through nature and natural phenomena. Prior to discovering the southernmost Pacific Islands that they were to name “Aotearoa,” the ancestors of Māori already knew there was a large southern land mass because of the migratory pathways of varieties of birds, whales, and other marine life. They navigated by the signs of Tangaroa (God of the Seas) and Papatūānuku (Earth Mother) and Ranginui (the Sky Father) including stars, clouds, land, and sea swells. The migratory pathways of birds around the entire Pacific Rim provide many signposts. The tītī (sooty shearwater) is one such bird. The flight of the tītī is spectacular, powerful, and direct, with wingspans giving the impression of an albatross, yet enabling them to plunge the oceans to depths of 16 m and to swim to depths of over 60 m. During migration, tītī travel on average a remarkable 74,000 km around the Pacific Ocean, which is the longest animal migration ever recorded electronically (Moller, Charleton, Knight, & Lyver, 2009). The flight takes them as far across the Pacific as Chile, Alaska, the coast of California, across to Japan, and back to the nesting grounds in the deep south of New Zealand, known to Rakiura Māori (the Southern tribal grouping) as the Moutere Tītī (Muttonbird Islands). Tītī survive and depend on the natural balance and harmony that nature provides while at sea and on land and are an integral part of the ecosystem in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Any disruption to this natural balance such as pollution, the annihilation of fish stock such as the krill, illegal commercial fishing, and the disasters like the deepwater horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown disaster have profound repercussions for our wildlife in the South. The saying “He manawa tītī” refers to the fortitude and sheer power of flight possessed by the tī tī , and so a person who is resilient and of strong spirit may be described as a possessing a “manawa tītī,” the heart and substance of the tītī.

Māori Ecological Literacy: Food Gathering – Rapu Tītī (Mutton-Birding) Every year some Rakiura Māori families migrate south with the birds to the Muttonbird Islands to gather a bioculturally controlled harvest. Ecological signs

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guide the migration and provide clues as to the nature of the breeding season that is coming. For several months before heading south, the moon is studied intensely, along with the flowering of the harakeke (flax) plants around Christmas and the feeding patterns of native birds in summer. The way the adult tītī birds sit in the water provides a sign, as well as the color of the ocean plentiful with krill. Māori traditional ecological knowledge of natural systems over time adds valuable ecological data to more conventional scientific studies, which are more of a snapshot at a particular point in time (Wehi, Whaanga, & Roa, 2009). It has been shown that the traditional “take” has little to no impact on total tītī population, but its significance for those families in terms of the intergenerational transmission of knowledge is invaluable to Rakiura Māori, to Ngāi Tahu (wider tribal group of the South Island). It is a time to gather, rekindle whakapapa (genealogical links), practice tikanga (specific Rakiura Māori ways of doing things), remember those who have passed on, share stories, forge new relationships, renew old relationships, and participate in, and adapt, a tradition that has been fine-tuned over a thousand years. However, this tradition is currently threatened by dangerous “consumer-driven” wasteful and polluting lifestyles. A recent study provides an example of how our western consumerism is having long-term devastating impacts on wildlife (Wilcox, Van Sebille, & Hardesty, 2015). It reports that plastics could taint 99% of seabird species by 2050 and that the impact of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystems has unknown consequences. Seabirds have ingested bottle caps, children’s toys, and other debris that they mistake for food. Then they die of starvation – if they do not succumb to the toxicity of the plastics first (Wilcox et al., 2015). Rakiura Māori are deeply concerned as a tribe and have been involved in ongoing scientific studies incorporating Māori traditional ecological knowledge based on a collective base of understanding our Earth Mother ancestor, Papatūānuku, and her descendants. The collective base is founded on how the people and environment live together in complete awareness of each other and diversify together through time. Ancient Māori navigators also followed the whales and other marine life whose rate of travel is slow and easily within the cruising speed of Māori double-hulled canoes or “waka hourua.” Ngāi Tahu Māori descend from Kahutia-te-rangi (also known as Paikea), who came ashore to Aotearoa on a whale. The time that the whales migrate south coincides with the appearance of the stars and planets most useful for navigating – particularly Māhutonga (the Southern Cross). The night sky was a map, and the sea was also a source of vast information, especially in terms of the relationship between lands and seas as navigation indicators. Changes in cloud color, sea color, fish species, ocean currents, and night skies are all important markers. There was no need for lighthouses or radar, so intimate was the relationship between people and the environment. In Hawaii they say “Nana i ke Kumu” (Look to the Source), a saying often used by Hawaiian ancestors as a means of educating young people to seek answers from the elderly people. It also meant that one must study nature itself with all its wisdom in the forest and streams, the oceans and the skies, with all their life forms and the air

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that keeps them alive. In Ngāi Tahu we say “Mō ka uri e whai ake nei,” emphasizing the importance of bringing the relationship between our ancestral knowledges and future generations together. But when the relationships are disrupted, so too is the delicate network between the people and the environment and their ability to read one another. They all begin to suffer. Wehi et al. (2009) argue that oral traditions offer a wealth of information that is frequently overlooked, in part because of the language shift that occurs with colonization. This shift gives rise to the lack of knowledge of the language, which in the context of Aotearoa is the Māori language. The relationships between what happens to the lands then have a close impact on the languages of those lands and the way those languages are transmitted to following generations.

Learning from Elders Māori, having navigated their way down across Te Moana Nui a Kiwa (the Ocean of Kiwa or Pacific Ocean) to settle on the islands of Aotearoa, were faced with a very different, temperate climate along with a different set of flora and fauna. Many of the plants they had brought with them from their tropical homelands failed to thrive in the colder climates of Aotearoa. However, through their attunement with forests, wetlands, oceans, and rivers, Māori were able to develop an extensive, in-depth understanding of how to sustain their well-being in their new lands. Integral to Māori well-being were spiritual beliefs and practices that linked them on a regular daily basis with the Atua (departmental Gods) from whom they sought guidance. Māori children were thus inculcated into a range of well-being modalities which included the use of “ritenga and karakia (incantations and rituals involved with healing), rongoā (physical remedies derived from trees, leaves, berries, fruits, bark and moss), mirimiri (similar to massage/physiotherapy), [and] wai (use of water to heal)” (Ahuriri-Driscoll et al., 2008, p. 15). The particular practices were integrally related to the specific places in which each tribe (iwi), sub-tribe (hapū), and extended family (whānau) cohabited with local flora and fauna and imbued with spiritual interconnectedness (wairua) (Penetito, 2009). Whaea Rangimārie Rose Pere, who was born in the early 1930s, describes her childhood raised in the traditional way by her grandparents in the remote Urewera forest region: When the children of the Urewera got involved with aspects of mahi [work] alongside the adults on their daily pursuits they learnt the disciplines associated with each task they were expected to perform. The gathering of berries and vegetation such as pikopiko shoots, within a selected location, involved ritual and consideration for the patupaiarehe (supernatural folk) and other supernatural influences. The children quickly became accustomed to and respectful towards the bush and its inhabitants. The learnt how to lure or trap birds and could imitate their calls and sound patterns to perfection. . .. It was obvious from the expertise that Te Au [Whaea Rose’s great-grandmother] and others of her generation had in regard to bush-lore, that Tuhoe-Potiki [her tribe] had a thorough practical training course for their young. There is no doubt that the way for children to learn is through first hand experiences involving the sense, alongside knowledgable, skilful people. (Pere, 1983, pp. 58–59)

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As has been shown, Māori had a particular affinity with the many birds of their forests, wetlands, foreshores, and islands (Keane, 2010). Much tribal wisdom was encapsulated within tribal sayings, which reflected the respect for and knowledge gleaned from close observation of indigenous birds and their ecologies. The intergenerational disruption of those tribal sayings being handed on to successive generations through colonization meant not only were the sayings lost, but the tribal wisdom and knowledges that those sayings reflected were also lost.

Tribal Sayings Māori, like other Indigenous peoples, many of whom had resided in their lands for thousands of years, had developed not only extensive pharmacological knowledge systems but also had proactively developed sustainable plant production systems and protection protocols for local fauna (Wehi & Lord, 2017). Long periods of cohabitation enabled coevolutionary reciprocity that sustained biocultural well-being in which the Indigenous people positioned themselves in service to their cohabitants, their more-than-human kin which include the land, rivers, mountains, oceans, and all creatures residing in these spaces. Indigenous knowledge systems are, therefore, of the land and interdependent with it. Māori metaphorical understandings and wisdom are transmitted in whakataukī (proverbial sayings), such as “He pā tīkapu e takahia e au, he pā harakeke e kore e takahia, he tapu, he tapu, he tapu.” This is translated by Pou Temara as: “A flax [Phormium] cultivation is sacred and not to be treated as if it were a grove of tī trees” (as cited in Wehi, 2009, p. 270). According to Māori elders such encapsulated statements of wisdom “provide a blueprint for human behavior, thus emphasizing the older–younger sibling relationship of plants and humans that is accepted in Māori philosophy” (Wehi, 2009, p. 269). Our ecological spaces continue to be destroyed by settler-colonial exploitation of lands, rivers, forests, and fisheries, in breach of the 1840 Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi, which is now considered to be New Zealand’s founding document and which had explicitly protected these. Not only is the unique biodiversity increasingly severely endangered (Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, 2017), but Māori face the challenge of maintaining the language specificities and cultural knowledges that emanate from those powerful connections and long histories of cohabitant reciprocity (Wehi & Lord, 2017). Elders today may likewise struggle to pass on their knowledges to their mokopuna (grandchildren) as children are often no longer in their care; in urban settings Māori families lack access to traditional ecosystems (Wehi & Wehi, 2010).

Embodied (Land and Language) Knowledge Māori knowledge melded Māori ancestors to the lands in Aotearoa and the surrounding oceans for over a thousand years (Walker, 2004). Elders embodied knowledge and a strong desire to perpetuate certain forms of knowledge through their close

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relationships with young children, the mokopuna (Best, 1924). It has been argued that Māori knowledge is also inscribed on the landscape and language-scape in a variety of forms: through naming people, places, phenomena and things, waiata (songs), karakia (highly ritualized ceremonies, prayers, and incantations), whakapapa (genealogy), pūrākau (narratives and storytelling), through tikanga (cultural ways of being and doing), spirituality, and beliefs, passed on by the elders. According to Jackson (2011), Māori knowledge systems allow us to know who we are, our environment, and all aspects of the ecosystem and thus enable us to face challenges through broadening thinking, providing pathways into the future. Metge (2015) discusses the two sides of Māori knowledge systems, the sacred aspects (those that are “tapu”) that are not always readily available to everyone and the knowledge that is available to all (the “noa”) that is needed for daily living and wellbeing. These knowledge systems related correspondingly to each other. So too does the notion of “ako,” teaching and learning. Māori language (intimately related to the environment) both forms the fundamental basis of “ako,” which in turn shapes thinking and Māori worldviews. Māori patterns of thinking and relating which shape Māori worldviews and identity are bound up with one’s mountains, rivers, lakes, streams, marae (formal gathering places), and other landmarks. When Māori meet and introduce themselves, it is generally prefaced by words which may follow the format of the pepeha (statement of identity) outlined here: Ko Te Arawa te waka – Arawa is the tribal canoe. Ko Matawhaura te maunga – Matawhaura is the mountain. Ko Te Rotoiti te Moana – Rotoiti is the lake. Ko Taurua Pā te Marae – Taurua Pā is the gathering place. Ko Ngāti Pikiao te Iwi – Pikiao is the tribal grouping. Ko Ngāti Te Rangiunuora te Hapū – Ngāti Te Rangiunuora is the sub-tribe. These cosmological and biocultural identity shapers and markers not only demarcate the tribal landmarks, waterways, ancestral groupings but weave and entangle people, places, and practices in an intricate network of relationships. Such biocultural identity markers are embedded in the lands, elements, creatures, and bodies that inhabit those lands and waterways. They are also the focus of young children’s learning in early childhood centers dedicated to Māori language and tikanga (cosmo-biocultural practices) regeneration. This gives children a secure tūrangawaewae (a place to stand, sense of belonging) or connection with those identity markers enabling them to remain profoundly linked to their histories, their genealogical roots, their language, and their ontologies in important and enduring ways. Karakia (Māori ancient traditional spiritual rituals) also play an important role in the intergenerational transmission of language and knowledge. Karakia serve as a guide in the present and into the future. The following karakia was recited daily in our Kōhanga Reo (Māori language nest) and is an example of contemporary Kōhanga Reo pedagogy:

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Tēnei au, tēnei au, ko te hōkai nei o taku tapuwae Ko te hōkai nuku, ko te hōkai rangi, ko te hōkai o tōku tīpuna a Tānenuiārangi I pikitia ai ki ngā rangitūhāhā ki te tiho o Manono I rokohina atu rā, ko Io-Matua-Kore anake I riri iho ai ngā kete o te wānanga, ko te kete Tuauri, ko te kete Tuatea, ko te kete Aronui. Ka tiritiria, ka poupoua, ki a Papatūānuku. Ka puta te ira tangata ki te wheiao, ko te ao marama. Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

This karakia is about a journey: It is I who is here, on a sacred journey, the range and breadth of which is vast, spanning the earth and the heavens; in the way that my ancestor Tānenuiārangi journeyed into the beyond; to the limits of the outermost layers of Manono, to come upon a pure parentless source; there to acquire the baskets of knowledge known as Tūāuri, Tūātea and Aronui; the baskets of sacred knowledge, ancient knowledge, knowledge pertaining to all life. These were then cultivated and nourished by Papatūānuku, our Earth Mother, to unfold the essence of all human beings into the realm of light and enlightenment. So let us unite and progress the reason why we are here. So be it!

The karakia not only provides the impetus for the pursuit of knowledge but it speaks to the interconnectedness of all things ancient and new, past, present, and future. It provides the blueprint for respecting the sacred, seeking the ancient understandings to help us to understand the present and to provide the unity and purpose in working together, across boundaries, for our common well-being and human enlightenment. The means by which Tanenuiārangi ascended through the outer layers, into the heavens, was by way of a vine called “Te Aka Matua.” The ancient and the present are interconnected in the same way that the ecosystems and terralinguistics are entwined. Harm to any aspect of the bioculture is harmful to the whole system. Everything and everyone needs to be valued and treated with the utmost respect.

Ontological Values: Rangatiratanga The Māori word “Rangatira” means something (or someone) of high rank, of high esteem, and to be revered. The suffix “tanga” at the end is a noun-forming suffix so that rangatiratanga is often translated to mean sovereignty, or something which stands in high esteem, in its own right, that is, self-determining. The 1840 Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi explicitly protected the rangatiratanga of the sovereign chiefs and all their lands, rivers, forests, fisheries, and “taonga” (all things treasured) from exploitation (Orange, 1987). It is interesting to note that the prelude to Te Tiriti o Waitangi was a Declaration of Independence called He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni, A Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand, drafted in 1835, with signatures being collected up until the time of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in 1840 (Walker, 2004). The first clause of the Declaration of Independence designated Nū Tireni

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(New Zealand) to be an independent country, and the United Tribes (Te Wakaminenga) also declared that the lands were indeed “he Wenua Rangatira,” or lands to be revered, chiefly lands. There has, however, been a long-standing historical struggle between Māori and Pākehā (non-Māori) over the Māori concept of rangatiratanga (rights to sovereignty), exacerbated in the proclamation by Judge Prendergast in 1877 that the Treaty was a “simple nullity” (King, 2003, p. 325). While both documents guaranteed Māori their rangatiratanga (sovereignty), Prendergast contested it. There has been a struggle over whether Māori were a sovereign people, and what exactly was ceded, ever since. Smith (2012) argues that notions of struggle “in the margins” is that, when attached to a political idea such as rangatiratanga, not just the margins but all space in New Zealand can be regarded as Māori space. Rangatiratanga then is akin to a call for the sovereignty of space (with all lands, resources, and chiefs being sovereign). Both the Declaration of the Independence (1835) and Te Tiriti o Waitangi (1840) were signed by Māori chiefs with that in mind. A rangatiratanga theoretical frame can be considered to be political and to address issues of sociopolitical and biocultural subjugation. In education, it contests the positioning of Māori knowledge, language, and Māori children as subservient to assimilatory interests, and it challenges the notion of masterful teachers in control of young children’s lives. It also resists the idea of linguicism, rejecting the construct of linguistic hierarchies. All languages are powerful. All children have the right to move beyond the master/servant relationships of colonization. “Te rangatiratanga o te whenua” (translated here as the sovereignty of land) then is not just about resistance to injustice and the inversion of colonial rule but the assertion of Māori sovereignty over Māori lands and language in “our place,” all of it and everywhere. It is the right to assert Indigenous worldviews over Indigenous lands through Indigenous languages and power by breaking the illogic and harm of coloniality. From that view, rangatiratanga is a metaphor for Indigenous rights, as made explicit in the United Nations’ (2007) Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Te Awa Tupua: Landmarks Are Ancestors Māori identify strongly with their traditional tribal landmarks, viewing these as ancestors deserving of great respect and protection. These ancestral landmarks are frequently cited in pepeha, identity statements of tribal and land affiliation. As mentioned previously, water is key to many Māori healing rituals. They have understandably been extremely distressed by settler-colonial practices, which continue to this day, of dumping sewerage and other waste into rivers. The irony of the New Zealand government’s tourism promotion of our country as “100% pure” has recently been challenged by both Dame Anne Salmond, a prominent New Zealand anthropologist and public scholar, and a recent newspaper editorial by the Christchurch Press (Christchurch Press, 2017; Salmond, 2017b). The reality is in fact far from this with not only sewerage but farm and forestry runoff contributing to a very dire situation for the country’s rivers (Joy, 2015).

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The people of the Whanganui River, Te Ati Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, have a pepeha: E rere kau mai te awa nui nei Mai te kahui maunga ki Tangaroa Ko au te Awa Ko te Awa ko au The river flows from the mountain to the sea I am the river The river is me. (Waitangi Tribunal, 1999, p. 79)

During the hearing for the claim made by the Atihaunui about government breaches of the Tiriti o Waitangi in relation to their river, an elder made the statement: “If I am the river and the river is me - then emphatically, I am dying” (as cited in Salmond, 2016). Iwi (tribes), such as Atihaunui and Waikato, have sought to regain the right to exercise kaitiakitanga (active guardianship) over their rivers, given the despoliation that has occurred under settler/colonial governance. After very many years of struggle, in 2017 the New Zealand Parliament passed legislation that affirms the ancestral status of the Whanganui River, Te Awa Tupua (New Zealand Parliament, 2017). It is to be hoped that the reaffirmation of ancestral relationships and knowledge, occurring through the succession of settlements of historical grievances that have been achieved by long-standing Māori commitment struggle and sacrifice, will enable current and future generations of children to be deeply connected via their whakapapa (genealogy) to their ancestral lands, rivers, forests, wetlands, foreshores, islands, and oceans and the knowledges these uphold.

Tribal Rāhui The function of “rāhui” or prohibition is to place a sanction on something, either a resource, a place, or a thing. It is form of “tapu” which means the place of the rāhui, for the duration of the rāhui, is sacred or absolutely restricted. Any breach of the rāhui, especially if placed by a chief or tōhunga (reader of signs from nature, spiritual expert, and healer), could have dire implications, even death. Quite often a rāhui would be placed in an area where there had been a significant event, for example, a lake where there had been a drowning. A rāhui would be put in place so that there would be no activity in that place until the body had been recovered and for a significant period of time after the drowning. Other forms of rāhui would establish a certain place, for example, a lake, the bush, or rivers, to be off-limits for fishing or the harvesting of food, to allow those places to be restored. This would enable the resources to be protected. A modern-day example of the way rāhui is exercised at the tribal level is through the establishment of the Mātaitai reserves which are areas in which the local tribal members manage all noncommercial fishing by making bylaws. These bylaws apply equally to all individuals, not just the tāngata whenua (people of that place). These are effective restrictions to prevent the overfishing of marine reserves.

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Rāhui in and Early Childhood Care and Education Setting An example of rāhui being applied in an early childhood center occurred in a research project focussed on “caring for ourselves, others and the environment” (Ritchie, Duhn, Rau, & Craw, 2010). At Richard Hudson Kindergarten in Dunedin, the teachers determined their teaching and research focus to seek answers to their research question: “By learning about Rakinui/Ranginui [Sky Father] and Papatūānuku [Earth Mother] can we inspire our children and whānau to consider making ecologically sustainable choices?” After researching the concept, the teachers added “rāhui” to their focus on caring for the environment through “Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling.” One of these teachers wrote this description of the problem to be addressed through application of a rāhui: We have some flower troughs on the entrance steps at kindergarten. They are blooming beautifully with pansies at present – and that’s the problem. Some of the children have been picking the flowers. When other children notice, they pick them too. That is why a rāhui has been placed on the picking of these flowers. It has afforded an opportunity for us to introduce the concept of conservation through rāhui. If everyone picked a pansy or two today, there would be none left for tomorrow. So we are admiring them without picking them.

The teachers integrated Māori knowledges alongside western ones, engendering respect for Tāne Mahuta, the Atua (Spiritual Guardian) of forests, birds, and insects, and for Ranginui and Papatūānuku, the original parents of all beings. They described how: These concepts have been reinforced through teaching about the food chain, photosynthesis, growing bean seeds, planting a lemon tree that was given to us, conservation through rāhui and respect for Tāne’s children, and references to Papatūānuku and Rakinui/Ranginui.

Kaitiakitanga The meanings underpinning the Māori concept of kaitiakitanga are also deep and enduring, reflecting relationships across time and space. Tiaki means to look after, to conserve, or to protect. Combined with the prefix “kai” and the noun-forming suffix “tanga,” it reflects people valuing or having a deep respect for and guardianship of Papatūānuku. The New Zealand early childhood care and education curriculum, Te Whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa early childhood curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2017), discusses the notions of kaitiakitanga: “Kaiako [teachers] support mokopuna [children] to engage respectfully with and to have aroha (respectful mindfulness, love) for Papatūānuku. They encourage an understanding of kaitiakitanga and the responsibilities of being a kaitiaki by, for example, caring for rivers, native forest and birds” (p. 33). They do this “. . .by providing children with regular opportunities to connect with the wider natural

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environment and materials drawn from nature” (p. 35) and that kaitiakitanga is integral to children expressing “. . .their respect for the natural world in terms of respect for Papatūānuku, Ranginui and atua Māori” (p. 46).

Kaitiakitanga in Early Childhood Care and Education Setting In the same project, the teachers from another kindergarten chose to focus on the notion of kaitiakitanga as the focus for their teaching and research. Prior to participating in the project, the kindergarten had already had a strong focus on education for sustainability. Their engagement with the project enabled them to bring te ao Māori conceptualizations into their philosophy and practice. This was particularly relevant since the kindergarten is located in a small, rural, predominately Māori community. The teachers wrote that: We began to think about how Maori values, practices and culture tie in with the principles we wanted to promote. The concept of kaitiakitanga (being guardians over the well-being of the environment and the creatures in it – including us) gives a holistic view of what we are doing.

As with Richard Hudson Kindergarten, the Koromiko teachers began introducing the concept of kaitiakitanga along with the Māori cosmology of Ranginui and Papatūānuku and of Tāne Mahuta and the other Atua: Talking about the Earth as an entity (Papatūānuku – the Earth Mother) and the Gods who are guardians of various areas, such as the forest and sea – Tāne and Tangaroa – gives the children a concrete focus for caring for the environment and all living things in it. We can read books about this, see pictures of the living things in the forest or the sea and begin to see that we have a part in caring for them too. The things that the Earth provides, whether shells and driftwood at the beach or any other items, especially living things, are gifts from Papatūānuku and, therefore, need to be treated with respect.

The teachers reported how the mother of one of the kindergarten children described her son’s practices of kaitiakitanga: T. enjoys whitebaiting with his Dad. Last time they only caught a few. When it was time to go, and they didn’t have enough whitebait for a meal, he decided to put the ones he had caught back into the water. He didn’t want them to die without being eaten. He also said that he might catch them again and a few more next time so that he had enough to eat. T., on numerous occasions, will walk past rubbish left at the beach or on the footpath and pick it up to put into the rubbish bin. He talks about ‘these naughty people leaving their rubbish on the ground’ and ‘why don’t they just put in into the rubbish bin?’ I have never seen T. litter himself – he always puts things in bins or, if he can’t see one, he asks me to hold it or asks where he can put it.

Children’s empathy for Papatūānuku and Ranginui, the Atua, and for the creatures who are the offspring of the Atua was featured strongly in the data gathered in this

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project. It is such dispositions that will engender concern and respect for our planet in the future. They offer a different positioning from the exploitative paradigm of colonization and current capitalism that dominates many societies.

Concluding Thoughts This chapter argues that the whole ecosystem including humans live and flourish together in networks of complex and delicate relationships. It is the diversity across those complex and delicate networks that provide the potential for adaptation and further diversity. That is, diversity maintains diversity. Diversity also maintains robust ecosystems and strong biocultures and increases the chances of long-term planetary survival. Our future on this planet relies on the bioculture’s ability to preserve and continue its diversity. Human beings, and the languages we speak, are an integral part of the complex and delicate networking. Linguistic diversity and ecological diversity are inseparable. They come together in what has been termed as biocultural diversity (Skutnabb-Kangas et al., 2003). However, it has been argued that Māori face the challenge of maintaining the language specificities and cultural knowledges that emanate from the deeply embedded interconnectivity and long histories of cohabitant reciprocity (Wehi & Lord, 2017). In this chapter examples have been provided through an Indigenous lens of the intimate relationships and interconnectedness across the delicate networking of the bioculture, for millenia. But with colonization, Indigenous people either died, were killed, or forced into a new (hierarchical) modality of life. Lands were carved up; Indigenous people’s lives decimated in terms of the destruction of whānau, hapū, and iwi structure of Māori. Drawing on Indigenous onto-epistemological lives, Māori ecological literacies of mutton-birding, learning from the elders, tribal sayings, and the nature of Māori knowledges being embodied in both the lands and languages, and being interwoven, have been examined. Some of the values that underpinned those onto-epistemologies included rangatiratanga which provides a theoretical frame to address issues of sociopolitical and biocultural subjugation. That frame is transferred into an educational context to signify children as agents of their own thinking, learning, and lives. It also resists the idea of linguistic hierarchies based on racist philosophical frames in which Indigenous languages are regarded as having no value. The reverse is promulgated – te rangatiratanga o te reo (or the sovereignty of language) along with te rangatiratanga o te whenua (the sovereignty of Papatūānuku). Drawing on recent political events, the people of the Whanganui River exercised their rangatiratanga in their claim made about government breaches of the Tiriti o Waitangi in relation to their ancestral river. They sought to regain their right to exercise kaitiakitanga (active guardianship) over their river and have recently won the battle to affirm the river with the ancestral status of a person. This right presents a challenge for many New Zealanders who fail to understand the interconnectedness of Indigenous peoples to the bioculture. However, it is argued here that a pedagogy of hope (Freire, 1994) can be infused throughout early childhood care and education

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to enable current and future generations of children to be deeply connected via their whakapapa (genealogy) to their ancestral lands, rivers, forests, wetlands, foreshores, islands, and oceans, through their Indigenous languages and the knowledges that these uphold. It is also hoped that the values of rāhui and kaitiakitanga, as shown in the research in early childhood settings, will continue to cultivate the dispositions that will stimulate concern and respect for our planet in the future for all children present. They offer a different positioning from the exploitative paradigm of colonization and current neoliberalism that permeates western capitalism and its institutions. Our long-term survival is dependent on it. E kore au e ngaro; he kākano i ruia mai i Rangiātea.

This whakatauki [proverb] refers to the original seed from Rangiatea, the spiritual homeland for Māori, stating that this seed will not be lost. It thus asserts both continuity and resilience and implies that for Māori, their language and culture are the sustenance of this resilience (Grace & Grace, 2003, p. 29).

Cross-References ▶ Children Becoming Emotionally Attuned to “Nature” Through Diverse Place Responsive Pedagogies ▶ Fostering an Ecological View from Early Childhood: A Japanese Perspective ▶ Prospecting Childhoodnature Alternatives. The Ecological Systems Connectedness of Young People in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh ▶ Situating Indigenous and Black Childhoods in the Anthropocene

References Ahuriri-Driscoll, A., Baker, V., Hepi, M., Hudson, M., Mika, C., Tiakiwai, S.-J. (2008). The future of rongoā Māori: Wellbeing and sustainability. A report for Te Kete Hauora, Ministry of Health. Christchurch: Institute of Environmental Science and Research, University of Canterbury. Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi Ngā Ringa Whakahaere o te Iwi Māori. Retrieved from https:// ir.canterbury.ac.nz/handle/10092/5211. Best, E. (1924). The Maori as he was: A brief account of Maori life as it was in pre-European days. Pretoria, South Africa: Government Printer. Christchurch Press. (2017). Editorial. New marketing campaign 100% Pure New Zealand puffery. Retrieved from Christchurch, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/ opinion/94781950/editorial-100-pure-new-zealand-puffery. Flannery, T. (2010). Here on earth. A natural history of the planet. Toronto, Canada: HarperCollins. Freire, P. (1994). Pedagogy of hope. Reliving pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum. Grace, P., & Grace, W. (2003). Earth, sea, sky. Images and Māori proverbs from the natural world of Aotearoa New Zealand. Wellington, New Zealand: Huia Publishers/Craig Potton Publishing. Jackson, M. (2011). Hui reflections: Research and the consolations of bravery. In P. Marae (Ed.), Kei Tua o Te Pae hui proceedings: The challenges of kaupapa Māori research in the 21st century (pp. 71–78). Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

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Joy, M. (2015). Polluted inheritance New Zealand’s freshwater crisis. Wellington, New Zealand: Bridget Williams Books. Keane, K. (2010). Ngā manu. Birds. In J. Phillips & B. Keane (Eds.), Te Taiao. Māori and the natural world (pp. 116–125). Auckland, New Zealand: David Bateman. King, M. (2003). The penguin history of New Zealand. Auckland, New Zealand: Penguin. McLintock, A. G. (1949). The history of Otago. Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago Centennial Historical Publications. Metge, J. (2015). Tauira: Māori methods of learning and teaching. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press. Ministry of Education. (2017). Te Whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa: Early childhood curriculum. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education. Moller, H., Charleton, K., Knight, B., & Lyver, P. (2009). Traditional ecological knowledge and scientific inference of prey availability: Harvests of sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) chicks by Rakiura Maori. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 36(3), 259–274. New Zealand Parliament. (2017). Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Act 2017. Retrieved from http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2017/0007/latest/DLM6831459.html. Orange, C. (1987). The treaty of Waitangi. Wellington, New Zealand: Allen and Unwin/Port Nicholson Press. Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. (2017). Taonga of an island nation: Saving New Zealand’s birds. Wellington, New Zealand: Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. Retrieved from http://www.pce.parliament.nz/publications/taonga-of-an-island-nationsaving-new-zealands-birds Penetito, W. (2009). Place-based education: Catering for curriculum, culture and community. New Zealand Annual Review of Education, 18, 5–29. Pere, R. R. (1983). AKO. Concepts and learning in the Māori tradition. Working paper no 17. Hamilton, New Zealand: Department of Sociology, University of Waikato. Ritchie, J., Duhn, I., Rau, C., & Craw, J. (2010). Titiro Whakamuri, Hoki Whakamua. We are the future, the present and the past: Caring for self, others and the environment in early years’ teaching and learning. Final report for the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative. Wellington, New Zealand: Teaching and Learning Research Initiative, NZCER. Retrieved from http://www.tlri.org.nz/sites/default/files/projects/TLRI-Ritchie-et-al-summary_1.pdf Salmond, A. (2016). Anne Salmond: Water is too valuable to squander. Auckland, New Zealand: NZ Herald. Retrieved from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid= 11628038 Salmond, A. (2017a). Tears of rangi: Experiments across worlds. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press. Salmond, A. (2017b). Anne Salmond: NZ can’t ignore water warnings. Auckland, New Zealand: Newsroom. Retrieved from https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/03/26/16845/oecd-call-on-ourwaterways-must-be-heeded Skutnabb-Kangas, T., Maffi, L., & Harmon, D. (2003). Sharing a world of difference. The Earth’s linguistic, cultural and biological diversity. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from http://unesdoc. unesco.org/images/0013/001323/132384e.pdf Smith L (2012) Decolonising methodologies: research and Indigenous peoples, 2nd edn. Zed Books, London United Nations. (2007). United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. A/RES/ 61/295. General Assembly. Retrieved from www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_ en.pdf. Waitangi Tribunal. (1999). The Whanganui River report. Wai 167. Wellington, New Zealand: Waitangi Tribunal. Retrieved from https://www.waitangitribunal.govt.nz/publications-andresources/waitangi-tribunal-reports/ Walker, R. (2004). Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou. Struggle without end (revised ed.). Auckland, New Zealand: Penguin.

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Wehi, P. M. (2009). Indigenous ancestral sayings contribute to modern conservation partnerships: Examples using Phormium tenax. Ecological Applications, 19(1), 267–275. Wehi, P. M., & Lord, J. M. (2017). Importance of including cultural practices in ecological restoration. Conservation Biology, 31(5), 1109–1118. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12915 Wehi, P. M., & Wehi, W. L. (2010). Traditional plant harvesting in contemporary fragmented and urban landscapes. Conservation Biology, 24(2), 594–604. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.15231739.2009.01376.x Wehi, P. M., Whaanga, H., & Roa, T. (2009). Missing in translation: Maori language and oral tradition in scientific analyses of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 39(4), 201–204. https://doi.org/10.1080/03014220909510580 Wilcox, C., Van Sebille, E., & Hardesty, B. D. (2015). Threat of plastic pollution to seabirds is global, pervasive, and increasing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(38), 11899–11904.

Artists as Emplaced Pedagogues: How Does Thinking About Children’s Nature Relations Influence Pedagogy? Elsa Lee, Nicola Walshe, Ruth Sapsed, and Joanna Holland

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Pedagogical Context: Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Place-Responsive, Participatory Pedagogy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Childhoodnature Through the Lens of CCI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Research Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “Talk and Draw”: Working with New Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Findings and Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nature and Children in Tandem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nature Is. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Natural Object or an Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Also Human-Made . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Without End or Beginning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disruptive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Your Imaginings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Place Is. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Owned and Created . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Also Imaginary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pedagogy Is About Holding Open Spaces for Exploration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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E. Lee (*) Independent Researcher, Cambridge, UK e-mail: [email protected] N. Walshe Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK e-mail: [email protected] R. Sapsed · J. Holland Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination, Cambridge, UK e-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] # Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018 A. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, Springer International Handbooks of Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51949-4_78-1

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To Disrupt and Familiarize: Some Concluding Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Cross-References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Abstract

In this chapter, we explore some of the work of an arts and well-being charity in the UK called Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI), a group of artists, educators, parents, and researchers with an interest in how the arts can transform lives. CCI projects aim to open up spaces for creativity, actively engaging with people of all ages and backgrounds. Much of their work involves connecting children to the outdoors. We describe and discuss how the artist pedagogues working with CCI perceive and articulate the positionality of the children they work with in relation to nonhuman nature and the significance of the imagination in this regard. We then reflect on what this positionality means for posthuman perspectives on the stewardship approach, arguing that humans being both a part of and apart from nature have important consequences for our capacity to steward the Earth. These artists and children work together in spaces with meaning for children; as such, their work fits with the theoretical framework of pedagogies of place. We explore how the artists conceive of “place” in their work with children and how this influences the way they situate children in relation to both human and nonhuman nature, highlighting the data on the role of imagination in this relation. The chapter emerges from ongoing exploratory case study research involving thematic analysis of data from a focus group discussion and individual interviews with the artist pedagogues, as well as archival material from the charity. In our discussion of the findings of our study, we reflect on the usefulness of the notion of childhoodnature in this context, showing how this charity’s work can contribute to its conceptualization and what it can contribute to current debates around the validity and usefulness of the stewardship approach. Keywords

Place-responsive pedagogy · Artists · Stewardship · Imagining

Introduction The notion of childhoodnature, while new, can be traced back to the dialectics of nature and childhood from Romantic eras where childhood is affiliated to nature both positively (from Rousseau as a state of “natural” innocence that society jeopardizes) and negatively from pre-Romantic eras, where childhood is seen as pre-socialized wildness that may itself be brutal, like nature, or carry original sin and needs to be trained and civilized through education. These early associations between childhood and nature via shared innocence have been identified by Taylor (2013) and have also

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been written about from eco-critical perspectives (Whitley, 2013). They hint at the current developments in the field of Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) research and in children’s geographies’, leading a trend toward the entanglement of posthumanism (Clarke & Mcphie, 2016; Gannon, 2015; Malone, 2015; Rautio, 2013). What this posthumanist direction entails is a move away from the idea of humans and nature being separate. Posthumanism encourages a rejection of an anthropocentric view of nature where humans can in fact be disconnected from it as Louv (2005) and many others propose and toward an understanding that nature and humans are one and the same (Malone, 2015). To try to understand this idea of humans being both a part of and apart from nature, we suggest a metaphorical representation of nature as a whole as an orange, made up of different segments each a part of nature but also with a form and shape in their own right, as the segments of an orange have. So we might conceive of nature as being constituted by segments that represent trees, humans, chickens, rocks, bacteria, and so on. This means that when we talk about nonhuman nature, what we mean is what remains of the orange when you take the human segment out. It also means that although you can extract humans from nature, humans still have the same qualities as the whole of nature has (like a segment of an orange still has the same texture and taste as the whole orange or any other segment of it). A point of significance here is the way in which such an approach challenges the notion that humans can be or are stewards of the earth (stewardship: Taylor, 2017). If humans are in fact nature, as beech trees and lions are, then human exceptionalism and human stewardship of the earth become much more difficult concepts. We will return to human stewardship in our conclusion but to begin with want to show how our investigation of an arts charity (Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination, CCI) working on pedagogy arising at the intersection of creativity, nature, and childhood provides evidence in support of the developing childhoodnature concept. In this regard, we conceive of the childhoodnature concept as a means toward demonstrating the way that the qualities of nature are to be found in equal measure in both children and in nonhuman nature, such as the wind or trees. At the same time, this conflating of childhood and nature does not need to deny the uniqueness of human childhood, but rather it demonstrates that the uniqueness of human childhood is equaled by the uniqueness of the younger phases of the wildlife of other living organisms (such as being a lamb or being a bear cub might do). To achieve our goal of showing how our investigation of CCI’s work provides evidence in support of this concept, in the next section, we will outline the structure and features of the charity, and the role of the artists within it, as well as introduce their work in terms of the pedagogies of place theoretical framework. Although the research methods are described later, it is worth noting that this initial description draws on the charity’s website, as well as on statements made by artists in interviews about their work. (The artists we interviewed have agreed to be named in this study: we talked to Caroline, Deb, Debbie, Elena, Helen, Sally, and Susanne.)

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The Pedagogical Context: Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI) CCI is an arts and well-being charity helping to shape cohesive and collaborative communities in Cambridgeshire (a region in the East of England) and beyond. It began as an artist-led collective in 2002, drawn together by artist Nathan to deliver groundbreaking creative projects, initially in learning environments. Many of the original group of artists, educators, parents, and researchers have been actively engaging communities in the region ever since. The organization became a charity in 2007. While CCI most frequently works with school and community partners, they have been able to develop wider applications for their approach and now run programs in health and social care settings. Common to all their work is a focus on developing a sense of agency and voice for everyone through engagement with the arts. Children are at the heart of the charity’s work. As one artist, Caroline, says: “Children lead and the way we work, [we] give them the chance to be themselves and to be creative.” CCI explores how their ideas and questions can lead the way in creative explorations with artists traveling alongside to support the process. A core group of ten artists works with CCI regularly, with others supporting particular elements, as appropriate. It is important to note each artist in CCI has their own individual practice; however, for the purposes of this research, we focus on the work they do together and the shared philosophy that underpins their approach to CCI projects. Such projects are planned to ask questions about the world, often taking place in communities with specific challenges. CCI’s work is managed by a director and a small team of dedicated and creative colleagues, who work very closely with the artists and those involved with the projects, to shape how projects evolve. There are also a number of people who act as “critical friends” and patrons for CCI. One such patron is Robert MacFarlane who describes a CCI project: Ways into Hinchingbrooke Country Park, in his seminal book, Landmarks (Macfarlane, 2015). It is important to note that this undergirding philosophy of giving children the space to lead is like inviting them to be artists and so members of CCI for the time that they are engaged in a project. As Susanne says: “I am working with the children who live around [a site of a new housing development] and trying to take something of the contemporary artist processes to them. . . I’ve made. . . we’ve made all the children around that area into Artscapers, so they get a badge, they belong to this big Artists in Residence group” (see Composition 4: the Childhoodnature Imaginary by Artists and Children from CCI book for more details about this project). The mode of working varies quite significantly depending on the project. Each project usually involves artists working in pairs, but how the project begins, unfolds, and ends is determined by the participating children, the requirements of the funders, the school (or other institution), the specific artists’ preferred working styles, and the place where the work is done. The work can happen during the school day where a year group or class might be “off timetable” for the day, or it can happen in the school grounds at the weekend; alternatively, a combination of different approaches can be adopted.

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One example of an ongoing project involving artists that we interviewed is called Fantastical Cambridgeshire. A key partner for this project is Cambridgeshire County Council who provided additional funding for it, alongside the grant from Arts Council England. In this project, artists and children are creating a series of fantastical maps of the surrounds of primary schools in a town in Cambridgeshire through a process of what is described as creative adventuring. They do this by working together in a variety of ways on processes that could include drawing maps in one minute (called One Minute Maps), making collages with old maps, a playful way of exploring called “found mapping,” among other activities. While the artists present ideas by bringing in particular provocations in the form of materials or suggestions for ways to go, the children are invited to lead their own explorations and identify spaces they would like to spend time in – an orchard, the path by the river, and a churchyard have all been investigated in recent projects. In one example, children are provided with chalk and a playground area and asked to draw “home.” In another example, they are taken to a cube space about 10 m by 10 m by 2 m on the school playground that has been cordoned off with string. The idea is that they will create a 3D map using found materials from the school grounds and any of the materials like brightly colored tape, string, wool, newspaper, and so forth that the artists have gathered. This is filmed by a drone; the person who is doing the filming has heard about the work and offered to come in and do this. These sorts of emergent methods from an open-ended beginning are a common feature of the way the projects are run. As artist pedagogue Helen, says: “I will take the risk each time that something will emerge [. . .] and it always does emerge, you know, and it’s always a bit risky [. . .] but more often than not you will find someone or something that interests you and that will lead the project and then they’ll open the door to other ways of thinking about a place.” Documentation is an important element of the charity’s work. Everything is carefully documented and shared on the CCI website and ultimately in this case described above, reimagined by another artist – illustrator Elena Arévalo Melville – who creates unique fantastical maps of these localities. The maps created to date can be viewed on the CCI website (the companion chapter in the book accompanying this publication contains examples of the work of the young artists who collaborated with CCI). The Fantastical Cambridgeshire project is particularly in tune with what has been described as place-responsive pedagogy by Mannion, Fenwick, and Lynch (2013). Set within the field of environmental education, place-responsive pedagogy seeks to encapsulate the way in which educators create assemblages of people, places, and purposeful activities to create effective learning experiences about environmental issues. Place-responsive pedagogy emerges from the vibrant and active field of placebased education (Gruenewald, 2003; Mackenzie & Bieler, 2016) that has long been popular in the field of environmental education. In privileging the local or in being lococentric, it has been described as “paying close attention to the place where you live” because this is “the best way to learn how to perceive the biosphere” (Thomashow, 2002, p. 5). It is not without its critics (see, e.g., Garrard, 2010; Heise, 2008), but this ethic of proximity has been accredited with the potential to

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instill a love of place and an ethic of care for nature by numerous writers and researchers (e.g., Gruenewald, 2003; Fettes & Judson, 2010). What is different about the place-responsive pedagogy practiced by CCI artists is that their purpose is not to inculcate an ethic of care for the environment, or indeed to address issues of sustainability, but to enable creativity through playful engagements with nature (broadly conceived). So as pedagogues they work with and alongside children, emplaced with them in the places that are familiar to the children; observing, suggesting, guiding, and enabling them to follow their curiosity and in creative and imaginative ways, to play with the ordinary until it becomes extraordinary and fantastical. As Sally explains: “I aim and intend always to work alongside children, alongside the teachers, alongside any of the participants that I happen to be working with, whether they’re elderly folk or teenagers in a museum.” At this juncture, we explain our utilization of the term “emplaced.” Drawing on the work of Michael Bonnett (2012) who uses emplacement to elucidate the way that environmental concern and human sense of place questions contemporary moral sensibilities, we employ emplacement to represent the way in which human action and being is always linked to a particular place or is lococentric. In line with MacKenzie and Bieler (2016) and others (Clarke & McPhie, 2016; Gannon, 2016; Malone, 2015), we understand place in the posthuman sense, as a fluid entanglement of nonlinear time, geographic location, human relationships, and memories of prior experiences, current individual experiences, and the interplay between these. As such, the practice of the artist pedagogues and the young artists they work with emerges from this entanglement of dimensions. As our data will show, this is very much in line with the way these artist pedagogues themselves conceptualize place. Returning to the exemplification of CCI’s work through describing some of their activities that we undertake in this introduction to our study, another example of a CCI project also described in the companion book is Artscapers in North West Cambridge, commissioned by the University of Cambridge as part of their public art program. As Susanne describes it: They’ve commissioned contemporary artists, quite well-known contemporary artists, to work on that site and I’m looking at the processes and the way that the contemporary artists work. I am working with the children who live around the site and trying to take something of the contemporary artist processes to them. . . I’ve made. . .we’ve made all the children around that area into Artscapers, so they get a badge, they belong to this big ‘Artists in Residence’ group. That project includes sustainability and place and space and the outdoors [. . . and it is. . .] to do with communities and the future and how people might live together. (See companion chapter)

One question asked by the Artscaper’s project is: “how can children help others to think creatively about planning and implementing changes in a city?”. This approach is similar to the one used in the project reported on by Malone (2013) on participatory city design, and the question itself demonstrates the way in which the organization as a whole approaches children, an approach which fits well with participatory theory. Participatory theory is in part a response to the UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child and encapsulates the ethics of treating children as humans with

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their own rights, opinions, and power (Hart, 1992). Environmental education (EE) has worked extensively with this theory (see, e.g., Reid, Jensen, Nikel, & Simovska, 2008), particularly as means of doing research where children are given ownership of their data and are treated as co-researchers with the right to choose to be involved and to withdraw and the right to a voice regarding how data are interpreted. In some cases, children determine the direction of the research, asking the questions and deciding on the research design (e.g., Alderson, 2001; Barratt Hacking, Scott, & Barratt, 2007; Christensen & James, 2000). It will become evident through this chapter that the way this group of CCI artists works with children is strongly aligned with a participatory approach to pedagogy.

Place-Responsive, Participatory Pedagogy What our research uncovers is a place-responsive, participatory pedagogy that emerges at the confluence of children, artists, nature, and place that has implications for the childhoodnature concept and thus for how we see our role regarding the sustainability of the planet. We will explore how this happens in the next section by outlining the ways in which these artists conceptualize the interplay between children and nature and how this influences their pedagogy and the pedagogical philosophy of CCI.

Childhoodnature Through the Lens of CCI In this research, we wanted to explore what emerges from this confluence of an artist collective, nature, place, and children in the context of the charity: CCI. We have identified a number of significant strands through the research, one of which strongly appropriates the characteristics of the childhoodnature concept: this is that these artists think about children and nature in tandem: nature and childhood have shared qualities, such as being open and being disruptive, and the way they are talked of in the same context at the same time is suggestive of them being philosophically connected in the ontological approach that these artists demonstrate in this research. While individual artists have their own particular take and very unique approaches to the projects they do with CCI, collectively they define nature broadly, and they can find it anywhere. Nature might be an object (a stone or a shell) or an action (like breathing) or a process (a nail rusting), and it can be both wild and present in tame spaces. Nature is a disruptive force that leads to creative and critical thinking about familiar spaces. In the same way, the artists share a philosophy of children inhering in nature. Children can move between worlds, disrupting time and routine by allowing themselves to be led by a falling leaf or following a path in a woven structure or a wood that has no particular destination or being drawn into a puddle while moving between teaching activities. This impression was further articulated by the way the relationships between children and nature were depicted in their drawings; children were positioned throughout the sketches, in all of the different

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elements they drew. The data we gathered is, therefore, suggestive of a proximity in the way these concepts of nature and childhood are understood in this context that has a profound impact on how these artist pedagogues work. Their understandings of these terms intersect at a number of points (e.g., in seeing both children and nature as disruptive forces, or as fluid, embodying dialectical relations equally). While the pedagogy CCI artists practice is largely child-centered and child-led, their shared philosophy on nature and childhood guides their practice in this context and illustrates the notion of a childhoodnature assemblage that underpins this publication. This chapter will focus on the data emerging from our research that exemplifies this strand of our findings.

Research Methods Our ongoing exploratory case study (Yin, 1993) of CCI aims to produce thickly described data of an ethnographic nature within a constructivist, interpretivist framework (Whitehead, 2004). The data collection for this aspect of the project comprised a “talk and draw” focus group interview with seven CCI artists. This was followed by individual interviews with the same artists. The directors of CCI were provided with a questionnaire that was designed after the artist interviews to elaborate on the data generated during the interviews. An impromptu interview with one director was also carried out to elaborate on some of the interview and questionnaire data. Our data is also backed up by archival research on CCI’s detailed and active, constantly updated website.

“Talk and Draw”: Working with New Methods One innovation in these methods was the way in which we set up the focus group, here called a “talk and draw” focus group. We asked the artists to bring in their favorite implement for drawing or painting, and we provided them with a large sheet of paper stretched across the whole table to doodle on as we talked. This created a very useful focal point and provided further data for us about how these artists thought about childhood, nature, and place and the interplay between them. These focus groups and interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. The transcriptions were sent to the artists for verification, and they made some suggestions and amendments, which were incorporated. The amended transcriptions were submitted to thematic analysis using NVIVO and a process of coding to back up our impressions from the interviews. The interviews were carried out by two of the authors and another colleague; the findings have been discussed on a number of occasions between the four authors and another colleague to check for validity and to increase the reliability of our conclusions. These conversations have also enabled us to draw on the interdisciplinarity of our research team and advisors (including educationalists with backgrounds in geography, natural science, and English

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literature), bringing our divergent experience to bear on the data and enriching our ability to interpret the data from various perspectives and epistemological framings. Our extended conversations with the artists as a group focused on these three elements: nature, children, and place. This generated a revealing discussion, which demonstrated very strong intra-play between these artists as individuals and interplay in their own conceptualizations of these terms. It was clear that the pedagogy that emerges at the confluence of these three concepts was strongly influenced by their entangled notions of them and their interactions with each other through their identities as CCI artists. In other words, the pedagogy they practice is shaped by the fact that they each individually view place, nature, and childhood in broad ways, as open concepts with no fixed definitions or rigid boundaries whose conceptualization is determined in situ, with fluidity in the context where it is being worked on. A child can only be understood to be fearless or a risk taker when that child is demonstrating those qualities in action. Nature seems tame when in a library garden, but in that same place, it is a source of disruption when it drops a leaf onto a child’s book as she draws. The pedagogy is also shaped by the interactions between the artists themselves who often work together in a classroom on projects in schools or in communities. Their mutual understandings and long-term relationships influence the directions that they choose to follow, led by the children. With that in mind, the focus of the remainder of this chapter will be an exploration of how these emplaced artist pedagogues with orientation toward nature position children in relation to nature and what the impact of this might be for the way they design pedagogical interventions. Through this, we will develop the theme of childhoodnature in relation to the stewardship approach and the pedagogy of CCI. In the discussion section, we will use vignettes from the artists’ experiences of working with children in place to illustrate the different themes arising from the data relating to children’s positionality.

Findings and Discussion Nature and Children in Tandem In this section, we include extracts from our data, arranged (approximately) chronologically as the conversation unfolded in the discussion. We also include an illustration from each of the artists from the “talk and draw” activity. We have not analyzed these drawings in depth for this chapter, but rather we have included them when they elaborate the point that the artists make verbally. This was the spirit in which the drawings were created during the focus group, and so it is appropriate to use them in that way here, although we acknowledge their richness as independent data that merit further analysis. The first observation about our data that is noteworthy is that the vast majority of the statements made by these artists in their discussions of the meaning of nature made reference to children too. This means that their way of talking about nature was proximal to their way of articulating their thoughts on children. Similarly, when asked

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Fig. 1 In the mouth of the wolf by Deb Wilenski with the child drawn inside the wolf’s mouth which represents fearlessness and daring within nature

to show where in their illustrations of the discussions about nature and place they would put children, responses were illuminating. Elena says: “They are everywhere. I don’t know how else to say that.” Debbie agrees that they are “. . .in there, just everywhere.” And Sally says: “Yeah, I completely agree with Elena, almost everywhere, coursing through the whole thing.” These assertions are accompanied by gesturing toward their drawings. Susanne’s way of incorporating children in playful ways in different positions all around her picture is particularly indicative of this perspective (see Fig. 3). Deb says “I put [the child] right in here in his [the wolf’s] mouth (see Fig. 1). There’s an Italian phrase, I can’t remember exactly, ‘In bocca al lupo,’ or something like that, it means in the mouth of the wolf, and is used to say good luck, but it’s about getting right into the mouth of the wolf and being fearless and being daring. So that’s what I most enjoy about [children] anyway.” Sally then elaborates: “this [illustration] has been made in a different kind of stream of consciousness, but definitely I would have a child hiding inside the shell, you know, there’d be like a big shell and they’d be hiding, they’d have a sense of a secret hideout. . .you know, a retreat. And then juxtaposed with that the same child might be balancing with one foot on this high wire, [..] taking a risk [. . .] really fearlessly, in the sense of what Deb is talking about.” This can be seen in her illustration in Fig. 2. What these quotes show is at once a commitment to the immanence of children in these artists’ work, the thereness of them. It shows that they can visualize the child in any space in which they are working or thinking. The extracts also emphasize an awareness that children are different, that one child might be both fearless and fearful and that childhood comprises these dialectical relationships in extremes. What is more, both extracts demonstrate how this work between child and artist encourages risk taking and creative thinking, in line with other chapters in this section of this book. This proximal thinking about children and nature across artists’ explanations of their perceptions of nature begins to suggest the validity of the childhoodnature

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Fig. 2 The fearful and fearless child by Sally Todd

concept. It is worth noting that when we asked these questions, the interviewees knew that we would be exploring all three concepts (nature, place, and children) together so it might have been that this juxtaposition in our method sets up the connection. However, while the conversation about nature immediately led the artists to reflect on children, questions about nature did not lead to reflections about place. We had to ask a separate question to get at their perceptions of that concept.

Nature Is. . . We will now explore the way that these artists think about nature, but first we want to highlight that there is a differentiation made here between place and nature. While nature is seen as open and fluid, place is as Debbie says: “the most fluid of all.” We will come back to this point later in our discussion of place-responsive pedagogy.

. . . A Natural Object or an Action When asked to think of an object that represents nature, Sally suggested a shell. “I’ve done a tree,” says Susanne (with children everywhere: see Fig. 3). Helen, however, resists the trope of representing nature with an object as too limiting; instead she prefers the way children think: “I think it’s that freedom. They’re not preoccupied about what they think other people think it should be.” In a similar way, Caroline uses the verb “breathe.” The notion of nature as “freedom” is significant for the childhoodnature concept because freedom is a human expression, although this does not preclude the possibility that other animals also value the sense of being free. In characterizing nature in terms of something which is undoubtedly human, Helen’s thinking indicates the dissolution of the nature/human binary. Caroline’s identification of an action that is shared by all living organisms and is reliant on a nonliving element (oxygen) does

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Fig. 3 Children present everywhere and from every perspective in nature. By Susanne Jasilek

the same thing. It brings humans into line with other elements of nonhuman nature. Characterizing nature as breathing dissolves the borders between humans and nonhuman organisms and demonstrates the interconnected of life with its environs through replicated activity (breathing) and sharing resources (oxygen and carbon dioxide).

. . . Also Human-Made In our focus group, we had been talking about the fact that the objects chosen were natural and we were thinking about what that might mean, whether that meant that there are boundaries on this concept. Susanne says: “I can’t see the beginning or end of nature, really. So for me I don’t know how to put a boundary on it.” She goes on to describe some of her work on the Artscapers project. She takes children on a walk with a small collection bag and asks them to imagine that this is the first time they have encountered nature, what things would they collect? “They weren’t all natural things, they had some bricks and things. [. . .] I suppose it is whatever is on a site, the objects on some site become part of nature really, man-made things too.” Again this quote shows how these artists incorporate their experience with children into the way they conceptualize nature. But the comment elicits similar anecdotes from the other artists about their work and how found objects on sites are nature, whether they are man-made or not. Sally says: “that reminds me of the rubbish dump we worked on [. . .] it became a wild nature reserve [. . .] and the rubbish was still bubbling up to the surface [. . .] a really encrusted, like burnt out bit of metal that a young child picked up, and it is in the same quality as picking up a leaf, and she said: ‘look, a burnt

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witches house!’ They did not make the distinction between nature and. . ..” Here again we see that not only does Sally understand nature to be present in the metal rusting, but she comments on the fact that the children think the same and more. For her, what is remarkable is that the children will not distinguish between leaf nature or rusty-metal nature, letting either inspire “wild imaginings.” At this point in the conversation, Deb interjects with her experience of carefully choosing sites with the CCI director which will work for the children and not going for sites that are “too manicured” or as Sally puts it: “too landscaped” but rather “have qualities of being slightly unkempt, definitely wild.” “So that sense of coming into a wild world that is also there to be made something of by the children.” This site-choosing process is clearly very important to the pedagogy of this organization and their sense of grounding their work with children in a place. It speaks to the notion of place-responsive pedagogy mentioned earlier. In the focus group discussion, it leads to some disputation of place-responsiveness by CCI artists which we will return to later in our discussion.

. . . Without End or Beginning Moving beyond the artists’ articulations about sites and material objects as a way of understanding their thinking about nature, Elena expresses the difficulty of “defining where nature ends and what is non-nature anyway?”

. . . Disruptive “It’s such a broad title, nature, it could just go in every direction,” says Sally. And yet there are some boundaries here in our data. There is a propensity toward natural objects and wilder spaces and their disruptive, arrhythmic, unplanned potential. Nature is about fluidity and openness, but it is also about the world out there; we are a part of that, but the (very human) systematization of activity and the allocation of time are not. Nature is what provides opportunities that disrupt the ordered, routinized daily living. This aspect of CCI pedagogy has the potential to encourage creative thinking and resilience through its encouragement of taking a different perspective on daily encounters with time and space. It also contradicts somewhat the idea that humans are entirely a part of nature. In identifying how adults aim to control disruptive elements in both children and nature, we are challenged to think about whether adulthood and childhood are equally constitutive of nature, as the childhoodnature concept would suggest. To illustrate this point, here is what Sally had to say: “I am now thinking about the library garden, which was a very cultivated space, but still because being outside, so it’s like an active space, a leaf might drop on a child’s paper while they’re drawing, which wouldn’t happen in the classroom, or the wind. . . There’s something about that, okay, it’s not an unkempt space, it was a very constructed space, the library garden, and yet it still lent itself to the wild imaginings of young children.” As Helen

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Fig. 4 Helen Stratford illustrates nature and children as disruptive, open, and real

says: “nature provides opportunities that disrupt and challenge that [sense of the constructed, the domesticated].” Continuing this trend toward disruption (a word which Helen has used in her stream of consciousness doodling, see Fig. 4), Helen says: “I think it’s about finding those open spaces and perhaps that’s what nature is, within a CCI sort of context it’s open spaces where children can be inspired and they’re not defined by other people.” Sally elaborates: “I wonder if there’s something about the sense of an open space, whether it’s the playground or whether it’s beyond or whether it’s inside in this interior world of our mind, it’s kind of like the studio space, like Reggio Emilia sets up, how do we find ways of offering that for children? I’m just thinking about a few days ago [. . .] I was going to [School Z], and one of the children drew one of the playground areas because they were showing me around their playground and they drew the blank space, they called it the blank space, and it was this in a way constructed outdoor landscaped space for play, but the drawing was described as the blank space and I thought that was so beautiful. And someone else said ‘The not really. . .the nothing really there circle, there’s nothing really there’, and then I thought ‘Wow, that’s amazing,’ and then another child filled it immediately with a knight and a dragon.”

This quote identifies the Reggio Emilia influence in these artists’ work. Reggio Emilia is an approach to early childhood pedagogy that developed in the region of Italy called Reggio Emilia and was championed by Loris Malaguzzi (Miller & Pound, 2011). All of the CCI artists we spoke to had been exposed to this approach, either directly or indirectly, and it is important to be aware of this as it colors much of what they do. The notion of an emergent curriculum that Deb talks about is a particularly cogent example of the way that these artists’ work appropriates the Reggio style.

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Fig. 5 Nature is wild imagining by Debbie Hall

. . . Your Imaginings Returning to the way in which these excerpts exemplify nature, what they show is a conceptualization that is not completely all encompassing but is also not limited to things that are not man-made; rather it is about a sense of being uncontrollable, somewhat intractable, and unpredictable. It is also about the imagined, as Deb says: “. . .if nature is what’s on the ground and it’s the things that are growing right in front of you in the natural world, how much of what we see when we look at [nature] is determined by what we imagine about it as well and what we’ve read, stories that are there in my head, or built, or illustrations or whatever.” Here we see that these artists are not only talking about nature as being something that opens out the imagination but that nature is also that which we, as humans, bring to it from our previous experiences. Nature is also our imaginings and this is depicted in Fig. 5 by Debbie.

Place Is. . . While nature has some boundaries for this group of artistic women, place has very few (Fig. 6). This does not mean that place is unimportant; on the contrary, it is central to the way these artists work. Their pedagogy emerges out of their sense of emplacement and responsiveness to the way a place presents itself, both in and of itself but also how children react to it; from the very careful selection of a place described by Deb earlier to the fact that sometimes place is the reason for engaging the artists. Debbie (an artist working primarily with willow) describes a project where the local fire brigade asked them to come and work with the community that used a particular outdoor space where

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Fig. 6 Place has no solidity at all by Elena Arevalo Melville

there were repeated cases of arson and destructive behavior: “a huge adventure playground [. . .] which, though in a large green space, was in an urban, [somewhat neglected] environment, and part of the project was to actually see if we’re sort of re-naturing it a bit with the willow and giving them a bit of ownership of the playground by creating their own stuff there, did that make a difference to how they treated it?”

. . .Owned and Created This quote brings out ownership and place-making as significant elements of CCI practice. Both of these ideas are harmonious with participatory theories of learning identified earlier. Making place is an important aspect of the work of Keith Basso (1996) who discusses its role in constructing history using the imagination, through localized narratives repeated through the generations. He describes place-making as a “universal tool of the historical imagination” (p. 5). Place-making as it arises here is highly reminiscent of how Fettes and Judson (2010) outline imaginative placemaking. They suggest that conscious efforts by pedagogues to involve the imagination in place-making has the potential to significantly increase the strength of attachment to place, which, they argue, can increase environmental concern and positively impact on environmental behavior. These CCI artist pedagogues value imagination very highly and identify the power that children have to engage it effortlessly, and they actively encourage this through their work with children. In this regard, Caroline says: “[. . .] children define place, they have a ‘power’ – in inverted commas – to actually create a place. From my experience of working with

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children in nature I always was amazed to see how they could enter nature, enter any space and just make it their own and create place in that way.” Deb and Elena add to these articulations about place-making in the following exchange, which both emphasizes the role of the imagination but also identifies how selective a process place-making is: Deb: “[These] narrative ways of making a place your own, or defining a place or saying what does a place mean to them, and especially with the maps that’s what I’ve really enjoyed, that Elena has been able to pick up these different languages of landmarks, maps that represent routes that are actually there but also things which come and go depending on what scale you’re looking or what stories you’ve made in the classroom, that kind of thing.” Elena: “Yes, because there are many layers to place. So a place exists in a physical sense and then in a cultural sense and each person brings to it also their imagination. The maps that I created are just really mediocre snapshots of the projects, because there’s so much that has to be left out to be readable. [But} we are always selective on how we see space and place. And of course children are selective as well and they also bring their culture and their imagination and so putting all that together in a single image is always incomplete.”

. . . Also Imaginary This excerpt brings to mind Ardoin’s (2006) research whose work on drawing together place research from different disciplines identifies four dimensions in defining place: the sociocultural, the biophysical, the political economic, and the psychological. While Ardoin’s definition of the dimensions of place is useful and encompassing, and her way of modeling these dimensions to show how they overlap is highly significant, there is something about it that deconstructs the concept too much for the context described here. Our experience of working with these artists exemplifies a tendency toward entanglement that does not lend itself to deconstruction, rather it emphasizes the need to keep all of these dimensions in play at once in a dialectical, relational manner. Moreover, while the sociocultural dimension of Ardoin’s model attempts to capture the role of the imaginary, it is somewhat inadequate as it does not capture the active process by which nature captures the imagination, simultaneously reforming both nature and the imagination. In fact, our data suggest a further dimension to Ardoin’s model, which would be called the imaginary. This is something that Fettes and Judson (2010) also write about, although they talk about imagination more broadly and include emotional engagement, active cognition, and a sense of possibility in exploring imagination as a dimension of place.

. . .Time Another element of place that is significant for these artists is time. As Elena puts it: “place is just completely connected to time and to perspective. I mean you can never go back anywhere, because every time you go back somewhere you’ve experienced it already, it’s loaded with memories, so in a way it’s not a constant, so every place is

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Fig. 7 Caroline Wendling incorporates time and space in her image of place

rediscovered in a way, even if you’ve been to it many times.” Besides identifying time interwoven into the conceptualization of place, this quote speaks to the notion of entanglement in place as it is described by authors such as Malone (2015) and Clarke and McPhie (2016). For instance, Clarke and MacPhie’s work developing Deleuze and Gautarri’s posthumanist perspective on place elucidates place as continuously being recreated through novel and changing relational constituents. These artists are articulating that idea here (Fig. 7). About the significance of time in creating a place Sally says: “I think it’s a kind of critical sense of interrupting the rhythm that maybe is happening in a lot of educational settings. So that’s something that we try to bring in, [. . .] that sense of offering a different rhythm, so to really inhabit somewhere, to then build on that relationship or engagement with inhabiting, embodying a space” and Helen says: “I do it with fluid space as well. Finding an open space is often through opening out time, I think even in those very defined structures of the school where time is controlled down to the last minute, I think saying ‘Well actually you can spend as long as you need’” and Sally adds: “Even if you’ve got an hour, it’s how can you bend time.” Helen explains: “[. . .] through detail, really detailed looking at something as well, saying ‘I’ll give you these tools or this possibility and you can just take your time to really look in detail at a space that you might think you know.’” Throughout these discussions, what keeps emerging is the notion of disrupting and defamiliarizing, and these quotes show how time, as an element of place, is used as a pedagogical tool to disrupt daily rhythms and create new places, owned by the children in a way that cannot be constructed by adult interventions. In encouraging children to play with time in this way, these artists are giving opportunities for the

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children to be creative and to harness their capacity for playful engagement with familiar spaces and objects. These musings on time in our discussion elicit the following reflections from Susanne: [. . .] place has no solidity at all, [. . .] I used to go in like a classroom and then I would say ‘Oh, I want you to find the tiniest details and go and draw them’, and straightaway your room is totally transformed. [. . .] the place just expands and you don’t even have to move virtually out of a classroom, and you can do that outside as well, so the whole concept of place is totally un-rigid and fluid, [. . .] and it’s just like a sort of. . .it’s not even a jelly, it’s like a sort of magical air or something, in some ways. It’s us, it’s our minds, the children’s minds, they do that, they expand it, they change its shape, they change the smell, they change everything about it just by being with the right prompts or encouragements. You don’t have to say very much, they’ll just get a sentence and they’re off.

This quote exemplifies the role that these artists give to the children’s imaginations in determining place. It also demonstrates the kind of place-responsive pedagogy that they both use but also create. So they employ responsiveness to a place by using its affordances such as found items (the rusted metal or the leaf) and a nearby beach as inspiration but also by encouraging children to respond to their own familiar spaces, by “the sense of how you are in our space in a different way, even in your regular space. [. . .] Just a tiny little thing like [. . .] lying down, it’s incredible, it’s quite powerful” or by “drawing the tiniest details’ that make a place expand.” Debbie talks about how she uses willow in a very practical way to make children slow down and to bend time. Again here we see how these artists’ pedagogical practices emerge at the intersections of their understandings of place and childhood. [. . .] if the school says we want living willow but we want a tunnel [. . .] I will usually try and persuade them that they’d really like a dome. Not only is it stronger. . .but with tunnels, when [children] see it, they just run straight through it. It doesn’t really offer anything other than that, but a dome provides somewhere they can sit, they can chat, they can. . .I think really they take more time in looking what it is, because they sit down and really be in it and kind of like spot ladybirds on the leaves, and they use their imagination – then it can be whatever they want it to be.

Pedagogy Is About Holding Open Spaces for Exploration Deb talks about herself and her colleagues as pedagogues: “We’re making space, we’re holding a space open, but that is quite an active way of standing back, it’s not just passively following where the children go.” Here the notion of place-making outlined by Fettes and Judson (2010) is once again pertinent. So these active approaches of prompting and encouraging children are born out of a sense that, when given space children, as Helen says: “[have] that freedom. They’re not preoccupied about what they think other people think it should be” and Sally says: “[. . .] children seem to fluidly get back or get into that state very, very

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quickly, very readily, so the naming of things is more fluid for them maybe.” Caroline says: “They have still a power to dream and imagine and they do that extremely well.” Here we see that these artists conceive of childhood as a state where preconceived notions of what things are, matter less. Childhood is characterized by slippage into realms of fantasy and imaginary, and the fantastical and the actual are not nearly so clearly delineated. Alongside this, they see that nature offers means of encouraging that slippage, a means of defamiliarizing a place and disrupting every accounted for minute. Sally says: “that’s a kind of trope that we have to learn to do all the time as adults; to reintroduce the sense of de-familiarising familiar, and it’s something I think as artists we all are very practised at doing, but it’s still a challenge isn’t it? Then children seem to fluidly get back or get into that state very, very quickly, very readily.” It is clear that, for Sally, art is about defamiliarization and her perception is that children are very good at doing that (Fig. 2). In some sense, we might then think about the kind of pedagogy here as one of place-making through artistic practice. These artist pedagogues provide space for children’s artistic practices in the form of place-making, inspired by nature. They open up the sense of possibility (as identified by Fettes & Judson, 2010) that is inherent in nature for children who, as these artist pedagogues well know, will gleefully and playfully make real. Of course, this work has a feedback effect on the art that these women create with some of them seeing their pedagogy as integral to their art and others taking a different view on this. However, this is something which we will explore in a different publication. To some extent our data exemplify the way that a child-led, child-centered pedagogy of the kind practiced by individual CCI artists that emerges from the tandem or proximal manner of thinking about children and nature (a childhoodnature epistemology) elicits opportunities for problem-solving, creative thinking, and adaptability, in line with the focus of this section of this publication. While our data do not directly exemplify critical thinking and resilience, it is possible to extrapolate that improved problem-solving and greater adaptability are likely to increase a child’s resilience and capacity for critical thought. These attributes are important capacities in times of accelerating change and have been shown to be significant outcomes of place-responsive pedagogical approaches. This research is particularly useful for showing how tandem thinking about children and nature can draw out and emphasize the role of imagination in place-making. We think the work of CCI has the potential to extrapolate this strand of the childhoodnature assemblage, and Fettes and Judson’s (2010) imaginative place-making supplies a useful theoretical touchstone which might be considered in this context. Our findings suggest that their work has the potential to contribute to the notion of a childhoodnature assemblage where it intersects with pedagogies of place. However, what we think is particularly valuable arising from this research with CCI is the role of the philosophical approach that these artists take to conceptualizing nature and childhood. To return to the metaphor of the orange, the fluid, adaptable, open conceptualization, and appreciation of these two connected but sometimes

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separate subjects, held proximally, underpins the creative, playful encounters between child-in-place, artist, and opportunity that results in the highly imaginative artistic creations seen on the CCI website and in the companion chapter. In this sense, the shared philosophy of this group of CCI artists issues an emplaced pedagogy which corresponds to notions of childhoodnature.

To Disrupt and Familiarize: Some Concluding Comments We will now conclude by reflecting on what this philosophical approach means for the dialectic of humans as a part of or apart from nature and discussing the usefulness of the childhoodnature concept in the context of CCI as a means of addressing some of these dialectical issues. In this endeavor, we bring Michael Bonnett’s (2012) work on the importance of localized emplacement back into consideration. Bonnett reflects on the value of using our very local, embodied relations with particular places as a means for modifying our moral outlook. He discusses the dialectical nature of our relations with place as one of both ecstasis (being able to see our place from a removed position or “apart from”) and mutual anticipation (where human and surroundings are constantly mutually responsive to each other or “a part of”), and he concludes that, at the very local level, this has potential positive consequences for improving how we treat our environment. Here we will use a similar notion of a dialectic but at a level of our understanding of our place in nature on the grander, planetary scale. Caroline: “I feel that us as civilised humans have made a separation between us and nature, and the way we look at nature and the way we behaved in the past with nature, comparing it, trying to clean it up, trying to make it less scary for us, more accessible. And then at the same time now of course we are desperately trying to preserve what we consider as being nature, but my question is, is it still nature? Is that really nature? All those little pockets or places that we can go on a stroll, on a walk, and they are all perfectly tidy and looked after. But what is nice, and this is where this thing was interesting for me, is that the idea of children, it’s that children have still the power – and this is an important word for me, power – and I put that close to nature. They have still a power to dream and imagine and they do that extremely well. So you can take children just outside their classroom and well, in a little puddle, if they see the sky being reflected or anything it will be a very special moment for them. So I’m just sort of trying to think about nature as something we can all be into it at some stage, and be part of it, and physically part of it, and we don’t have to think about it as being something else outside of us.”

Caroline’s response to a question about the meaning of nature pinpoints the struggle between identifying ourselves as apart from or a part of nature but also points to how this artist pedagogue experiences that children are not troubled by this dialectic. Neither are children so concerned to separate what is real and what is imagined; as Sally says, the slippage happens easily into imaginary realms. This power of children to dream and imagine and be inspired by nature identified by these artist pedagogues in whatever form it presents itself brings to mind the work of Gannon (2016) and Taylor (2017). Taylor makes a strong and compelling case

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for moving away from human stewardship strategies because of the way that they influence our thinking about our relationship to the world. It is very difficult to imagine ourselves as a part of nature as many authors now argue we should (Clarke & Mcphie, 2016; Fettes & Judson, 2010; Haraway, 2008, 2015; Malone, 2015) if we are somehow seeing ourselves as responsible for saving the planet. In being responsible, we are at once also exceptional and individualistic. In fact, the logical argument would be that we cannot see ourselves as “saviors of the world” at all if we are to understand ourselves as relational, entangled becomings-with, as Taylor (2017) explains with the work of Haraway. However, what our data from artist pedagogues suggest is that we are at once exceptional and integral that the nature/culture binary is both a useful heuristic and a troubling dialectic. In the language of “common world pedagogies” used by researchers from the Common Worlds Research Collective, the existentialist state of beings-as-becomings-with does not need to exclude exclusion or ecstasis. In fact, thinking of ourselves both apart from and a part of nature, able to operate in both and move between these seemingly opposed positions may hold the key to Haraway’s (2015) call to “make kin.” Perhaps in knowing ourselves and others as exceptions, we are better able to make kin with others. So rather than avoiding othering, we can use our undeniable tendency toward othering (Bonnett, 2012) as an heuristic for enabling interspecies understanding and familiarization to make kin or “family-rise.” Perhaps children, nature, and artists (as disruptive influences) have to fall outside of these definitions so that we can learn from them to achieve this process of kin-making? In so saying, the conceptualization of nature and childhood as childhoodnature is both useful in its integrative potential and in how it highlights the historical tradition of human exclusion and our undeniable tendency toward othering. In thinking consciously about our tendency toward thinking about humans as superior, we are encouraged to diminish it, but we are also able to build on our unique potential to positively influence the sustainability of life on Earth. What is more, if we can think of ourselves as having unique potential, we can also think of other species as having those same qualities, at once the same orange but also, as separate segments of the whole orange, uniquely able to affect the flavor of the orange. If we think of each organism as having distinctive qualities that have significant influence on the whole orange, but also that distinctive existence is entirely dependent on their being a part of the whole, owing their existence to being a part of the whole fruit growing on the tree, we can begin to move toward an equitable way of life and eco-justice for all. What these emplaced pedagogues do at once draws on children as individuals and separate from nature but also on their power to slip between this world of ecstasis, to use Bonnett’s term, and the world of integration with nature. The pedagogy that emerges from their emplacement with children in nature is one that both disrupts and familiarizes a that both makes real and imaginary. It is a pedagogy that disturbs rhythms and distorts time by paying careful and close attention to children’s curiosities and interests as expressed in places. It is a pedagogy that manages to at once be led by children but also to lead children through exciting and challenging places. In so doing, this pedagogy is one that may enable a journey toward eco-centrism

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without ever articulating it; simply by being equitable in its approach, this artistic pedagogical practice puts children on this path about which more research from the child’s point of view is warranted.

Cross-References ▶ ArtScapers: A Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination Project ▶ Children Becoming Emotionally Attuned to “Nature” Through Diverse PlaceResponsive Pedagogies ▶ Everyday Local Natural Places: Settings for Promoting Children’s Health and Well-Being ▶ Extracts from Children’s Submissions on Nature to Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination ▶ Propositions for an Environmental Arts Pedagogy: A/r/tographic Experimentations with Movement and Materiality ▶ Uncommon Worlds: Towards an Ecological Aesthetics of Childhood in the Anthropocene Acknowledgments This chapter emerges from a focus group discussion with Elena Arevalo Melville, Debbie Hall, Susanne Jasilek, Helen Stratford, Sally Todd, Caroline Wendling and Deb Wilenski. This group of artistic women shared their experiences of working with children at the intersection of nature and creativity with us, and so much of the text has been “written” by them. We are inspired by your work and grateful to you for sharing it with us. We would also like to thank David Whitley for his support and advice in undertaking this research.

References Alderson, P. (2001). Research by children. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 4(2), 139–153. Ardoin, N. M. (2006). Toward an interdisciplinary understanding of place: Lessons for environmental education. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 11, 112–126. Barratt Hacking, E., Scott, W., & Barratt, R. (2007). Children’s research into their local environment: Stevenson’s gap, and possibilities for the curriculum. Environmental Education Research, 13(2), 225–244. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504620701284811. Basso, K. (1996). Wisdom sits in places: Landscape and language among the Western Apache. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press. Bonnett, M. (2012). Environmental concern, moral education and our place in nature. The Journal of Moral Education, 41(3), 285–300. Christensen, P., & James, A. (2000). Research with children, perspectives and practices. New York, NY: Falmer Press. Clarke, D. A. G., & Mcphie, J. (2016). From places to paths: Learning for sustainability, teacher education and a philosophy of becoming. Environmental Education Research, 22(7), 1002–1024. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2015.1057554. Fettes, M., & Judson, G. (2010). Imagination and the cognitive tools of place-making. The Journal of Environmental Education, 42(2), 123–135. https://doi.org/10.1080/00958964.2010.505967.

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Gannon, S. (2015). Saving squawk? Animal and human entanglement at the edge of the lagoon. Environmental Education Research, 23(1), 91–110. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.201 5.1101752. Garrard, G. (2010). Problems and prospects in ecocritical pedagogy. Environmental Education Research, 16(2), 233–245. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504621003624704. Gruenewald, D. A. (2003). The best of both worlds: A critical pedagogy of place. Educational Researcher, 32(4), 3–12. Haraway, D. (2008). When species meet. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Haraway, D. (2015). Anthropocene, capitalocene, plantationocene, chthulucene: Making kin. Environmental Humanities, 6, 159–165. Hart, R. (1992). Children’s participation: From tokenism to citizenship (Vol. 4). Florence, Italy: UNCIEF, International Child Development Centre. Heise, U. (2008). Sense of place and sense of planet: The environmental imagination of the global. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Louv, R. (2005). Last Child in the Woods: Saving our children from nature deficit disorder. Workman Publishing Company. MacFarlane, R. (2015). Landmarks. Tintern, UK: Hamish Hamilton. MacKenzie, M., & Bieler, A. (2016). Critical education: Narration, place and the social and sociomaterial practice. New York, NY: Peter Lang. Malone, K. (2013). “The future lies in our hands”: Children as researchers and environmental change agents in designing a child-friendly neighbourhood. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, 18(3), 372–395. https://doi.org/10.1080/ 13549839.2012.719020. Malone, K. (2015). Theorizing a child–dog encounter in the slums of La Paz using post-humanistic approaches in order to disrupt universalisms in current ‘child in nature’ debates. Children’s Geographies, 14(4), 390–407. https://doi.org/10.1080/14733285.2015.1077369. Mannion, G., Fenwick, A., & Lynch, J. (2013). Place-responsive pedagogy: Learning from teachers’ experiences of excursions in nature. Environmental Education Research, 19(6), 792–809. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2012.749980. Miller, L., & Pound, L. (2011). Taking a critical perspective. In L. Miller & L. Pound (Eds.), Theories and approaches to learning in the early years. London, England: Sage. Rautio, P. (2013). Children who carry stones in their pockets: On autotelic material practices in everyday life. Children’s Geographies, 11(4), 394–408. https://doi.org/10.1080/14733285.201 3.812278. Reid, A., Jensen, B. B., Nikel, J., & Simovska, V. (Eds.). (2008). Participation and learning: Perspectives on education and the environment, health and sustainability. New York, NY: Springer. Taylor, A. (2013). Reconfiguring the natures of childhood. London, England: Routledge. Taylor, A. (2017). Beyond stewardship: Common world pedagogies for the Anthropocene. Environmental Education Research, 23(10), 1448–1461. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.20 17.1325452. Thomashow, M. (2002). Bringing the biosphere home: Learning to perceive global environmental change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Whitehead, T. L. (2004). What is ethnography? Methodological, ontological and epistemological attributes. Ethnographically informed community and cultural assessment research systems (EICCARS) working paper series. Retrieved from http://www.cusag.umd.edu/documents/ workingpapers/epiontattrib.pdf Whitley, D. (2013). Learning with Disney: Children’s animation and the politics of innocence. Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society, 5(2), 75–91. Yin, R. K. (1993). Case study research: Design and methods. London, England: Sage.

Becoming Childhoodnature: Experimenting a Research Assemblage Diana Masny

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Situating A Research Assemblage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rhizome, Rhizoanalysis, and Assemblage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rhizome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rhizoanalysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Assemblage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Multiple Literacies Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reading Intensively and Reading Immanently . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reading the World and Self . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reading and Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Theory-Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reading a Research Assemblage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boldt and Valente (2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Masny (2015) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Martín-Bylund (2018) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cross-References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on research methodologies, that is, an inquiry into research that experiments with the rhizome, an innovative way of doing childhoodnature research. Educational studies in an Anthropocene era have often positioned “childhoodnature” research in the more familiar humanist perspective according D. Masny (*) University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia e-mail: [email protected] # Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018 A. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, Springer International Handbooks of Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51949-4_17-1

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prominence to the centered subject, representation, and interpretation. This approach to research has been the source of criticism for not responding to the challenges of the times. This chapter is situated within that critique by adopting a rhizomatic perspective to childhoodnature research informed by Deleuze and Guattari’s geophilosophy. Geophilosophy ruptures the received view of qualitative research and creates concepts in relation to the problem and questions that emerge from a research assemblage. A rupture also provides an opening for the conceptualization of childhoodnature as it emerges through the lens of rhizoanalysis and a theory on becoming that consists of reading the world and self. The chapter is a rhizome with multiple entries: situating the research assemblage and an ontology linked to geophilosophy. A presentation on the rhizome, rhizoanalysis, and the concept of assemblage follows. Then, they come together with Multiple Literacies Theory as contributing elements in reading a research assemblage. Next three rhizomatic studies constitute examples of research assemblages and how they might function. Finally, the intermezzo, the movement in between de- and reterritorialization according to Deleuze and Guattari’s geophilosophy, is one of becoming and establishes a movement for research yet-to-come. It provides potentially new directions for thinking about research as it unfolds with childhoodnature. Keywords

Reading · Multiple-Literacies-Theory · Deleuze · Guattari · Becoming · Geophilosophy · Rhizoanalysis · Anthropocene

Introduction This chapter contributes to the handbook’s section on research methodologies, that is, an inquiry into research that experiments with innovative and nonrepresentational ways of doing research.

Situating A Research Assemblage The chapter is a rhizome with multiple entries. It becomes an invitation for readers to plug into the different entries and concepts that may be familiar and unfamiliar as each entry takes readers in unpredictable (no pre-given) directions. Moreover, the chapter emerges out of what might be considered an ever-growing concern regarding sustainability of the planet at a time when the human species makes its heavily-felt impact on the planet. Climate change (Malone and Truong, 2017), nuclear power, and genetically altered food (Colebrook, 2014) are examples. This era carries the name, Anthropocene (Crutzen, 2002). Concern for the planet earth resulting from innovations through science and technology to name a few has led many scientists to

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focus on the earth’s resolve to sustain the planet and be sustained by it for the future. Might the latter be a call for sustainability through childhoodnature in conjunction with a globalized and digitalized environment, ever-changing and mutating along untimely pathways? The backdrop to this chapter unfolds in the middle of problematizing the concept of childhoodnature and becoming through the lens of Deleuze and Guattari’s (1994) geophilosophy. The chapter invites childhoodnature to experiment with territorialization and becoming through reading the world and self. They contribute to a research assemblage as they join elements of expression, content (bodies), and de- and reterritorialization. The purpose is to create a different path of research inquiry in the process of becoming. This path grew in opposition to conventional educational research (St. Pierre, 1997, 2004). Conventional research known as post positivism and humanism have dictated how scientific research is conducted by centering the human subject. The boundaries (categories) of conventional representational research are being challenged, and different directions to research are now emerging (Clarke & McPhie, 2015; Fox and Alldred, 2015). This chapter focuses on doing poststructural research with childhoodnature through the lens of rhizoanalysis and a reading of the world and self (Millei & Rautio, 2017). This research approach is an important direction in working with the complexity, messiness, and unpredictability in conceptualizing childhoodnature, rhizome, and reading. Multiple Literacies Theory (Masny, 2014a) consists of a counter-response to the arborescent/silo development of reading. It does not promote various presentations of literacies such as emotional literacies and financial literacies. Rather, literacies are characterized by their singularity that happens differently each time because of the setting in which they emerge (e.g., literacies in the context of family relationships, Bastien, 2017; Mozere, 2007; Riddle, 2014). Moreover, the concept of analysis deployed in this chapter has no connection with the humanist forms of analysis that rely on coding and categorization. The writings of Deleuze and Guattari on geophilosophy Bonta & Protevi (2005) cast a gaze on the importance of ontology (May, 2005) in which earth and territory are closely linked. Geophilosophy has disrupted a conventional humanist perspective on knowledge, representation, thinking, binary logic, and the centered subject also known as the received view. Thinking does not take place in the realm between subject and object; rather it takes place in the “relationship of territory to earth” and the “earth constantly carries out a movement of deterritorialization on the spot, by which it goes beyond any territory.” Territory and earth are two components with two zones of indiscernibility – deterritorialization (from territory to earth) and reterritorialization (from earth to territory) (Deleuze and Guattari, 1994, pp. 85–86). The humanist perspective in Deleuzian-Guattarian terms has been deterritorialized. Absolute deterritorializing refers to virtual movements moving through relative deterritorializing movements that are in the process of actualization (Parr, 2012). The movement from deterritorialization to reterritorialization calls upon the establishment of a territory once more but not the same as the previous territory. It actualizes differently. De- and re- territorialization participate in a potential

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creation of a concept in an assemblage. Might childhoodnature emerge from such an assemblage? The French term, agencement, has been inserted because there are variations in translation (Bangou, 2013). In this setting, there are questions: What is childhoodnature? How does it function? What does it produce in becoming? These questions provide potential experimenting with rhizoanalysis (Masny, 2013) and Multiple Literacies Theory (Masny, 2014a). More details are presented later on. Multiple Literacies Theory invites animal, human, and vegetal readings of the world and self in a research assemblage. It paves a path to becoming with the world. Children are nature and are inseparable from nature (nd.). Might it emerge that childhoodnature are-as-one and enable a becoming with the world? Deleuze writes the following: “if children were able to make their protests heard in pre-school or simply their questions would be sufficient to derail the entire educational system” (Deleuze in an interview with Foucault, 2004, p. 291). What might these protests and questions be about? Several responses might emerge. One response that this chapter calls upon is creativity in open systems. In other words, the approach in conducting research is couched in terms of problems, questions, and concept creation of childhoodnature (Masny 2016). How has educational childhood research transformed at/with the Anthropocene? Perhaps a comment from the Economist (2011) might be an indication. “Welcome to Anthropocene: Humans have changed the way the world works. Now they have to change the way they think about it, too.” This change questions the role of the human in relation to nature and has led to experimentation embedded within what might be considered post qualitative research. Drawing from Deleuze and Guattari (1987), might the latter consist of a decentered subject and a rejection of representation and interpretation? This chapter is interested in pursuing a twofold goal regarding the conductivity of childhoodnature research. The first is conceptual, that is, to trouble conventional research which consistently calls upon the researcher to interpret the results of a study. The second involves experimentation with the research(er/ed), by moving away from representation and interpretation and engaging with rhizoanalysis and its accompanying processes as well as practical oriented Multiple Literacies Theory (Waterhouse & Arnott, 2016). Might these goals take into account how the processes of the rhizome/rhizomic machine, rhizoanalysis, and multiple literacies function?

Rhizome, Rhizoanalysis, and Assemblage The next entries speak exclusively to the concepts of the rhizome/rhizomic machine, rhizoanalysis, and assemblage. Later on, in the entry entitled “reading a research assemblage,” we will see how they function. Through geophilosophy, earth and territory produce problems from life, and concept creation becomes along rhizomatic lines a response to problems in the world (Masny, 2014b).

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Rhizome What is a rhizome/rhizomic machine? how does it function? It[a machine] has no subjectivity or organising centre; it is nothing more than the connections and productions it makes; it is what it does. It therefore has no home or ground; it is a constant process of deterritorialisation, or becoming other. (Colebrook, 2002, p. 57)

It is an orientation toward research that adheres to an ontology that brings together geophilosophy and becoming, a rejection of representation, interpretation, and linearity. A rhizome is characterized by multiplicity, connectivity, heterogeneity, asignifying rupture, and mapping (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987). An asignifying rupture, for example, refers to a rhizomic machine always in motion, traveling along lines. Its movements along horizontal lines are nonhierarchical and non-arborescent (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987). In a society, lines might be molar (rigid, institutions), molecular (supple, i.e., pivots toward molar or lines of flight), and lines of flight (creativity). “A rhizome may be broken, shattered at a given spot, but it will start up again on one of its old lines, or on new lines” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 9). Lines break, and rupture, and flee, but the rhizome simply starts up again in the middle on a new line or along an old one (Deleuze & Guattari, cited in Bastien, 2017, p. 20). Deleuze and Guattari have proposed that lines of flight describe best a society. Through rhizoanalysis, lines enter into a relation with another. The relationality is one of affect, that is, becoming in the process of mapping connections of lines molar (rigid), molecular (supple), and lines of light.

Rhizoanalysis The arborescent nature of conventional research attempts to predict (to fix, pin down) what research observations and interviews mean through representation and interpretation. With rhizoanalysis, a different way of doing research emerges (Clarke & McPhie, 2015). What is rhizoanalysis? How does it function? What does it produce in becoming? Rhizoanalysis is not a method. There is no one way to do rhizoanalysis. Its analytic orientation to research is based on the rhizome (multiplicity, connectivity, heterogeneity, asignifying rupture, and mapping). When there is an unpredictable rupture in conventional research, it might emit a line of flight whereby rhizoanalysis might create new connections of becoming. What was a particular form of doing research might be no longer. It is different. It is difference that allows for creation and invention to happen continuously (Dufresne, 2006).

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Assemblage The function of an assemblage is indicative of the societal perspective that Deleuze and Guattari privileged in their writings. For example, becomings do not happen in isolation. Moreover, in an assemblage, there is no “I” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987). An assemblage functions to decenter the subject be it human, animal, or vegetal. An assemblage consists of content (human, animal, and vegetal bodies) and expression (collective assemblages of enunciation, order words) and de- and reterritorialization. Content refers to the relationship between bodies (e.g., human, animal, and social body) and expression in an assemblage that takes into account that we never know in advance how a body will respond in the process of deterritorialization and reterritorialization (cf. assemblage, Masny, 2014b, p. 100). Expression refers to collective assemblages of enunciation (e.g., order words) that are subject to deterritorialize and then reterritorialize. Deleuze and Guattari maintain that language is social and not individual as utterances reflect a dominant social order. The deterritorializing process opens up potentialities for extending experience in an assemblage by reconfiguring the assemblage differently based on a relationality of the elements through affect. They are comprised of material matter which might be, for example, linguistic, social, cultural, and economic. In an assemblage, the elements are constituted nonlinearly and nonhierarchically and not pre-given similar to a rhizome that activates and disrupts (deterritorialize) the elements within content and expression and reconfigure the assemblage.

Multiple Literacies Theory Multiple Literacies Theory is connected to rhizoanalysis. Multiple Literacies (Masny, 2014a) consist of words, gestures, and sounds, that is, human, animal, and vegetal ways of relating in reading the world and self and ways of becoming in the world. Reading self refers to a relationality of elements in an assemblage in the process of becoming (through affect). Reading with Multiple Literacies Theory is a process and does not involve end points (reading and writing printed materials). What might be going on during reading in Multiple Literacies Theory brings us to ask: Reading what? Reading how? Art is an example. Conventionally we see/visualize art. In most cases, we do not hear art. Multiple Literacies Theory, however, favors reading art because reading art might be more than seeing. Reading can happen through the eyes and through the ears. Through reading, might there be tasting art, smelling art? The concept of reading is encompassing. Moreover, Multiple Literacies Theory rejects representation and interpretation. Through the lens of Multiple Literacies Theory, might hearing the art of Francis Bacon, for example (Deleuze, 2005), be blurring the boundaries of representational art? Reading art does not happen in isolation. The elements in content and expression in the assemblage relate to each other, and art is an element in the assemblage. Reading art in the process of becoming creates pathways of becoming previously not given, creating and connecting to other

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pathways that emerge and relate to each other through affect. In a certain way and as mentioned earlier, creating the concept of childhoodnature-as-one invites a reading of blurred boundaries of childhood and nature but also unpredictability, complexity, and messiness.

Reading Intensively and Reading Immanently Conventional reading is involved in interpretation when asking what a text means. Rhizoanalysis and Multiple Literacies Theory are not interested in a question of interpretation. Rather, the interest lies in what reading does and how a text functions. Multiple Literacies Theory is interested in reading intensively and immanently. Reading intensively relates to an untimely disruption that creates a rupture and potentially emits a line of flight. This is a process of deterritorialization that simultaneously gives rise to reading immanently which consists of what might happen (potentiality) in reading, reading the world and self. Reading intensively and immanently, for example, the relationality of elements in an assemblage, deterritorialize and reterritorialize content (bodies relating to one another) and expression (social nature of language). Through the power of affect/becoming, the elements in the assemblage reconfigure only to engage in a continuous process of de- and reterritorialization. Moreover, once reading happens in untimely ways, there is no prediction about how reading is taken up.

Reading the World and Self In Multiple Literacies Theory, reading the world and self is intricately intertwined but distinct, composite, and irreducible. Reading the world and self in an assemblage is reading the relationality of the elements (including self) in an assemblage. Reading the world is the point at which expression and the world meet and sense actualize in situ (Masny, 2016).

Reading and Text Multiple Literacies Theory refers to texts, broadly speaking (e.g., in the context of mating rituals, music, visual arts, physics, mathematics, and digital remixes). Each text is a machinic assemblage (cf. previous quote on machine by Colebrook). In deterritorialization, texts are pre-personal, asignifying machines. Text reterritorializes through an assemblage of heterogeneous forces that come together in a particular time and place. Text is a sense event. Texts might be visual, oral, written, tactile, olfactory, and in multimodal digital (reading text, cf. Cutcher, Rousell, and Cutter-Mackenzie, 2015).

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Theory-Practice A question that might arise regarding the conceptualization of Multiple Literacies Theory concerns the word theory. It is used but has no connection to the humanist perspective as a perceived dichotomy between theory and practice. Theory works differently with Deleuze: A theory is exactly like a box of tools . . . It must be useful. It must function (Deleuze, 2004, p. 208). A theory is something that we must construct as a response to a problem, and if it ceases to be useful, then we have no choice but to construct others.

This approach to theory is inherently practical, although Deleuze distinguishes between theoretical and practical activities. Unlike a conventional approach to the relationship between theory and practice, theory does not represent or “speak for” practice, any more than practice “applies” theory: “there’s only action – theoretical and practical action” – connected in networks and relays (Baugh, 2012). Foucault puts it in the following way: “Theory does not express, translate, or serve to apply practice.” In other words, the Deleuzian relationship between theory and practice does not deal with the conventional approach of theory and practice. Instead, a relationship is reconfigured as theory and practice to experiment. What are the implications of this relationship, theory and practice, for childhoodnature? Might childhoodnature be process-oriented? Might theory and practice come together as a sense event? The toolbox is a concept that emerged out of discussions between Foucault and Deleuze (Deleuze, 2004). Deleuze likens a theory to a toolbox: “It has to be used, it has to work” (p. 208). Its practicality consists of thinking creation of new not pre-given concepts as a response to a problem. “Thinking is never just a theoretical matter; it has to do with vital problems” (Deleuze, 1995, p. 105). How are concepts practical? A concept becomes, “this power to move beyond what we know and experience to think how experience might be extended” (Colebrook, 2002, p. 17). Accordingly, Multiple Literacies Theory is interested in praxis, the ability to do, to practice when asking questions emerging out of problematization. The toolbox also has applications with rhizoanalysis.

Reading a Research Assemblage From a Deleuzian perspective, the ontology that connects with Multiple Literacies Theory and rhizoanalysis is nonrepresentational. In this chapter, it involves an ontology commensurate with, in this case, geophilosophy. In addition, a research assemblage does not address data production in a conventional empirical way. Representation and interpretation deterritorialize and reterritorialize as nonrepresentation and interpretosis (the sickness of interpretation) (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987). Moreover, reading a research assemblage happens through the lens of

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rhizoanalysis. There is no one way to do rhizoanalysis. Therefore, the readers will note that this rhizoanalytic approach to research is one not solely created by the author. Rhizoanalysis does not apply narrowly to vignettes (formerly data). It applies to all the elements (including the researcher) as contributors to a research assemblage of content and expression that de- and reterritorialize. The process then reconfigures the assemblage based on the relationship of affect among the elements in the assemblage. The research assemblage is not limited to what a researcher generates by way of interpretation based on the data before her. In this particular rhizoanalytic approach, interpretation is deterritorialized and reterritorialized as purposeful questioning of statements in opposition to affirming the contents of a statement (please refer to three research studies below regarding the use of the question structure). It is a way to address the issue of interpretation. Interpretation focuses on data. In this rhizoanalysis, data is deterritorialized, and a different concept emerges, vignettes. What might the assemblage consist of? Observations and interviews deterritorialize, reterritorialize, and conceptualize as vignettes. In this particular setting, they contribute to a research assemblage (researcher, research assistant, participants, computers, books, etc.). Vignettes are not subject to analysis according to codings. Codes classify and fix data. How are vignettes selected? Intense affective passages in bold (see vignette below) disrupt as connections happen in the mind of the researcher and produce thought. In other words, the selected vignette is based on its power to affect the assemblage and be affected by the assemblage. Vignettes rupture, deterritorialize, and take off in unpredictable rhizomatic ways. They also plug into a conceptual toolbox pre-personal and not pre-given (immanent). How? The plugging-in process (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987) enables reading intensively and immanently the relationality of elements in the assemblage that deterritorializes and reterritorializes content and expression (interviews, transcript, video, participants, computer). Vignettes deterritorialize and reterritorialize creating new territories (e.g., concepts, childhoodnature). In so doing, “we move away from the anthropocentric view which places humans at the center of analysis” (Martín-Bylund, 2017, p. 79). The following vignettes come from three different studies. They might be instances of the untimely happening of an autistic child in class with teacher’s aids (Boldt & Valente, 2014), Cristelle’s choice of her favorite part of the school program (Masny, 2015), and the last study on bilingualism that “emphasizes and challenges standardized language models. . .. If one has learned the standard version of a language, then one who wants to call her/him self an expert needs to continuously seek to become” (Martín-Bylund, 2018, p. 17). The interactions deterritorialize as connections happen in the mind and produce thought untimely. Conceptualizing childhoodnature-as-one entails blurring boundaries from which mutations might emerge highlighting the complexity and the untimeliness of childhoodnature.

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Boldt and Valente (2014) In this study, Boldt and Valente (2014) filmed a student participant using a video ethnographic method (Tobin et al. cited in Boldt & Valente, 2014). They instructed their graduate students to film routines in a classroom which included the integration of an autistic child. While debriefing, for example, with research assistants and researchers who filmed observations (Masny, 2015), the mind is not responsible for selecting video vignettes even though the experience of connectivity takes place in the mind. The different elements in an assemblage come together to produce thought in the mind of the current researcher as an element within the research assemblage. It is within the research assemblage, including reading observations that rhizomatic ruptures happen and with the power of affect flowing through the relationality of elements in the assemblage, the concept video vignettes emerges. From the toolbox, a concept, pre-personal and not pre-given (immanent), emerges. There is a practical aspect for it is a response to a problem (undoing conventional qualitative research). Filmed observations becoming video vignettes plug into the potentiality of literacies as processes by extending experiences of what is to what might be. In the course of the filming: Children changed spaces, groups and teachers constantly. . .. Somehow capturing the constant movement of teachers, children, materials, and waves and bursts of affective tensions and energies happening among and within spaces began to seem more important than following the arc of a given event. In fact many of the things the children were doing did not have discernable beginnings, middles and ends, but seemed, in the language of Deleuze and Guattari (1987), to be all middles.

In other words: You never know what a body will do what it can do, in other words, what its affects are, how they can or cannot enter into composition with other affects, with the affects of another body, either to destroy that body or to be destroyed by it, either to exchange actions and passions with it or to join with it in composing a more powerful body. (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 257)

The human body is just one example of a body. There are others: animal body, body of work, and social body. A body, according to Baugh (2012), is defined “by the relations of its parts (relations of relative motion and rest, speed and slowness), and by its actions and reactions with respect both to its environment or milieu and to its internal milieu.” In an assemblage, there are affects/becomings that enter into a composition with affects of another body and deterritorialize. From filmed observations emerges the power of affect, becoming that transforms filmed observations into vignettes and the basis for connecting video vignettes to the interviews. The vignette selected for the study is part of the current research assemblage. The relationality of affect among the elements produced a bold passage that signifies a reconfiguration of the assemblage and the potential for concepts to emerge. The bold parts in the vignette might affect and disrupt the research assemblage. The direction that the

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assemblage will take in its reconfiguration is unpredictable. The combination of disruption and affect or reading intensively and immanently is a rhizomatic process that creates a line of deterritorialization and becoming. “What transpires is, that is, an ability of the vignette and affect to bring forth the virtual thought of what might happen in an analysis. It is a process in which there is investment in reading the world and self” (Masny, 2013, p. 343). In short, to read observations in a research assemblage that includes childhoodnature is also according to Multiple Literacies Theory to read vignettes intensively which deterritorialize and immanently (the virtual thought of what might happen when material elements connect to other material elements in the research assemblage). While the experience of connectivity takes place in the mind, the mind is not responsible for emerging vignettes. Rather it is the reading intensively and immanently of observations for rhizomatic ruptures happening in the research assemblage.

Masny (2015) In this vignette, Cristelle (pseudonym) had completed a language arts activity in class. As part of the research assemblage, there were research questions, graduate students as research assistants, physical spaces to film in the classroom, physical space to interview, the equipment, and material bodies connecting. Participation in debriefing sessions that consisted of questions flowing from problematization underscores the potentiality for concept creation in relation to the research assemblage and its reconfiguration. Vignette: from poem . . .. C: Cristelle; D: researcher In the introduction, the researcher asks about a poem they had done in class: (D) Was it one you created? (C) No it was copied off the board. (D) Do you know what a poem is? (C) Yes, it rhymes. (D) do you write poems? (C) I do them only at school when there is a celebration/birthday and I copy them off the board. (D) Why not write one on your own? (C) we need to write what’s on the board when it’s a proper poem. (D) Could you write one? (C) I do not know how to write a poem. (D) What do you need to do to write one? ideas? (C) ideas? I don’t have ideas. (D) what do you need to do to have ideas? (C) think (D) then you can think about ideas. Do you have any ideas? (C) not really . . . to Gameboy, gym, recess and lunch (D) then what would you like to think about

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How do the elements in this research assemblage engage in de- and reterritorialization of expression (collective assemblages of enunciation) and content (material bodies: human, animal, and vegetal)? How are vignettes selected? Intense affective passages in bold disrupt as connections happen in the mind of the researcher and thought is produced. The vignette was selected by its power to affect the assemblage and be affected by the assemblage. Vignettes rupture, deterritorialize, and take off in unpredictable rhizomatic ways and create concepts. It is a process in which there is an investment in reading the world and self. Instead of considering interpretation and what a text means, the questions are what vignettes do and how they function. For instance, what might the assemblage produce in becoming of different pathways for childhoodnature? In the context of Multiple Literacies Theory, how does deterritorialization happen in reading the world and self? How is language molarized? Might it involve over-coding institutional practices of doing poetry (possibly school normativity at work)? How might language de- and reterritorialize and in the process undo normativity? While there is no response about ideas for writing a poem from Cristelle, there are ideas about Gameboy as Cristelle explains what the videogame does. Is this a moment of deterritorialization? And a potential reterritorialization where the gym, recess, and lunch have become the best of curriculum and moments of creativity in relation to Gameboy? In the interview, in her response, there might have been excitement in her voice when talking about Gameboy. From reading the world to reading self/reading the relationality of affect among the elements of collective assemblages of enunciation and material bodies, the assemblages reconfigure. In these configurations, Cristelle is an assemblage as well. From this vignette, content in the assemblage provides movements involving various body formations/relations: Gameboy, recess, lunch, food, and connections of researcher body and child body. A vignette emerges as text stemming from the relationality of the elements in the assemblage. In other words, it is asignifying only to emerge signifying according to a particular setting. Reading and reading the world and self through text influence the text one continually becomes (Zhang & Gao, 2017).

Martín-Bylund (2018) This particular study called the sand day moment takes place in Sweden in a bilingual preschool setting (50% Swedish and 50% Spanish). It is after lunch, and the teacher announced to the children in Spanish: “hay un pedacito de melón” (there is a piece of melon) for each one. According to Martín-Bylund (2018, p. 14):

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The children around the table immediately pick up the fruit expression, creating a rhythmic chant “de me-lón, nam namnam, de me-lón, nam nam nam, de me-lón,” at the same moving their bodies in time with the same rhythm. . . Using Swedish words, the children come up with two suggestions: “vattenmelon” (watermelon) and “honungsmelon” (honeydew). Teacher responds: “No, es solamente melón” (No, it’s only melon) the teacher answers in Spanish. “No hay sandía” (There is no watermelon). When the children insist on knowing whether or not it is honeydew, the teacher shrugs her shoulders and says it might be. She stands up and leaves the room to go and get the melon. While the teacher is away getting the melon, the children start exaggerating the Swedish pronunciation by calling it meloon, meloon. . ..

The children are enthusiastic about getting melon for dessert, but what sort of melon is it? Using Swedish words, the children come up with two different suggestions: “vattenmelon” (watermelon) and “honungsmelon” (honeydew). “No, es solamente melón” (No, it’s only melon) the teacher answers in Spanish. “No hay sandía” (There is no watermelon). When the children insist on knowing whether or not it is honeydew, the teacher shrugs her shoulders and says it might be. She stands up and leaves the room to get the melon. During this time, the children discuss the pronunciation of the word melon, exaggerating the Swedish pronunciation by calling it “melOOOn, melOOOn.” So how did the teacher say it? One of the children says she heard “vattenmelón melón,” with the Spanish pronunciation in the ending.. . .In Spanish, it (watermelon) is called sandía, the teacher says when she comes back. “Det är nästan som sand” (It’s almost like sand) she says in Swedish. The teacher insists that, that today there is only melon. But a third child continues focusing on new possibilities of this word. Do you know what sandía means? he asks his mates in Swedish. That it is “sand dag” [sand day]. Other children agree and the first child, the one who earlier was appalled by the word, stands up and leans out of the window, calmly reaffirming that yes, today is sand day.

What is happening when the child sticks his/her head out the window and affirms that today is sand day? The child is an assemblage as well as the sand setting. What reading of self and the world happened? Was the reading connected to seeing? Was there a visual reading, an audio reading? Was it an olfactory reading? Hear? Feel? Taste? Was it the wind in a relational connection of affect with the child? How does the research assemblage function and what does it produce? Youbell’s examples of the elements (social, cultural, political, etc.) are not pre-given instances of elements that might contribute to a research assemblage. The elements emerge in situ. These elements might relate to expression (the social nature of language folded into collective assemblages of enunciation in an institutional system such as school). Content might refer to bodies (human, animal, vegetal, social, body of writing). The instance given by Martín-Bylund (2018): At the beginning of the moment, the children immediately attach their bodies to the expression “melón” in the teacher’s announcement. They connect to expression, rhythmically, but they also associate to its content, affirmatively yum-yumming with the same rhythm. (p. 17)

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The sandía’s pathway is interesting. From the teacher’s utterance in Spanish sandía to a conversion to Swedish as sand day by one of the children to another child who leans out the window and utters that yes, it is sand day. From the perspective of Multiple Literacies Theory, what reading might have gone on? Would it relate perhaps to a windy cloudy formation? Might the sand element have reconfigured the assemblage. Were there sensations that live on independently of whoever experiences them and affects/becomings that spill over beyond whoever lives through them (Deleuze, 1995, p. 137)? A not seen fruit takes on multiple heterogeneous moments – from this unknown element going back and forth deterritorializing from one language to another: “The sense event of a sand day subsides in the word, but it happens to the present bodies, producing disgust, questions, interest, movement and contemplation” (Martín-Bylund, 2018 p. 15).

Intermezzo The purpose of an intermezzo presents potentiality for research with childhoodnature by problematizing, questioning, and engaging in concepts of inquiry that Multiple Literacies Theory and rhizoanalysis deploy in a research assemblage. Through the lens of researcher-researched, Multiple Literacies Theory and rhizoanalysis propose to push experience of life within childhoodnature to its limits and beyond and to engage the process in between deterritorialization and reterritorialization. Through the rhizome, problematization becomes multiple. Rhizomatic shoots proliferate: from filmed observations to becoming-observation-vignettes and from transcribed interviews to becoming-analytical-vignettes. In other words, concepts of inquiry have through reading the world and self intensively and immanently emerged from a toolbox that is seen to work and produce new conceptualizations of research inquiry. Recall that the toolbox consists of creating concepts for the practical purpose of thinking differently about research and childhoodnature. In conventional research, the familiar approach is to state the problem at the beginning of a research project followed by research questions. Questions are formulated with the aim of finding solutions. In rhizoanalysis conventional coding, problem-seeking-solutions and research questions deterritorialize and reterritorialize focusing on problematization and questions formulated to become responses in order to disengage from interpretation (interpretosis) and encourage concept creation (Cumming, 2015). Taken-for-granted assumptions of humanist research tools merit problematizing. Deleuze (1994) made problematization a significant aspect of experimentation and doing research. He proposed pedagogic experiments to allow young children “to participate in the fabrication of problems” (159). In multiple ways of reading and rhizomatic forces, Cristelle, through observations and interviews in the research assemblage, contributed to problematizing qualitative research. While Deleuze recognized that problems are important, problems are not merely “provisional movements destined to disappear in the formation of knowledge. . ..” Problems must be considered as “possessing their own sufficiency” (p. 159). In other words, problems are asignifying in becoming. In reterritorialization, a problem is effected and deploys literacies and rhizoanalysis with their nonhierarchical and nonlinear pathways of experimentation. Might what produces in

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becoming are new directions for thinking: problematizing? Multiple Literacies Theory and rhizoanalysis become an unfamiliar encounter to provoke thinking differently in postqualitative educational research (Wang, 2016). Might Martín-Bylund’s implications for bilingualism also have implications for Multiple Literacies Theory, rhizoanalysis, and early childhood? The argument here is not to restrict but to extend the possibilities of working with language and literacies in early childhood: . . .perhaps the bilingual situation both emphasizes and challenges standardized language models. Might this be an opportunity that includes the run-away character of the child and the stranger inherent in every word and in every moment. If one has learned the standard version of a language, then one who wants to call her/him self an expert needs to continuously seek to become. (Martín-Bylund 2018, p. 17)

What Martin-Bylund has proposed can be extended to encounters with the unknown, in other words, to affect and be affected in a rhizomatic assemblage engaged in reading the world and self intensively and immanently. Might seeking to become continuously in an assemblage also entail movements of various body formations (learner, apprentice, expert) in experimenting the researcher-researched connection? No body formation is fixed. Rhizoanalysis, through its multiple, heterogeneous, nonlinear, and nonhierarchical pathways, undoes the binary relationship and opens up a potentiality of what might happen through the lens of Multiple Literacies Theory. The centered subject has dissipated in a research assemblage. The issues of Anthropocene and sustainability presented in the introduction has brought us to a space and time of decentering the subject. Reading through the lens of Multiple Literacies Theory and rhizoanalysis has challenged widely held conventional views of reading and qualitative research. The relationality of affect takes on considerable importance within a research assemblage. Based on an invitation to experiment, Multiple Literacies Theory and rhizoanalysis have globalized potentially in light of their goal to be practical and to address issues of sustainability that are worldwide connected. Reading and childhood are well-known concepts to educators. However, in this chapter, reading, childhood, and nature have deterritorialized, and different concepts have emerged: might this concept of reading consist of reading the world and self intensively and immanently in an assemblage? Might childhoodnature come together as one and yet not irreducible? What might be happening? Herein lies perhaps an important concept to educators: to the researcher-researched relation always interchangeable, the expert continuously becomes. Moreover, this coming together of rhizoanalysis (assemblage) and reading through the lens of Multiple Literacies Theory might conceptualize differently childhoodnature. Finally, Deleuze and Guattari have created a singular perspective on reality, an ontology through a societal lens, the network/assemblage, and lines of movement (molar, molecular, lines of flight). In the current climate when education promotes collaboration, networking, and communities of practice, it would seem that the

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writings of Deleuze and Guattari offer remarkable insight into teaching and learning. It requires different ways of thinking about education and childhoodnature. The complexity and the challenges of problematization are evoked in Blaise’s sentiment (2013): Deleuze ontology is not a resting place; it is not a zone of comfort; it is not an answer that allows us to abandon our seeking; it is the opposite. An ontology of difference/is a challenge. (May cited in Blaise, 2013, p. 183) The answer is not a given. Therefore, we cannot abandon our seeking because providing an answer would give way to interpretation. This is a hard pill to swallow in the educational field because teaching and learning are tied to outcomes. We navigate constantly through molar lines in striated spaces and time. While normativity can almost be equated to molarisation, under this umbrella [comfort zone], there is little risk in an encounter with the unknown. what can we learn? How might we then rupture/disrupt the concept of outcomes and experiment with different concepts? (p. 184)

Conclusion An intermezzo is an open asymmetrical system preferred by Deleuze and Guattari that expresses a movement from de- to reterritorialization with spaces in between.

Cross-References ▶ Assembling Childhoodnature ▶ Beyond Method: Exploring the Potential of Philosophy as “Methodology” in Early Years Research ▶ Childhoodnature in Motion: The Ground for Learning ▶ Childhoodnature Story/Writing ▶ Children in the Anthropocene How They Are Implicated ▶ In Place(s): Dwelling on Culture, Materiality and Affect ▶ Narratives of Human and Nonhuman Relation ▶ Posthuman Theory and Practice in Early Years Learning ▶ Porous, Fluid, and Brut Methodologies in (Post)qualitative Childhood/Nature Inquiry ▶ Rhizo-pedagogy: Thinking with echidnas ▶ The Challenge of Reconfiguring ▶ The Nature of Childhood in Childhoodnature ▶ Towards a Pedagogy for Nature-based Play in Early Childhood Educational Settings

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References Bastien M. L. (2017). Mapping literacies in the context of newcomer family relationships with HIPPY home visitors. University of Ottawa: Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Baugh, B. (2012). Experimentation. In A. Parr (Ed.), The Deleuze dictionary (revised ed., pp. 94–97). Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press. Bangou, F. (2013). Reading ICT, second language education, and the self: an agencement. In D. Masny (ed.), Cartographies of Becoming in Education (p.1–23). Rotterdam: Sense Blaise, M. (2013). Activating micropolitical practice in the early years: (Re)assembling bodies and participant observations. In R. Coleman & J. Ringrose (Eds.), Deleuzian research methodologies (pp. 184–200). Publisher Sense, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Boldt, G., & Valente, J. (2014). Bring back the asylum: Reimagining inclusion in the presence of others. In M. N. Bloch, B. B. Swadener, & G. S. Cannella (Eds.), Reconceptualizing early childhood care and education (pp. 201–214). New York, NY: Peter Lang. Bonta, M., & Protevi, J. (2005). Deleuze and geophilosophy. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press. Braidotti, R. (2016). Post human critical theory. In D. Banerji & M. R. Paranjape (Eds.), Critical Posthumanism and planetary futures (pp. 13–33). New Delhi, India: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-81-322-3637-5_ Clarke, D. A. G., & McPhie, J. (2015). From places to paths: Learning for sustainability, teacher education and a philosophy of becoming. Environmental Education Research. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2015.1057554 Colebrook, C. (2002). Gilles Deleuze. New York, NY: Routledge. Colebrook, C. (2014). Death of the post human. Ann Arbor, MI: Open Humanites Press. Crutzen, P. (2002). Geology of mankind. Nature, 415, 23. https://doi.org/10.1038/415023a Cumming, T. (2015). Challenges of ‘thinking differently’ with Rhizoanalytic approaches: A reflexive account. International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 38(2), 137–148. Cutcher, A., Rousell, D., & Cutter-Mackenzie, A. (2015). Findings, windings and Entwinings: Cartographies of collaborative walking and encounter. International Journal of Education through Art, 11(3), 449–458. https://doi.org/10.1386/eta.11.3.449_1 Deleuze, G. (1994). Difference and repetition (P. Patton, Trans.). New York, NY: Columbia University Press. Deleuze, G. (1995). Negotiations (M. Joughlin, Trans.). New York: Columbia University Press. Deleuze, G. (2004). Intellectuals and power [an interview with Michel Foucault]. In D. Lapoujade (Ed.), Desert Islands and other texts: 1953–1974 (M. Taormina, Trans.) (pp. 206–213). Los Angeles, CA: Semiotext(e). Deleuze, G. (2005). Francis bacon: The logic of sensation. London, England: Continuum. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1994). What is philosophy? (H. Tomlinson & G. Burchell Trans.). New York, NY: Columbia University Press. Dufresne, T. (2006). Exploring the processes in becoming Biliterate: The role of resistance to learning and affect. International Journal of Learning, 12, 347–354. Economist, The (2011). Welcome to the Anthropocene. http://www.economist.com/node/18744401. Fox, N. J., & Alldred, P. (2015). New materialist social inquiry: Designs, methods and the research assemblage. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 18, 399–414. Malone, K., & Truong, S. (2017). Precarity in the Anthropocene. In K. Malone, S. Truong, & T. Gray (Eds.), Reimagining sustainability in precarious times (pp. 3–10). New York, NY: Springer. Martín-Bylund, A. (2017). Undertakings. Towards a minor bilingualism: Exploring variations of language and literacy in early childhood education. Published doctoral dissertation: Linkoping University, Linköping, Sweden.

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Martín-Bylund, A. (2018). Minor (il)literate Artworks. Global Studies of Childhood. https://doiorg.proxy.bib.uottawa.ca/10.1177/2043610618758424 Masny, D. (2013). Rhizoanalytic pathways in qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 19(5), 339–348. Masny, D. (2014a). What is reading? In D. Masny & D. R. Cole (Eds.), Mapping multiple literacies: An introduction to Deleuzian literacy studies (pp. 69–92). London, England: Bloomsbury. Masny, D. (2014b). Cartographies of talking groups. In D. Masny & D. R. Cole (Eds.), Mapping multiple literacies: An introduction to Deleuzian literacy studies (pp. 93–124). London, England: Bloomsbury. Masny, D. (2015). Problematizing qualitative educational research: Reading observations and interviews through Rhizoanalysis and multiple literacies. Reconceptualizing Educational Research Methodology, 6, 1. https://doi.org/10.7577/rerm.1422 Masny, D. (2016). Problematizing qualitative research: Reading a data assemblage with Rhizoanalysis. Qualitative Inquiry, 22(8), 666–675. Masny, D., & Waterhouse, M. (2011). Mapping territories and creating nomadic pathways with multiple literacies theory. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 27, 3. May, T. (2005). Gilles Deleuze: An introduction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Millei, Z., & Rautio, P. (2017). Overspills of research with children: An argument for slow research. Children’s Geographies, 15(4), 466–477. Mozere, L. (2007). In early childhood: What’s language about? Educational Philosophy and Theory, 39(3), 291–299. Olsson, L. M. (2013). Taking Children’s questions seriously: The need for creative thought. Global Studies of Childhood, 3, 230–253. Riddle, S. (2014). Musicking as literacies: Possibilities and pragmatism of language learning. Language in the Arts, 5, 235–249. Parr, A. (2012). Deterritorializaton/ Reterritorialization. In A. Parr (Ed.), The Deleuze Dictionary (revised edition) pp. 69–72). Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press. St. Pierre, E. (2004). Deleuzian concepts for education: The subject undone. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 36, 283–296. St. Pierre, E. (1997). Methodology in the fold and the irruption of transgressive data. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 10, 175–189. Wang, J. (2016). An ecology of literacy: A context-based inter-disciplinary curriculum for Chinese as a foreign language. Doctoral dissertation: Ohio State University. Waterhouse, M., & Arnott, S. (2016). Affective disruptions of the immigrant experience: Becomings in official language education research in Canada. International Multilingual Research Journal. https://doi.org/10.1080/19313152.2016.1147307 Zhang, Y., & Guo, Y. (2017). Exceeding boundaries: Chinese Children’s playful use of languages in their literacy practices in a mandarin–English bilingual program. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 20(1), 52–68.

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense, Poetics, and Imagining by Children and Young People Helen Widdop Quinton, Laura Piersol, David Rousell, Joshua Russell, Ricco Dezan, Tayla Shannon, Chanel Davis, Allison Maynard, and Mary Woodruff Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Composition 1: Stories of human and nonhuman relation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Composition 2: Practices of sense and sensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Composition 3: The Eco-Poetics of Childhoodnature encounters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Composition 4: The Childhoodnature Imaginary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Notes on The Companion Contributing Authors and Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Young Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Abstract

This “Companion” to the Childhoodnature Handbook is a co-creation between children, young people, and adults, curated by four academics and five graduate students to bring children and young people’s voices to the foreground. The Companion disrupts conventional academic publishing to present an exceptional H. Widdop Quinton (*) · R. Dezan · T. Shannon Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia e-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected].vu.edu.au L. Piersol Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada e-mail: [email protected] D. Rousell Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK e-mail: [email protected] J. Russell · C. Davis · A. Maynard · M. Woodruff Canisius College, Buffalo, NY, USA e-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] © Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019 A. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, Springer International Handbooks of Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51949-4_132-1

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aesthetic work of children and young people’s creative, sensory, and imaginative musings that reflect their chosen modes of engagement with their childhoodnature. The compositions of childhoodnature experiences within this section enable the reader to become “companions” with the children and young people in sensing, feeling, and thinking of the world a little bit differently. Keywords

Children and young people’s voices · Stories · Imaginative · Sensory

Introduction What does it mean to create a Companion? How might the voices of children and young people become “companions” with the other chapters that make up this Handbook? We began the process of compiling and editing this section with these open questions in mind. We wanted to explore how a notion of companionship could grow and develop organically and perhaps become something more than what we’d expected. Maybe a Companion could disrupt as much as connect, deviate as much as collect, entangle as much as (re)present? In early 2017, we extended an international call for contributions from children and young people all over the world. The call asked for children and young people (from early childhood to 25) to submit essays, photographs, poetry, drawings, creative writing, or personal narratives that expressed their experiences and understandings of childhoodnature. We asked for “anything and everything that you, as children, teenagers, and young people (ages 0–25), might contribute that draws on your ideas about nature, your experiences with animals, or your thoughts about environmental issues.” As we received a dazzling array of submissions over a period of 8 months, we began to realize that something new was happening. A Companion was beginning to emerge that did not follow the conventions of academic research, publishing, and authorial prestige. Children and young people were submitting their own work, their own ideas, and their own creations that were unfiltered and unfettered by the tacit rules and expectations of academic research and publishing. They were collectively re-inventing what a Companion could be. As we began to work through the submissions, we discovered a rich tapestry of voices emerging from a wide range of geographical locations. We were taken on a sensory journey through experiences of childhoodnature all over the world: swamps, cities, mountains, oceans, schools, rainforests, deserts, suburbs, shanties, remote villages, lakeside retreats and more. All of these experiences had found their way to us, and into the Companion, through the openness, generosity, and sensitivity of children and young people. We would like to acknowledge our deep appreciation for children and young people who chose to respond. In the very act of creating and submitting these works, you have demonstrated a powerful sense of care and togetherness that resonates through each page of this Companion.

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In the work here, it was important to us to honor the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the voices of these youth as important contributors in the work around childhoodnature in and of themselves. The Handbook Editors regard The Companion as an essential section of the Handbook, to bring children and young people’s voices to the foreground and be represented alongside academics and other adults. Positioning The Companion in the middle of the Handbook is indicative of the status of this section. It was our intention as section editors to respect and honor the agency of children and young people in assembling The Companion, to avoid treating these contributors in a tokenistic manner and instead, learn from their important perceptions and conceptions. Indeed, contemplating their work as editors has already helped us to shift into new and generative modes of knowing and being in this world. Our editorial approach to constructing the Companion has attempted to preserve the quality and diversity of the submissions that we received. We also worked with youth reviewers who helped to shape our approach and understanding of the material. Helen worked with two students (Tayla and Ricco) in Melbourne, while Joshua worked with three students (Chanel, Mary, and Allison) in Buffalo to review and discuss the submissions according to various iterative criteria. We started with simple questions regarding appropriateness of the submission, asking whether children’s voices were central and whether they addressed their own ideas about nature, experiences with nonhuman animals, or thoughts about environmental issues and futures. We also encouraged the youth reviewers to identify what they thought were consistent and relevant themes across the submissions and how various submissions might be woven together. From those conversations, we began to think about ways to organize the submissions and even opportunities to send back questions or suggestions to authors in order to make drawings, poetry, stories, or other writing clearer for a wide audience. Writing alongside the youth reviewers focused and shaped our editorial thinking and included the youth “voice” in the process of assembling The Companion. We are grateful for the amount of work that these youth reviewers put into this process. The Companion is a something new in academic publishing – there were no models or templates to guide us. In response to the overwhelming number of creative, aesthetic, sensory, and imaginative pieces that were submitted by children and young people, as well as our feedback from youth reviewers, we decided to foreground the children and young people’s voices in an open and aesthetic way, reflecting the manner they chose to express their experiences of childhoodnature. Rather than attempting to represent, interpret, or categorize the experiences of children and young people, we created four distinct compositions of interwoven feelings, places, sensations, and ideas: Composition 1: stories of human and nonhuman relation Composition 2: practices of sense and sensation Composition 3: eco-poetics of childhoodnature encounter Composition 4: the childhoodnature imaginary

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In putting these compositions together, we have endeavored to give each submission space to breathe, inhabit, and saturate the page, while also weaving together different voices and geographical locations to produce a range of feelings and sensations for the reader. We hope that these compositions give you a sense not only of what children and young people think and feel about childhoodnature, but also how they actively choose to grow and develop these connections through sensory and creative practices. We are reminded that the qualities of care and togetherness that these compositions portray are not simply given but must be actively imagined, sensed, crafted, practiced, and sustained with each passing moment. The children and young people’s submissions have opened up a new and intimate space of engagement that is more harmonious with the emergent and storytelling spaces of Indigenous ways of being than with the rigidity of academic publishing. Following the children, young people and youth reviewers’ lead, the compositions deliberately resist the interruptions of academic interpretation and analysis in order to foster the reader’s subtle engagement with the children and young people’s artifacts, ideas, and expressions. This required some careful maneuvering of submissions from academics reporting on behalf of young people in order to free the children and young people’s expressions from the interpretive conventions of academic writing. Some of the more traditional background information about projects and methodologies is included at the end of The Companion as biographical notes on the authors and contributing research projects. We are grateful to these authors for graciously allowing us to de- and recompose their submissions in order to disrupt traditional academic writing formats. We also encourage the reader to refer to the notes on the contributors at the end of this Companion section to add richness and context to the compositional assemblages. Our framing of The Companion as gentle, aesthetic compositions of children and young people’s practices was not without problems. We often encountered aspects of submissions that did not seem to “fit” into the various compositions, and which challenged us to think differently about the aesthetic relationships between form, content, and expression. Frequently our youth editors took a different view and this casts some of the more unconventional submissions as authentic, honest expressions of children and young people’s thinking and meaning-making that needed to be included in The Companion. Eventually however, the section editors were the orchestrators of the final editorial movements and interweavings of submissions. For Companion author Liticia Gardner this raised some valid concerns about lack of opportunity for the young authors to control and contribute to interpretative and theorizing dimensions of the discourse: When I first heard about this project it felt very empowering to be a young person welcomed into something that might really have the power to shift conversations and perhaps even actions of people in places of power and prestige. . ..The idea that the younger people were merely submitting “personal narratives” on the topic of nature is quite misleading, as anything “personal” is always social (and deeply political). My work, while trying to take up this probe of a “personal narrative” was actually theorizing our world much further than simply my own subjective experience. What I’m trying to get at is that it seems that the

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adults are granted access to theorize the world in less subjective (and more privileged terms) through block text and the ability to draw out their argument, while the younger people are being made to be highly subjective.

Liticia troubles our approach taken in this Companion to the Childhoodnature Handbook. She questions the focus on children and young people’s sensory and subjective practices of engaging with/in/as nature and our decision to take an aesthetic and compositional approach that leaves spaces for further interpretation and theorization. We acknowledge the insights embedded in these concerns, while also suggesting that the compositions that populate this companion are “more than” personal and that they do engage a wider social, political, ethical and aesthetic domain of childhoodnature experiences and sensibilities. By taking a compositional approach, we have aimed to highlight the relational connections between children and young people’s sensory practices, concepts, and theorizations from many different cultures, histories, and geographies. By leaving spaces for the reader’s aesthetic engagement and critical interpretation, we hope to invite others into this relational space and thus resist the normative conventions of the adult interpretative “voice of reason” which too often overwhelms the voices of children. Although the compositions presented here draw from a range of author ages and locations, they do not thoroughly express the diversity of childhoods and natures across the world. Where the call-for submissions landed, who was receptive and responded to this call: this is its own story. The editors’ networks were strongly represented among the submissions, while serendipitous connections and the generosity of practitioners and researchers in the field enriched the compositions significantly. While we have global expressions of childhoodnature practice included in The Companion, there are a smaller percentage of low socioeconomic, indigenous, and peripheral (nonwestern) context contributions, and no submissions from children or young people with disability. This Companion to the Childhoodnature Handbook captures a tantalizing glimpse into children and young people’s experiences of their childhoodnatures. We therefore see this Companion as both a touchstone and a point of departure for future projects that might assemble a more comprehensive collection of children and young people’s experiences, practices, concepts, and expressions of childhoodnature. For now, we invite you into the following compositions of childhoodnature experiences. We invite you to become “companions” with us and our contributors, as we learn to sense, feel, and think the world a little bit differently.

Composition 1: Stories of human and nonhuman relation

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I started to know to keep pigeons from a friend, then I became interested in buying 4 pigeons through him. At that time I decided to keep my pigeons when I was at age 10 at Sekolah Bisa school. My parents gave me a full support for keeping pigeons. Each day my pigeons multiply, the number of pigeons has increased to 16. Every day I feed the birds with corn. The advantage for me to keep pigeons is that I become consoled and my family too. Because I was still in school, the money that I used to buy bird feed was from my mother and sometimes I had to use my pocket money to buy bird feed. The pigeon coop is located 3 m behind my house. Once a week I cleaned the cage with water. The obstacle I face was when the bird likes to lose itself and does not return. Sometimes when I did not have a pocket money I sell some of my pigeons. I sell it RP 20,000/each, at the pigeon shop. The benefit I am raising pigeons is that I like to play with it as before that I always hang out and play with my friends. Sometime I feel, it feels better to play near my house so that I would have time to study at home. In time, I have lost my pigeons one by one, and I have only two left, however I am still happy to keep 2 pigeons. – Ikki, age 10, Jakarta, Indonesia (translated by Mr. Adimas Grahito, Sekolah Bisa!)

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On a particularly sopping wet day in Vancouver, I watched as an elderly woman dropped a pile of decaying food on the ground while a sea of feathers encircle her and the unassuming passers-by. Watching this encounter I wondered what causes certain people to be indebted to the creatures that tend so regularly to fall outside of being worthy of acknowledgment. Pigeons, starlings and mice all fall under the category of “synanthrope,” most easily described as animals who benefit by living near humans. Unfortunately synanthropes tend only to receive attention in the moments where the eradication is in hot pursuit. Synanthropes are deemed pests due to their ability to impede the flow of labor, or their ability to destroy property. Pigeons are capable of destroying a business with merely their existence and feces that follow, meanwhile mice have the power to bring fire to the homes of any nuclear family who misses the memo about steel wool as a preventative measure. Synanthropes are furthermore devalued due to their perceived association with filth and disease and their ability to reproduce rapidly putting human forms of flourishing at risk. Having an orientation towards beings who are deemed to be of no value to human production is a radical orientation, and one which is surprisingly symbiotic in the case of aging people. This orientation towards things that have no value in capitalism is radical because it is actively practicing life through a shared material existence that also happens to be in contradiction to profit, the acquisition of private property, and engagement in waged labor. I’d like to argue that having a shared material existence means that they have a vested interest in the liberation of one another. Those who are pushed out of social life tend to find themselves sharing the material conditions of existence. I remembered my great grandmother, and that when she immigrated to Canada it was her first experience living in a post-industrial capitalist society. This was her first encounter with waged labor after living in a small farming village in Slovenia that was entirely self-sustaining, before their violent displacement at the end of the Second World War. I remembered her dedication to her garden. No matter how scant it was in contrast to her old ways of relating to land, plants, and other nonhumans, she continued to hold onto the little semblance of relations that could remain in her new home. This made me wonder if these aging women had experienced this same kind of loss, and chose to hang on to the little autonomy they had left in the face of such crushing alienation in the city. – Liticia, Gardner 22, Vancouver, BC, Canada

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I was happy when I saw the black swan in Australia. It was first time I saw them and I found they were so beautiful! I like meeting different kinds of animals in different places.

– Kasumi Furukawa, 7, Christiansburg, Virginia, USA

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It appears that we humans have lodged an idea into our minds that we must fulfil every need of ours; every craving, desire, anything that could help to increase our over-enlarged egos. This is the main reason as to why climate change has been worsening. Our species has developed a sophisticated society, where each new generation paints many new ideas and lifts the rate of environmental destruction. This continually reduces the natural world, a world which we cannot live without, a world that’s far away from today’s high-tech gadgets and devices. Sadly, we are virtually blind to our destructive habits, actions that are the center to the expense of our own wellbeing and flora and fauna that inhabit the Earth. We appear to be so self-serving and lacking of self-awareness that we’ve become selfish and short sighted to the bigger picture. Always wishing for bigger. . . better. . . more; so much so that we never appear to be satisfied or pleased. We find ourselves currently facing a global climatic crisis due to each and every one of us, where each new thing is only admired for a short period of time before we establish a new desire, a cycle which repeats continually. We must change our values and what we believe is important to us- this change mustn’t only occur in a small minority of the population, but almost all seven billion of the humans whom inhabit Earth. Our lifestyles directly contribute to not only us humans, but to the lives of many diverse species of animals, plants, and bacteria too. Life as we know it must change for health and the wellbeing of our future. Everything has a life center and needs fresh air and water to remain alive. As humans, we may think of ourselves as being superior and better than all other life forms due to our advances in the creation of “technology.” Yet we’ve missed the crucial part of the “big” plan. By stepping forward and learning how to make our lives better and outliving many, we’ve been progressively destroying the habitats of many, causing species’ extinction rates to rise to unprecedented levels in history. The health of the planet is directly correlated with our own health. We are so wrapped up in what’s happening in our focus upon sports, fashion, and the media that we have just evolved to disregard/not care for what really does matter. We are in a routine of selfishness and consuming more, and more. We have missed out on the basics of nature, our connection to it, and its role in our wellbeing and how it’s essential for our survival. We’ve been destroying animals’ lives and their habitats daily without even realizing the downfall to our selfishness. We as humans have created and succeeded in numerous positive and improving feats, yet while doing this, we’ve also succeeded in destroying much of the physical world. And yet we have failed to notice this when it’s completely obvious. The only possible solution is if humankind realizes that we must evolve to become more realistic with our lifestyles, opinions, focuses, and choices; we must take action towards saving our tainted planet, before your thoughtless destruction of environmental resources has gone so far that there can be no reversal. This issue must become the top priority within every single nation. We must band together to reverse the effects of climate change to which we ourselves have caused. The difference must begin with us. We must make drastic changes to how we think and make choices about our everyday activities and focuses. We were not placed on this Earth to make an acquisitive and ideal life that supports the human race only; we were placed on this planet to foresee a life for all things, whether they are living, or nonliving, plant or animal. Not to destroy the climate by means of our own self-centered needs. – Nikki Whitehead, 12, NSW, Australia (Climate Change and Me)

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The Little House is a one-room shingled structure on the seven-mile peninsula called Sandy Neck, in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Barnstable is a small village on the bicep of the Cape. This place’s simplicity and dishevel have served me well and provided a wonderful environment for me to grow up in. Inside the Little House are straw floor mats, a fireplace, some chairs and a table, and a small rusty grill. The simplicity of the Little House is part of its beauty, but the real spectacle is surrounding the small shingled box, displayed in the sprawling dunes and golden marsh of Sandy Neck. Upon arrival, chairs are quickly dragged out onto the porch, so that one can lounge in comfort while lazily gazing upon the constantly shifting shades of blue and green that paint the vista with a delicacy that Monet would envy. The Little House has no running water, no power, no toilet, no Wi-Fi. It is simple, and it is enough. In his book titled The Little House at Sandy Neck, my grandfather writes: “It doesn’t sound like much: and it isn’t. But come evening, looking down from a dune after dinner, the lighted window speaks eloquently to some fundamental need we all share for enough warmth and light to fend off cold and darkness.” The second I hop off my grandparents’ tiny Boston Whaler and dip a pointed toe into the cold water, I feel waves of electricity shoot through my bloodstream, and I am alive. Nothing brings a person to the present as quickly and effectively as slipping on the slimy marsh-bank, where the ocean and marsh meet to form the perfect opportunity for a sudden and unplanned swim. As I make the slow trek up the well-beaten path, I welcome the feeling of pointy sea grass itching my feet as I sink lower and lower into the sulfury muck. My flipflops splash brown mud onto the back of my legs, and I smile and look back at the marks like the excited dots of exclamation points sprinkling my calves. When I’m there, each intake of breath brings a flood of salty air and each exhale releases pent up tension. I let go of my worries – overdue homework assignments, looming deadlines, whether or not a certain person has texted me back – I embrace my surroundings. I really look. I observe. I reflect. My Aunt words it well: “It’s an escape from, and it’s an escape to. You’re getting away from things, but you’re also getting to that place that’s so beautiful.” Looking around, the beauty of the surrounding nature seems to flow through me, tinting all my thoughts and feelings with the same sunny warmth that polishes everything in my sight. One of the many things that are special about the Little House is that its environment continues to function without human presence. The ospreys will go about their day the same way as when they are being watched from afar through binoculars. In the winter, when the marsh grass turns rusty brown, the tides continue to rise and fall under the weathered porch, with or without spectators. Cloudless nights on Sandy Neck allow the stars to shine triumphantly, reminding us of their power when not contaminated by the light pollution of a city. Out there, I have learned how to identify animal tracks in the sand and examined the carefully whittled perfection of an ancient Native American arrowhead. I have been exposed to the delicacy that is a sea cucumber, picked fresh from the salt marsh on the way back to the boat. I have been on long walks through the pine-needle coated forest, gotten lost, and had to find my way back using my own intuition and the help of a tall sand dune that served as a look-out point. I have explored, grown, rested, and lived. – Lucy Handy, 17, Providence, RI, USA

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– Gabriel Lemelin-Wiersma, 10, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada Image: Ruby Lake Provincial Park, Elaine Wiersma

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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One of my better friends that I had from middle school through high school owned a dairy farm that had over 200 dairy cows on it, as well as their own manure pond to convert cow poop into reusable energy. He studies agricultural science now and plans to take over his dairy farm when he can but now I know how the dairy industry works most of the time. I think back to all the times I walked through the aisles of dairy heifers and now I regret just walking by and petting their wet noses. Was their welfare actually better than the dairy factory farms? I think so, at least a little bit better, but it’s still awful. Was the dairy farm really such a cruel practice if they were using the cows to be green about their energy source? I believe that helps me see them as persons who aren’t blind to the fact that there is important causes to fight for, like reusable energy. However, I didn’t learn about factory farming until I left rural Ohio completely and found myself surrounded by grey, dank, city with hardly any natural spaces around. Crazy to think that I learned the most about wildlife, nature, and practices that concern the natural world and those nonhumans within it in the grungy city. I assumed that I had learned a lot while I walked through state park trails or tore through corn fields on my mountain bike growing up, but I really hadn’t learned that much at all. My eyes were opened to all the ins and outs of the natural room while in a college classroom, the furthest thing from nature. What this deprivation from natural spaces did do is make me seek out chances to go forth into nature more. I actively sought out urban green spaces to explore, and this made me appreciate that time outdoor and the chance to learn about those small ecosystems. Although I have come face-to-face with chimpanzees in Gombe National Park, listened to humpback whales sing in Hawaiian water, quietly watched exotic birds and sloths in Costa Rica, and even got to experience the jaw-dropping brilliance of the Antarctic Peninsula I would say that those are the times I will never ever forget. However, I also won’t forget being five feet away from a red-tailed hawk that landed on a grave stone in a local cemetery when I was sitting and taking a break from a run, I won’t forget looking at all the hundreds of slugs on the sideway of the college street I lived on after a good rain, and I certainly won’t forget the breath of crispy fresh air in a local park in the late evening when I needed to de-stress from everything. Those experiences close to home, in the city, I remember and think back on just as much as the epic travel adventures I had. What the move from rural to urban taught me was all experiences are worth it. Any experiences with nature were the experiences I yearned for. They did not have to be insanely expensive trips in faraway lands, they could be in a puddle in the street or in a local garden. Any time in nature was a learning experience and impacted me in some way. I remember all of it because I remembered to take the time to look for these experiences, stop, and appreciate them for what they were, little blissful moments. If anything my relationship with nature has been strengthened ten times over now that I live in an active city environment. Not only have I learned more, but I appreciate nature more and truly take the time I get to spend in any natural space to heart. Nature is everywhere not just where you assume it will be. That is what I have learned. – Allison Maynard, 21, Circleville, OH, USA

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“What would you do when you meet a frog under your bed?” “I would take care them.” The girls group answered it. “I would make it my pet, because I like frogs” “I would put him in the aquarium, in a huge aquarium” “I would throw them on the river,” “I would throw them on the river again,” “I would expel him from home” “me too.” Some children answered. “I would catch him, to save, to leave it there in his lake” “I’d leave him also at the lake” “I would put some food on the floor so he could follow it until he left,” a boy said. “Kill them,” few children, most of them boys, answered. Later, discussing if it was right to kill the frog, the boys said “not” to killing the frog. “Because he is from nature” “It is because if kill them, after, we do not have frog” “Because we have to let them here, because they are good to us.” “Because they are made of nature, and he is . . . Jesus takes care of animals, and if they die, they will not live, and all animals of nature will die.” “I’m going to get a frog to protect my house from the dengue mosquito.” “I love frogs” “I love too, but I am afraid” “Why are you afraid of frogs?” “Because there was a giant spider wanting to eat a stone frog” “because they bite” “because they pees in our eyes” “I like cat, and I am afraid of frog spit in my face.”

Being part of the DIAN (Debates and Investigations on Animals and Nature) team was an amazing experience! My graduate course is Environmental Management, it broadens the ecological view and inducts respect for all life. I entered in the DIAN team because I like working with children. Thus, the proposal to Debate and Investigate about Animals and Nature was a nexus to connect the theoretical inquiries of my course with practical activities of the group, as well as to contribute with creative ideas to do activities to children. In addition, approaching animal rights with 5-years-old children was, besides a novelty for me, a challenge, since there is a cultural heritage present in our society which causes our utilitarian point of view. The greatest stimulus and challenge for me, during my participation in this project, was the introduction of a systemic perspective, in an ethical way, in the kindergarten. – Leticia Sanfilippo Rojas, 20, São Paulo, Brazil (DIAN project)

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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Nature has always felt like a comfort for my anxious thoughts. I have lived with Generalized Anxiety Disorder throughout my life, and in the times when my anxious feelings are mild or unyielding, the thought of the natural world is calming. Transporting myself into the depths of the wilderness, whether that may be through my own imagination, or physically visiting an unpopulated beach, a local forestry reserve, or even simply walking around the local parklands, I find comfort. I believe it is the feeling of being surrounded by pure and uncritical life forms, plants and animals that allow me to withdraw my focus away from the superficial things in life such as school, work, societal norms, and indirect, unrealistic expectations. The animals that fluster around, going about their day, seem strong, persistent, and resilient to the numerous daily challenges. They are all inspiring. It is these forms of natural flora and fauna that I believe can be used as a source of comfort, care, and love, particularly in times of stress, and psychological hardship. I have been lucky to travel to various countries throughout my life, where I have been able to see and experience some of the wonders of the natural world. I guess I can say that I have also witnessed some of the worst aspects such as the heavily polluted cities of Beijing and Shanghai in China, and the uncovered landfill hills in Thailand. I have also hiked through some of the most majestic forests and mountainous lands of North East India, and I have explored protected islands in South East Asia that possess some of the most amazing tropical plants and animals. It is deeply saddening to see the potential human beings have in causing destruction to the natural world. However, I do remind myself that with the unity of others, we have the power to create change and this change can be achieved by simply altering minor behaviors in our daily lives. I have recently made the decision to become a Vegetarian, and I consider myself to be an environmentalist and an advocate for the sustainability of the natural world. The impact my direct actions have on the natural environment is a continuous, daily consideration in my mind. Other living beings share this precious world with us, they do not live in our own creation. I have many vivid memories of experiences with animals, some that I have found quite confronting and disturbing. These memories take me back as far as my early childhood, and after some deep analysis, I have realized that these have undoubtedly contributed to my strong personal sense of empathy for other living species. One day at a rock pool in the Port Phillip Bay, myself and my cousins were exploring what seemed like the untouched beauty of the rock pools. An array of crustaceans emerged from beneath the water, and I remember 100’s of small black crabs. It was fascinating to watch them scrambling along trying to find a hiding place, however my cousin thought that it would be a great idea to collect them as bait for fishing. I remember pleading with her to leave them, however, she refused. I felt as though I had lost the battle for the lives of the crabs, a deep feeling of sorrow, and grief come over me as I knew now of their doomed fate. This was a feeling I would continue to encounter whenever I would witness a confronting situation with other animals. The screaming of crammed hogs in the back of trucks destined for slaughter will never be erased from my memory as I remember the drivers speeding voraciously over the border between Shenzhen and Hong Kong on a blistering hot day. The pigs were clearly in distress, overheated, and banging and clashing into each

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other and the steel bars that imprison them. Even the numerous fish I’ve seen over the years gasping for air as they lay to die on the sandbank after being reeled in as worth catch by my keen fisherman family members. Through adolescence and as a young adult, I become more aware of the confronting aspects of the interaction between humans and the natural environment. One vivid memory I have as a child is when my Father explained to me how disappointing it was that some human beings have such little regard for the environment that they would leisure within, and exploit for their own gain. He explained this to me after asking me to help him collect fishing wire, discarded plastic buckets, empty water bottles, and plastic food wrapping on the beachfront as we exited one of our favorite holiday beaches in Gippsland. Seeing the carelessness struck me, I remember a distinct feeling of sadness and emptiness, however my Father did reassure me that it was the minority who were careless, for most people look to preserve and protect beautiful places such as the beaches. I never lost my sense of hope in humanity to protect and see ourselves and nature as one, and up until this present day, I haven’t yet. – Ricco Dezan, 24, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Composition 2: Practices of sense and sensation

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I hope that when readers see my photos that they can look at them and live the experience of a swamp – for anyone who has not had the chance to see one in real life. I feel that photography is the best form of art to capture nature in its element. I live in Buffalo, NY but travelled to New Orleans for a family vacation. We had been to Honey Island Swamp before and I knew it would be a good opportunity to take photos there. I wanted to capture more exotic wildlife and scenery than I normally see every day. For me, getting good shots is a reward in the end but I most enjoyed being able to experience the swamp first-hand. I felt very connected to the animals I captured on camera – more so than the ones I just viewed, because I got to study them more by trying to capture the right moment. I chose these six photos because I really liked the composition. All of them consist of water, which I think makes a picture more interesting because you get light and reflection. I also really like the way the trees made pathways or a trail in the water. – Claudia Critoph, 16, Buffalo, NY, USA

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There will always be some life if there is oxygen and water. Nature rises from the ashes. It will push on past the impossible.

– Grace O’Shannessey and Chiara Wenban, 11, NSW, Australia (Climate Change and Me)

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Sensory station in a therapeutic garden: – Balance beam (Bricks underneath the ends of a wood plank to be balanced on) – Wood blocks (Wood blocks placed on the ground to be stepped on) – See saw (Log held by bricks underneath the middle of a wood plank to be traversed) – Rocks (Rocks placed on the ground to be stepped on) – Log (Log placed on the ground to be balanced on) Venturing at the edge of the property that borders some woods, unassuming piles of rocks and logs can be found. The locally sourced materials furnish some basic stations. We considered the rocks based on their “personality,” such as a temperamental rock with light colors and sharp edges or a round dark colored calm rock. We were looking for diversity and considering the rocks as a group that should display different personalities. We were beginning to feel like landscape architects and finding ourselves awakening to Japanese aesthetic sensibilities (wabi-sabi) as we noticed the depth and complexity in the simple rocks. There was something fulfilling as we were making choices, or rather listening to the rocks telling us where and how they were to be placed. We encountered a log that became the most challenging and interesting station. The log had a slight bent and an unpredictable wobble when stepped on. Luna: “I like the wood [logs], because you get to balance and fall.” Stella: “We need to make it harder.” – Tomoaki Imamichi with Stella, 5, and Luna,7, Chestnut Ridge, NY, USA (A Therapeutic Garden)

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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It is a bale between the environment and the humans trying to cut things down. The humans will win.

– Riley Ball and Blake Wilkin (both 9), NSW, Australia, (Climate Change and Me)

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Summer

Fall

In August,

The weather was getting

path itself back to being a path,

darker and wetter,

moss dried, branches broken,

and I felt confused about what I wanted to do with my life.

Easier to get to my site… with it being less blocked, more people could be interested in going

One of the cottonwood trees that had surrounded my site had fallen…

down that path,

For the first time, I really felt that

I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.

the site wasn’t welcoming me in.

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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Winter

Spring

There were no footprints in the snow

A pleasant surprise to come back and see

aside from mine

a mass of green,

and everything was quiet….

and life…

Unlike in the human world where

I could hear different birds again.

everything still keeps moving

The wind rustled the leaves

despite how cold it is,

and the sun was

in nature things take

shining through the branches.

a pause.

– Jenna Masuhara, 21, Burnaby, BC, Canada

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I am going to draw air. I'll fill the whole page with blue … And stars. This is where an owl was flying back to its home in the morning.

– Teya McAdam-Chase, 5, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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The wise old tree The owl lives in the tree I call it wise because it’s old

– Kai McAdam-Chase, 5, Vancouver, BC, Canada

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Holes like this in the glacier would appear every so oen, though they would not last long. It was predicted to melt and fall apart within a few days.

– Sam, 13, NSW, Australia (Climate Change and Me)

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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I like this mountain very much. I feel good (about the mountain).

There, on the top of the hill … The prayers are wrien on the flags and then the wind blow the prayers through the village… When it flows (the prayers) I like much.

– Srijal, 14, Ghoom, India (Places that Matter)

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– Jack Whitehouse, 5, Orchard Park, NY, USA

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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The story of Tica and Mao

- Mary Woodruff, 21, Ringoes, New Jersey, USA

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The everyday lives of bugs and their food sources- the lile worlds that exist around us.

With more CO2 in the air, these natural processes will be interrupted and eventually lost.

– Grace O’Shannessey and Chiara Wenban, both 11, NSW Australia (Climate Change and Me)

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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What I liked to sketch geese was that I felt calm watching them, sing the lake side. The geese are calm even though they are somemes noisy.

– Minami Furukawa, 8, Christiansburg, Virginia, USA

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– Arpan, 16, Chuikhim, West Bengal, India (Places that Matter)

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It is dark on the HORIZON… but through this project it is becoming clearer. Clearer of the way out of the dark, to the age of natural information. The heat, the cold; they cannot become extreme… or we will die.

– Kairo Byrne, 12, NSW Australia (Climate Change and Me)

Composition 3: The Eco-Poetics of Childhoodnature encounters

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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Nature I step into a world, Of silence and serenity. Of soaring birds, That sing at sunrise,

And leaves of trees, That whisper softly,

All the joys and sorrows, And secrets of the world.

– Liv Evans, 11, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Photo by Claudia Critoph, 16, Buffalo, NY, USA

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Chirp and Fly A dog came stumbling down the path A fern he crumpled didn’t last A hole he dug beneath his paw I don’t believe he knew I saw Until his eyes reached mine at last I gave a look that looked aghast The dog ran off to explore anew To that dog, I bid adieu The owner next came wondering through I don’t know why she looked quite blue She walked on by without a word I said to her, have you heard the bird? What bird? She looked up to spy Just listen as the birds chirp and fly

– Acacia Cresswell, 22, Vancouver, BC, Canada

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Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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Who Comes in My Dreams? You come in my dreams While I sleep and nap You have the perfect smile and, Laughing eyes, beautiful hair and, Naturally Varnished lips, That figure is simple, yet attractive, That figure has no well, Still spends the thought, That figure has no spring, Still I can swing and have fun, You have come in my dreams, You spoke the lovely words, As the new snow in the old world, We can drench, once the snowflakes melt, You are too lovely and smart to secure my heart Who comes in my dreams? Climate change does

– Kiara, 10, NSW, Australia (Climate Change and Me)

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Circle of Life, Circle of Love For thirty years, my home is the foamy sea. Then it is time to make a journey, to bring life to the unborn, who will soon come alive. Trudging through thick sand they will soon reach the foamy sea as well. Thirty years later they will make the journey. It is a circle of life, a circle of love, that is what creates us.

– Sarah Margulis, 22, Chicago, IL, USA

Photo by Anya, 14, Melbourne, VIC, Australia (Places that Matter)

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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A Lending Hand A forgotten land A heap of garbage A lending hand A smidgeon of soil A touch of rain A flicker of sunlight A family of trees A few chirps of a bird A new land A shared land

– Acacia Cresswell, 22, Vancouver, BC, Canada New World Devotion to technology, Ill environmental care, Food sources dropping Fail to stabilize, Everyone changes… Regrow the planet, Environmental reboot, New world. Can be saved, Everyone should care.

– Blake, 10, NSW, Australia (Climate Change and Me)

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How Much? You hear the sound of the wind And the sway of a tree The flowers are bright Even at night As the clouds dance in the day But will it be the same? How much will climate change affect the earth…?

– Jade, 11, NSW, Australia (Climate Change and Me) EC Stroll Left, right, left, right Breathe Crunch, snap Wooshh … Chirp, chirp Left, right, left, right Breathe Snap Wooshhh … Left, right, left, right Breathe Woosshh … Breathe Breathe Breathe

– Acacia Cresswell, 22, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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The Steps

Before the world was ending, The beauty was incomparable, But now the perishing heart of the world decays bit by bit. A slowly rotting tree stump, Filling and overflowing with rainbow hued life, A sadness is not complete without a joy. The better things in life stay if you treat them well, But the fact is that we can’t live in a rotten world, It’s just a fact. Watching the wind whistling and the leaves fluttering you realise, To save ourselves is selfish, to save but ourselves is selfless, We must help save everyone. That is the first thing you must realise, The second is what I’ve said is almost true, Our world is not completely ending, we can still help it survive. To survive in our world, we shall help the trees and oceans first, All animals need them to breathe so that is the obvious choice, If our oxygen flow stopped so will our life. Humans need to separate good and bad in their minds, Then accentuate the good, For if we do this we can better ourselves. Before the world was ending, The beauty was incomparable, But now the perishing heart of the world decays bit by bit.

– Eva, age 10, NSW, Australia (Climate Change and Me)

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All We Cannot See

I wonder about the trees at night The dark, the bats, the park that sleeps

I wonder about the things that crawl The path, the ants, the ground unseen

I wonder about the birds that chirp The flight, the nest, the words unknown

I wonder about the hidden gems The ferns, the berries, the dwellers that speak

– Acacia Cresswell, 22, Vancouver, BC, CA Real Life Real life haunts us Real life will change us, Real life will always be here, But… Climate change is our real problem. Can we put climate change at a halt? No! Can we slow down climate change? Yes! But how? By leaving nature how it is, By not constructing useless buildings. Please just leave our earth as it is. Please don’t touch our nature. Please just stop.

– Hayley, 10, NSW, Australia (Climate Change and Me)

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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The Simple Site The land is changing the days are breaking the simple site of the beautiful land is a gift above the world is breaking the light is fading we have no clue to stop the change is raging why is it changing as our gift is fading we need to stop the land from breaking.

– Mekisha, age 10, NSW, Australia (Climate Change and Me)

Photo by Sam, NSW, Australia (Climate Change and Me)

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I am the Earth I am the earth I am a cloud I am the children Noisy and loud I am a tree standing tall I am winter Spring Summer and fall I am the grass Thick and deep I am the meadows Luscious and sweet I am the landscape That meets my eye I am the desert Sandy and dry I am the ocean Endless and blue I am the animals I am me and you I am the earth I am a tree I am the earth And the earth is me

– Sarah Margulis, 22, Chicago, IL, USA

Composition 4: The Childhoodnature Imaginary

Selected works from the ArtScapers project By children from Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI), Cambridge, UK

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– A Hot Air Palace, Katharina, Cambridge, UK (ArtScapers)

A hot air palace A shiny silver hot air balloon palace fashioned from pure silver. Giant garden. Free hot air balloon. Fly high with a hot air balloon of your own and land in a giant garden full of breathtaking flowers.

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Dream Flower The dream flower is a strong and powerful flower. It catches all your dreams. The bits on the side are a bit like ears. The circle means it is a dream flower and it produces its own special water which is poisonous to humans.

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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Tectonic Nature Island Trees and berries, Tree from the future, Snails grow on trees, and only maybe one berry, one leaf – Kirsty, Hannah and Bea, Cambridge, UK (ArtScapers)

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

Each minute is a symbol. Each heartbeat is a second. One minute is a cheetah step. When we are happy the days are longer. How the ball rolls will tell the time. If you take a leaf off every day when you get to the middle you know it’s been a year.

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Selected works from the Fantastical Cambridgeshire project By children and artists from Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI) Cambridge, UK

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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Use your imaginaon… Let your mind go free… Be really focused and look at a LOT of different things… Let everyone join in… Use different materials… Look at lots of different maps… Use 3-D objects… Measure, be invenve, think about shapes and how things sck and go together… Do what you want. It could be a map of anything… It’s up to you. It doesn’t maer… Think carefully about the real and the fantascal. Like the real river running through and all the connecons to this… Think differently, think in different ways …

Becoming Companions: Compositions of Childhoodnature Relation, Sense. . .

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Thickest black

ink black, dark willow at midnight

midnight black, ashen black, rabbit-hole black, night tree black, diamond black

black mantle, midnight sky, sunset black, dark night, disappearing black

black oak, luna black, willow at night

beneath the trees, mud black, the dark lake….

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A Fantastical Map for Roundhouse Primary School ©Elena Arévalo Melville 2017 If you learn to explore like a mouse you can learn to explore like anything. They find a little hole and sleep in it for a night, then another hole then they keep going.

I explored being my Nan, and I was called Nanny Mags. I had a walking stick and I walked slow and I sat down lots. I had to hold my back all the time.

I explored like a fox and a toddler. When I was a fox and I had four legs it was amazing. When I was a toddler everything looked so high up.

Selected entries from The Beginning of the Changes By Jasmyne Foster, 12, with collaborators from the Climate Change and Me project, NSW, Australia

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Entry I. November 17th 2014 NAME: AOI AGE: 14 GENDER: BOY HAIR: AN ALMOST NEON BLUE , SHORT , MESSY CLOTHING: CASUAL , MOSTLY JEANS , BAGGY SHIR TS AND LARGE HOODIE JUMPERS AND L ARGE SNEAKERS ACCESSORIES: ONE SILVER EARRING AND A GOLD FAMILY RING

A room that looked like a bomb hit it, clothes scattered messily on the floor. A bed that didn’t look much like a bed, more like a table with sketchbooks scattered on the end. A bag crumbled in the corner with a clatter of key chains and bulging with the shape of a lunch box. This was Aoi’s room. Aoi was interested in the workings of the universe and was a full blown realist. He had always cared about the earth’s geological problems and biological workings. But when he thought about it, helping scientists in the lab might be difficult for someone who just loved to draw so much. But just when he thought of giving up on science and becoming some generic worker for a large company, he found out about climate change. He decided to search for some information and he was so strongly taken by the topic that he began to post about it on social media. Aoi was so interested in climate change and he wanted people to become more aware, but how could he make a difference? He was only a child in the eyes of the public, not likely to be taken seriously.

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Entry II. November 18th 2047 NAME : ELBERETH

AGE: 47 GENDER: WOMAN HAIR: WHITE WITH SLIGHT STREAKS OF BLUE CLOTHING: OLD CLOTHES WITH HOLES THAT HAVE BEEN EATEN BY MOTHS

ACCESSORIES: TWO PEARL EARRINGS AND A FOX MASK THAT SHE KEEPS IN A BOX UNDER HER BED

COMPANIONS: A WISE AND TIRED OLD DOG NAMED TURIN

The wind blows in the door again and I can hear the rush of the water breaking on the cliffs below. Turin barely moves at all, he just opens one eye and looks at me as if I’ve created the disturbance. The air is full of frozen salt crystals, they bite my cheek as I brace the door closed with the last of my heavy books. Soon I’ll have used up all my esoteric books for fire-starters and everything in them will probably be forgotten. It’s been too long since I’ve felt the power of the earth in my fingertips, the electric current that turns the waves away from the valley below. Now I lack the strength, and the memories flow back like the tides that nobody can stop from washing in. But what’s that? Turin is up, stretching and starting to growl at the same time. I hope it’s not those raiders again, last time they cleared me out of rice and oats faster than I could get out of my rocking chair. Something is scratching at the wooden door. I grab the knife from next to the cutting board where I’d been chopping kale from the garden. It’s only a bread knife, but it’s better than nothing. “Who’s there!” I say in my deepest, scariest voice. I open the door just a crack and can just make out the shadow of a person against the pelting wind and rain. It’s a child, no a man, with a face that looks so familiar and yet cloaked in shadow. I open the door all the way and he falls into my cabin, drenched and exhausted on the floor. “Who are you?” I say sternly with the kale knife gripped steadily in my hand. “Aoi,” the voice faintly replies.

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Entry III. December 5th, 2014 All the kids at high school had been invited to the research workshop about climate change. Aoi found himself doing a practice interview with a talkative girl named Elbereth. “I think the Earth has already transitioned into a new geological era,” she was saying. “Humans have become like this viral force that’s affecting every ecosystem on the planet.”

That afternoon after school they went for a walk in the old forest behind the school, Elbereth with her notebook writing stories and Aoi with his sketchbook drawing the creatures that sprang into his mind. They came to a rushing stream that had swollen with water after the recent flood. Aoi started to make his way across the stream on the wet log. Suddenly, he slipped on a patch of moss and fell into the rushing water. His head hit a rock and his body was swept downstream. Elbereth ran along the bank as fast as she could, but when she finally caught up to him his body was cold and lifeless. Desperate, she placed her hands on his heart and summoned all the power in her body to put warmth into him. She felt a vital energy enter her body from the forest floor, pulsing through her arteries like blood, producing heat that made her skin burn as if touching flames. Suddenly Aoi sputtered and sat up, looking at her with wild eyes. Later they found Aoi’s sketchbook soaked and lying upside down alongside the rushing stream. It was moving slightly. Aoi picked up the sketchbook and jumped back in surprise – underneath it was a frog-like creature with pale translucent wings. It jumped onto the nearest rock, then flapped its wings and flew away. With trembling hands, Aoi turned over his notebook to the page he had been working on before he fell into the stream. There on the page was the very creature

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they had just seen fly away- an amphibian with the wings of a dragonfly. Aoi looked at his drawing hand in amazement.

The flesh had changed to a strange blue color, and the nails had become like black claws.

Entry IV. March 23, 2021 The staff stood silently in the center of the task force building. Nerves were high. It was rare that the entire task force would be asked to meet unscheduled. Everyone was tense, even senior detective Shinohara looked tense. The eerie silence continued for another few seconds until Shinohara broke it. “Task force, we are gathered here today to see the latest technology from Astral Labs to combat the ever-growing aberrant infestation. I will now hand the floor over to Professor Arima.” A small man emerged from the other side of the room. He wore a white coat and carried a brief case with him. He stood next to Shinohara in the center. “This,” Arima said pointing to the brief case, “is the future of aberrant hunting. It will allow you to find aberrants and neutralize them faster than ever before. Here, allow me to demonstrate.” Professor Arima pushed down on the handle of the brief case. The case split into two revealing a block of metal slowly taking on humanoid form. “This is Shudon, the latest in aberrant hunting technology. This is military funded weaponry with a built in psycho-pass able to scan aberrants to a 50 m radius; all that is required is a sample of blood. With on-board facial recognition system and a fully equipped medical kit, Shudon is by far the most powerful weapon for aberrant extermination ever invented.”

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Entry V. April 15th 2021 Elbereth buried herself into her coat. She walked steadily, looking at the graffiti scribbled across the side of the buildings. Many were political slogans so she paid no attention to the messages. She soon came across the task force headquarters where wanted posters of criminals were pasted along the side of the discolored brick walls. But criminals weren’t the only ones with wanted posters. The wall had a section for “aberrants.” This was the dim name that the humans had classified those with powers under. She walked over to the wall and looked for her wanted poster. It didn’t take long to find a poster of her with her mask on. It was labelled “Firefox.” Elbereth could feel heat emanating from her hands. Dangerous, volatile, and will kill without remorse? They were all lies!

She grasped a corner of the poster and tore it down from the wall, using the heat emanating from her palm to set the poster ablaze with fire.

Entry VI. November 20th 2047 I wake in my rocking chair to the smell of oatmeal cooking over the fire. No, it wasn’t all a dream. My oldest friend Aoi is crouching over the flames, stirring the pot with a long wooden spoon. He turns and looks at me, the piercing clarity returning to his eyes by the second. “Aoi,” I say. “I can’t believe you’re here. How did you find me after all those years?”

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“There was just this map, Elbereth, a map in my mind. And I followed it to your door. But tell me, please. I think I’ve lost my memory for thirty years. Are we the only ones left in the world? Did my visions actually come true?” “Many came true, and we are deep in the Changes as they have spread across the Earth,” I explain. “The power grid shut down five years ago, and the Netscape was destroyed not long after. Wireless mesh networks still communicated for a while- I have a node here that kept me updated with the latest information until it rusted out from the saltspray last year. Transmissions were coming through from communities up and down the coast that had formed their own collectives, rebuilding their towns and villages to adapt to the Changes. The cities are apparently lawless and mostly deserted. People like us have been helping- using our earth powers to protect and heal the communities- and fighting off the raiders when we need to.”

Entry VII. December 1st 2047 “Aoi, the food’s ready.” “I’ll be out as soon I can. Just have to finish this,” I say softly, trying not to show Elbereth how desperate I am to finish the drawing. Drawing is the cure to my illness. When I have a sketch book near me I feel my power and memories rushing back. Drawing makes me feel invincible. It’s like I draw power from the image, and the better the image the better I feel. Then we hear a ghostly rapping on the door. I freeze, while Turin barks furiously at the door. “Who’s that?” Elbereth calls from the kitchen. I can hear her kale knife coming down with force onto the chopping board. “Come out meat,” a voice calls tonelessly. I feel my heart skip a beat. I’ve heard that voice before. Then the door breaks open and an arm of steel emerges through the hole in the wood. The hand draws back and a pulsing robotic eye peers through. “I found you Anthropos!” the toneless, mechanical voice calls out. I bolt up, sweat pouring down my face. “We have to leave,” I mutter nervously, my voice cracking like glass as I speak. Elbereth just stares. “Who is that Aoi?” The metal hand is scraping furiously at the wood like a caged animal. “It’s Shudon. He’s finally found us.” I start flipping through my sketchbook, desperately searching for the right page.

Notes on The Companion Contributing Authors and Projects The Young Authors Acacia Cresswell, 22, Vancouver, BC, Canada I learned a lot about the possibilities of studying relationships with nature and outdoor learning having taken SFU’s Semester in Dialogue – “Semester Outside in the City.” We spent weeks learning outdoors, rain or shine, while developing our

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facilitation skills and thinking of ways to get others interested/excited about outdoor learning. For an individual project, I presented some poems inspired by the park we were studying in. I spent much time in a small area of the park, trying to forget everything and focus on what was around me, and how I felt in the spot. I would write down whatever came to mind and later would look back and refine my ideas into cohesive poems. I had always written poems for myself for as long as I can remember, but until then, I had never really shared my poetry with anyone else. My poems are from that time, as well as new ones, inspired by my connection with different environments or “nature.” I hope my poems inspire others to get out there and have new experiences with nature – to take part, research and encourage relationships with/in nature. Sharing my experience and my work would mean the world to me if it means inspiring others to take part, research and encourage relationships with/in nature.

Claudia Critoph, 16, Buffalo, NY, USA I love all animals especially dogs. I hope some day to have a career that helps rescue dogs in some way. I shadowed our family veterinarian from Ellicott Small Animal Hospital, for a day. It was very interesting. I also was a Junior Teen Naturalist at the Buffalo Zoo last summer. I attend The Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. My major is visual arts and photography. My images are of nature and animals. I like to photograph in Delaware Park and the Buffalo Zoo. Ricco Dezan, 24, Melbourne, VIC, Australia I am a newly graduated teacher after completing a Business undergraduate degree and my Master of Teaching. Preserving nature is something I am quite passionate about. In my submission, I am reflecting on some of my most vivid memories and encounters with nature. Liv Evans, 11, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia I just love writing and I also love the outdoors. I think this would be a great opportunity to share my ideas and be published! My submission is what I love about nature and what is worrying me about the future of it. Kasumi and Minami Furukawa, 7 and 9, Christiansburg, Virginia, USA Minami and Kasumi are sisters. After Minami submitted her sketch of geese, Kasumi also wanted to share her sketch and thoughts. Liticia Gardner, 22, Vancouver, BC, Canada I’m an avid window-looker-outer. I sit in my house a lot watching my surroundings, and I love listening to birds. I’m an undergraduate student at Simon Fraser University studying Women’s Studies. I come from a low income household, with a 16 year old mother, and I feel that my relationship to nature has been most directly impacted by my class position, particularly the places I lived and schools I went to. I’m interested in this book because I very much still relate to being a kid. I feel like I’m in a world that’s too big for me and I’m excited to have the opportunity to focus my

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energy and writing on the topic of “nature” and my relationship to it. I worked with the Semester Outside program, through City Studio, and the program has had a lasting effect on my life. My submission to the Companion covers my current thoughts on the nonhuman world. It will most directly relate to my experiences with the nonhuman world, but it will draw on a number of ideas that have impacted me and my relationship to the world lately. An excerpt from Liticia’s full essay is included in the Companion.

Lucy Handy, 17, Providence, RI, USA My submission is about simplicity, and the importance of nature as a retreat from modern day stresses of technology and social media. Gabriel Lemelin-Wiersma, 10, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada I enjoy hiking and seeing nature and wildlife like salamanders, frogs, dragonflies, birds, bats, and insects. I am glad that there is still forest left in the world, and hiking makes me feel happy, relaxed, and a sense of accomplishment. I want to tell people of my experience with nature, and that I love all types of nature. I want people to realize that there is still nature left and they should stop polluting and destroying it. We go hiking almost every week. Sarah Margulis, 22, Chicago, IL, USA I wrote these poems when I was 11 years old for a 6th grade writing project where I produced a book of poetry entitled “I Am the Earth.” As a young kid, the landscapes around me intrigued me because they were something I could not fully conceptualize. That is why I chose poetry to write about nature; because poetry leaves room for imagination. The first poem “I am the Earth” I wrote based on a view I had of the sky and the sun while swinging on a swing set at the park. The second poem “Circle of Life, Circle of Love” was inspired by Sea Turtles I saw on a family vacation to Costa Rica. Poetry allowed me to imagine and create the inner workings of the natural world which I couldn’t experience through my senses. Since I wrote these poems (over 10 years ago), I have continued with my love of writing. I have experienced all types of writing, research papers, essays, analytical papers (which I wrote many of as a philosophy major in college); and grants (which I currently write through my job as a grant writer). My favorite type of writing is writing that stretches my imagination to the limits. To me, writing is an exercise in creativity. That is why I am so interested in the Childhoodnature book; because nature is the perfect subject for creative expression. When I am not writing, I enjoy movies and TV, baseball, walks and hikes, exploring new places, cooking and baking, and hanging out with my 14 year old cat DD. Jenna Masuhara, 21, Burnaby, BC, Canada I am a university student at SFU, taking a Communications Major, and Business, Dialogue, and Publishing Minor. While growing up my family and I went on a lot of camping trips and hikes, and taking part in nature education programs. Nature was an important part of my life and I believe that children should be encouraged to

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explore nature in any way possible. Last summer I was part of the SFU program Semester in Dialogue, Semester Outside the City, where we had lessons at Everett Crowley Park, learning about dialogue and ways to learn with nature as well as how to connect with it. It was a really eye-opening experience and I have kept those teachings with me as I continued my education. I thought that submitting something to the Childhoodnature book would be a good way to share some of the lessons I learned during the program as well as continue practicing them. My submission is a reflection piece of my experiences visiting my micro-site – a little spot of nature in Everett Crowley Park – over the past year, accompanied by photos to mark the changes the site went through as the year progressed. An extract of Jenna’s year of photos and observations is included in the Companion.

Allison Maynard, 21, Circleville, OH, United States As of 2017 I will be a graduate of Canisius College with a bachelor’s degree of Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, as well as a degree in Digital Media Arts. My minor is in Anthrozoology and I have been passionate about animals and nature since I can remember. I hope to continue my education with a Masters and a PhD in child-animal-nature studies, or a related field. I am very intrigued by, attached to, and involved with the topic of childhoodnature. My narrative is about my changing experiences with nature and wildlife as I moved from rural Ohio to urban Buffalo. I focus on how I manage to get my fix of nature in such an urban setting; focusing on specific stories, relationships, or people/places that helped me to do so as my passion for nature and all of its inhabitants grew as I continued my college education. Kai and Teya McAdam-Chase, 5, Vancouver, BC, Canada Our experiences related to the trees and other plants and animals in our neighborhood. Jack Whitehouse, 5, Orchard Park, NY, USA Jack is homeschooled. A schooling choice made, in large part because Jack’s family feel that it is crucial for children to have more time in outdoor, active, self-directed play. They have noticed a wonderful and unexpected benefit of this hands-on immersion approach is Jack’s feeling of belonging to and personal responsibility for protecting the Earth. Jack loves to draw and write comics. He has created a short story about evil doers trying to destroy the forests and the heroes trying to stop them. All the language is Jack’s. The family follow a homeschooling writing curriculum which encourages the child to dictate writing so their immature handwriting does not interfere with language and creativity. He dictated his story to his mother who typed it, and then helped him edit it down to a reasonable length. An excerpt of Jack’s story is included in the Companion. Mary Woodruff, 21, Ringoes, New Jersey, USA I am an undergraduate student majoring in Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation and Psychology. I am extremely interested in the study of anthrozoology,

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particularly in regards children’s relationships with nonhuman animals. I have experience working with children for over 5 years and most recently as a nature trail guide and ecology education for elementary to middle school age children. My story for children, Tica and Mao, follows the lives of two nonhuman animal friends. Tica, a Magnolia Warbler, and Moa, a Hoffamn’s two-toed sloth, are both natives to the Costa Rican rainforest. Magnolia Warblers are Nearctic – Neotropical migrants that fly back and forth from the tropics to North America each year. In the story, Mao and Tica keep in contact with each other during Tica’s migration through letters Tica sends Mao via “air mail.” Tica tells Mao of her journey and the challenges she faces along the way. The story is 13 pages and incorporates an interactive component as readers open attached envelopes to read Tica’s letters. An excerpt of Mary’s story for children is included in the Companion.

The Projects Climate Change and Me Project David Rousell (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Amy Cutter-Mackenzie (Southern Cross University) Between August 2014 and July 2015, 135 children and young people from across Northern New South Wales (NSW) Australia participated in the Climate Change and Me project as researchers. The children and young people attended research methodology training workshops with experienced educational researchers from Southern Cross University. They learned to engage with theory and methodology and use a variety of ethnographic and art-based research methods for producing data about climate change in their communities, including interviews, video, photography, field notes, drawings, poetry, and fiction. They were not given predetermined definitions or perspectives on climate change but were encouraged to investigate the diversity of children and young people’s awareness, attitudes and actions towards the issue. The Climate Change and Me website was developed as a social media space for the researchers to post and comment on their research findings and creative works. Researchers also worked together to analyze and curate the data for the Past Now Future exhibition, which travelled to nine public libraries across Northern NSW. Researchers were actively involved with all aspects of the exhibition, including the titling, selection of works, locations, and artist/researcher statements. Over the course of the project, certain researchers developed their own creative and scholarly research practices in response to climate change in their communities. A wide range of works were generated, including speculative fictions, short stories, essays, poems, artistic photographs, drawings and illustrations. Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI) CCI is a UK based arts and well-being charity that has been working creatively alongside children to play with ideas and make them grow since 2002. ArtScapers and Fantastical Cambridgeshire are both CCI projects that are briefly outlined

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below. The artists’ practices with children working at the intersection of nature and creativity are further explored in the Handbook Chapter: Artists as Emplaced Pedagogues. The CCI website is www.cambridgecandi.org.uk

ArtScapers ArtScapers is developed and delivered by CCI and art education consultant Esther Sayers and is part of the Art program at the North West Cambridge Development. The ArtScapers workshops have been planned and led by CCI artist Susanne Jasilek to provide creative ways for children to connect with the changes happening in their local area, changes which effect both the natural and built environments in which they live. The project provides a space for imagination where extraordinary possibilities for living are explored and in which children’s voices and ideas can be heard and recorded through creative outputs. “ArtScapers makes you think differently. . ... you’re free to open your mind” (Jasmin, aged 8). Through working with local schools, ArtScapers has focused on the overarching themes of community, place, sustainability, ecology, and archaeology. Pedagogic approaches have been designed to enable children to connect with their environment by slowing down and noticing the minutiae and the seemingly inconsequential aspects of place that are often overlooked. Time is taken for example to playfully record ways of walking along the chestnut tree lined lane into the site, to carefully place new work in the fields around the site and to joyfully be together whilst eating lunch or having a snack. ArtScapers is commissioned by University of Cambridge as part of the North West Cambridge Development in partnership with Contemporary Art Society and InSite Arts. Fantastical Cambridgeshire Fantastical Cambridgeshire is an ambitious long-term project that connects people of all ages, their local area, adventuring and culture. A series of beautiful maps is being co-created through this work. These multilayered images are made of words and images from the children and their community, created alongside artists from CCI. They are fantastical because they combine real and imaginary places and stories. Each project starts with a primary school but reaches out to the wider community. People of all ages are invited to join in with creative adventures to discover the spaces in and around the school and develop a sense of wonder about the possibilities these offer. Together these communities have explored woods, orchards, new planting, ponds, rivers and wild spaces as well as more familiar parks and playgrounds. Discoveries are shared in the form of drawings, words, collections and even animations. Every single contribution is valuable and shapes the projects in exciting ways. Many of the wonderful ideas are incorporated into the final fantastical maps. The maps by illustrator Elena Arévalo Melville carefully weave together the fantastical drawings, words and ideas of the children, their friends and families. The creative invitations were designed by CCI artists Filipa Pereira-Stubbs, Helen Stratford, Sally Todd and Deb Wilenski.

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DIAN: Debates and Investigations on Animals and Nature T^ania Regina Vizachri, Letícia Sanfilippo Rojas, Luís Paulo de Carvalho Piassi, and Adriana Regina Braga, São Paulo University, Brazil. In São Paulo, Brazil, we create and apply activities to discuss Interspecies Ethics with children through the D.I.A.N. – Debates and Investigations on Animals and Nature. This is a science outreach project oriented to socioscientific activism. DIAN aims to design outreach activities to discuss human-animal relationship from an ethical, cultural and scientific viewpoint. Through playful resources as theatre, music, plays, we investigate the process of rising conscience about animal ethics in children, checking how they construct their reflection about the cultural way to deal with animals. The DIAN team is driven by graduate and undergraduate students. The undergraduate students are responsible to create and conduct the activities and ludic resources to apply in the schools, as well as they conduct these activities. They are advised by the graduate students with theoretical frameworks to help them think which resources are suitable for the children. Places that Matter Helen Widdop Quinton (Victoria University, Melbourne) In connected research studies in 2012–2016, adolescents (aged 13–17) explored the places that mattered to them, including the role of nature in their lives and how they perceive the natural environment as part of the places and spaces they inhabit. The framing of place created a generative, flexible focus for the adolescents to explore their everyday experiences of nature through photography, maps, Facebook posts, and conversations. The adolescents “narrating” these stories of nature in their lives are drawn from contexts of difference – different geographic locations, sociocultural settings, and times – from urban Melbourne, Australia, and remote villages in the Himalayan foothills in north east India. An extensive range of photographs were generated through the research. The Places that Matter images shared in the Companion were taken by young researchers who particularly characterized their lives as connected with/in nature. Sekolah Bisa! Mr. Adrian Thirkell (founder Sekolah BIsa!) Sekolah Bisa! is a tiny school of 25 students, originally conceived by IB students at The British School Jakarta as part of the IB “CAS” program, in partnership with The Body Shop Indonesia. It’s now 8 years old and continues to offer shantydwelling children extraordinary opportunities to develop a capacity to rejoin society as educated, fully fledged citizens. Its commitment is to the organic life of the whole child: it does not placate poverty with charity but, by bespoke educational programs, seeks to ensure the worth of every child is valued and provision made to affirm their collective presence in the world as capable, healthy, and aspirational citizens. The literal translation from Indonesian of the school’s name is, “I Can School.” Sekolah Bisa! provides the opportunity for shanty children such as Ikki to attend school he’d otherwise have forfeited, and also functions as an environmentally friendly

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sanctuary. The school’s garden-like design, and profuse greenery, compensates for the conditions at home, where toxicities released into the air from burning rubbish have a negative impact on children’s health and wellbeing. Any child subjected to toxicity, where the family’s livelihood is partly dependent on recyclables, has a remarkable story to tell about nature, particularly how he or she remains aware of its value, and how it functions to compensate for the materially degraded circumstances of the shanty.

A Therapeutic Garden Tomoaki Imamichi and daughters Stella (age 5) and Luna (age 7), Chestnut Ridge, NY, USA The Therapeutic Garden account is about some of the experiences of a joint project of a parent and two children building a therapeutic garden. Therapeutic delight in a backyard came in unexpected ways. It started out with a plan by a parent and two children (ages 5 and 7), something to entertain them, something to support their development and their “sensory integration” – the buzzword at our beloved alternative school. In order to create varied surfaces that foster vestibular (spatial and balance) and proprioceptive (bodily and coordination) senses, inspiration was found in everyday objects lying dormant under the porch, such as wood planks and bricks leftovers from past projects, to be awakened for their newfound purpose. The real therapeutic effects were achieved, not so much through the sensory-integration, but via the creative design process. These experiences of seemingly simple childhood pleasure link to deeper philosophical concepts, Japanese aesthetics, Zen and the existing literature on children and environments.

Challenging Taken-for-Granted Ideas in Early Childhood Education: A Critique of Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory in the Age of Post-humanism Sue Elliott and Julie M. Davis

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pivotal Career Moments from Our Professional Narratives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bronfenbrenner: An Ecological Model for Human Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Theoretical and Discipline Milieu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Iterations on the Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Considering Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bronfenbrenner’s Model and Early Childhood Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Theories Driving Our Reevaluation of Bronfenbrenner’s Models in Early Childhood Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Systems Theory Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Post-humanism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . New Materialism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Critical Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . New Sociology of Childhood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . What Might New Ecological Models of Human Development Look Like? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Model 1: Overlay Bronfenbrenner’s Model with UNESCO’s 4 Dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Model 2: Add a Biosystems Level as All Encompassing Around Bronfenbrenner’s Macrosystem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Model 3: Add a Biosystems Level Both Centrally and Outside Bronfenbrenner’s Macrosystem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Some Resolutions to Addressing the Shortcomings of Bronfenbrenner’s Theory in Contemporary Early Childhood Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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S. Elliott (*) University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia e-mail: [email protected] J. M. Davis Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia e-mail: [email protected] # Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018 A. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, Springer International Handbooks of Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51949-4_60-2

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Our Analysis Linking Practice to Our Reconceptualized Bronfenbrenner Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusion: Rethinking the Theoretical Tenets in Early Childhood Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cross-Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Abstract

A significant theorist in the early childhood education field is Urie Bronfenbrenner who, in 1979, proposed his “ecological systems theory,” sometimes referred to as the “ecological framework for human development.” This theory offers a multidimensional systems model for understanding the influence of family through to economic and political structures; thus, it presents a way of understanding the human life course from early childhood through to adulthood. In this theory, the ecological framework enables the mapping of information about individuals and their contexts over time in order to understand their diverse systemic interconnections. A critique of this model, however, from a childhoodnature stance, is that it ignores consideration of human-nature interconnections. Thus, it is a deeply anthropocentric model of human development that is at odds with emergent post-humanist thinking that seeks to de-center the human condition. In this chapter, we argue that the pervasiveness of this human-centered systems approach works against sustainability, in that it reinforces the sociocultural, political, and economic dimensions of being human at the expense of environmental interconnections. Drawing on systems theory, post-humanist theory, new materialism, a critical lens to pedagogy, and new sociology of childhood, we propose alternative ways of approaching Bronfenbrenner’s work that, both, facilitates human connections and strengthens children and nature connections that have implications for early childhood education philosophy and pedagogy. Keywords

Bronfenbrenner · Systems theory · Post-humanist theory · Critical theory · New materialism · Sustainability · Early childhood education · Anthropocentricism

Introduction The most telling criterion for evaluating the health of a society is “the concern of one generation for the next.” (p. 1) (Bronfenbrenner, p. xii cited in Pence, 1988)

In 1979, Urie Bronfenbrenner proposed his “ecological systems theory,” sometimes referred to as the “ecological framework for human development.” This theory is a multidimensional systems model for understanding human development within sociopolitical and cultural contexts and has significantly impacted the early childhood education field over almost four decades. Bronfenbrenner’s model (1979) is often foregrounded as core to understandings of young children’s development both in research (Ballam, 2013; Dillon-Wallace, 2011; Rodgers, 2009) and early

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childhood education practice (Arthur, Beecher, Death, Dockett, & Farmer, 2015; Bowes, Grace & Hodge, 2012; Sims & Hutchins, 2012). In particular, the child is perceived as both influenced and influential within the nested social systems they inhabit in this ecological model. The mapping of the dynamic interconnections between individuals and their contexts over time has invited a deepening of educators’ understandings about each child’s human-centered ecologies and trajectories in life. As a psychologist, Bronfenbrenner was embedded in a significant period of change in the 1970s when shifts from developmental to sociological approaches first emerged, from describing and explaining human development to promoting the best for human development through examining individual-context relations (Lerner, 2005). He advocated the linking of human development to questions of social policy, in other words creating a theory-application bond. Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) model was recognized as groundbreaking and transformative at the time. It must also be acknowledged that Bronfenbrenner’s model (1979) signaled a revision of the images of children, from children as objects of developmental study to their positioning as socially active participants in the world and investigated in context. This revision was subsequently strengthened by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (UNICEF, 1989), theories of new sociology (Corsaro, 2005), and images of children as agentic (Jones, 2009; James, Jenks, & Prout, 1998). As co-authors, we are not the first to call for revisions to Bronfenbrenner’s model. For example, Christensen (2010) has proposed her own enhancement of his model based on her critique of the place of the individual’s role in relation to other actors, while Stanger (2011) has questioned the absence of ecological influencers in this human-centric model and argued for eco-sociological models. However, our examination focuses on nonhuman interrelationships. While much has been achieved with Bronfenbrenner’s model (1979) based on human-human interconnections, now, four decades later in the new global epoch of the Anthropocene (Steffen, Crutzen, & McNeill, 2007), we can no longer ignore human-nature interconnections as imperatives when considering young children’s development and well-being. Bronfenbrenner’s model (1979) stands as an anthropocentric model of human development; thus, it is not conducive to understanding or underpinning matters concerned with global issues and global futures in the current epoch that is defined by the now dire and detrimental impacts of humans on the Earth. The continuing prioritization of human needs, wants, and relations is untenable when the strongest evidence is that humans are continuing to support lifestyles, systems, and structures that are destroying the life-giving capacities of the planet. Because we humans seem to need constant reminding, humanity’s ecological footprint has already exceeded the Earth’s capacity to regenerate and risen to the point where 1.6 planets are needed to provide resources sustainability. Further, the biodiversity index has fallen by more than 50% (World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 2016) as populations of nonhuman species continue to decline, greenhouse gas emissions have almost doubled, and diverse climate change impacts have become increasingly apparent (Howes, 2017; Oppenheimer & Anttila-Hughes, 2016).

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Allied with ecological footprint impacts, there is clear evidence of rising inequalities on a number of indexes within and between countries and regions, with strong evidence of increasing gaps between generations (Currie & Deschenes, 2016; Olshansky et al., 2005). This final point makes a clear link between our concerns about sustainability and the ideas of Urie Bronfenbrenner who, as illustrated in the opening quotation to this chapter, himself, comments that the concern of one generation for the next is the true measure of societal health. Thus, we have taken the liberty of drawing on Bronfenbrenner’s own words as our starting point for this critique of his ecological model for human development, in the belief that he would have some measure of understanding of our concerns about its shortcomings in the era of (un)sustainability. This affords us the opportunity to think further about Bronfenbrenner’s concept of the chronosystem, as a way of thinking more critically and expansively about the time dimension in human development. Further, Bronfenbrenner’s model is counter to emergent post-humanist thinking that has arisen in the humanities and in education in recent times that seeks to de-center the human condition (Taylor & Hughes, 2016). We argue that Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) more human-centered systems model works against sustainability – and, by extension, the development and well-being of children – in that it reinforces the sociocultural, political, and economic dimensions of being human at the expense of human-environmental interconnections. As outlined in the UNESCO (2010) dimensions of sustainable development framework, all dimensions are integral to achieving global sustainability, clearly identified as one of the “wicked problems” (Rittel & Weber, 1973) that impacts us all, but more so on children and future generations who will be around the longest bearing the brunt of (un)sustainable ways of living. This necessitates radical solutions – both in thinking, actions, and relationships to promote childhoodnature. Lerner (2005) describes the reciprocity of relations fundamental to Bronfenbrenner’s model as “exchanges between the person and his or her ecology that function to benefit both” (p. xix). In this phrasing, “ecology” refers to a person’s social context; we note this may be feasible or optimal in the social worlds of humans, but humans have overstepped the mark in their relational reciprocity with the Earth. This incomplete appreciation of reciprocity within a human-centered idea of ecology is a point of interest for us and is reflected in solid rather than broken lines depicted in the concentric circles of Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) hierarchical systems (Rogoff, 2003). Similarly, Stanger (2011) has argued for a recasting of the model stating “if we are to use ecosystem-based language, it needs to describe the complex interrelationships that support the long-term integrity of living systems rather than the short term singularity of human-designed marketing” (p. 167). He advocates the inclusion of humans and the physical/natural environment at each system level and also introduces a nanosystem level to denote the ecological systems beyond the naked eye. These points have caused us to think further about Bronfenbrenner’s use of the language of ecology. “Ecology” was coined in the mid-1860s by German Scientist Ernst Haeckel, with connections to ancient Greek philosophers such as Hippocrates and Aristotle and their studies in natural history. Modern ecology became a more rigorous science in

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the late nineteenth century, with a surge in interest in 1960s commensurate with the rise of the environmental movement (Dritschilo, 2004). There are now strong historical and scientific ties between ecology, environmental management, and protection. The scope of ecology is organized into a nested hierarchy from the micro (genes and cells) to species, populations, communities, and ecosystems, through to the planetary (biosphere). The idea of an “ecological niche” dates to 1917 with advances in the concept attributed to Hutchinson (1957) who defined the ecological niche as the relational position of a species or population in an ecosystem. The physical environment is seen as an integral part of the niche because it influences how populations of organism’s affect, and are affected by, resources and competitors. Use of the term “ecological niche” is prevalent in Bronfenbrenner’s theory and models and used extensively within child development literature. Berthelsen (2009), for example, writes “Bronfenbrenner argued that every child’s ecological niche is unique because each child experiences and takes part in different relationships and processes of interactions across proximal contexts” (p. 4). Further, in the context of new sociology theory, children are identified as “co-constructors, active creative social agents who produce their own unique children’s cultures while simultaneously contributing to the production of adult societies” (Corsaro, 2005, p. 3). Given such widespread usage to explain the uniqueness of children’s experiences, however, it is perhaps surprising that interactions with physical or natural environments in shaping children’s experiences is mostly absent from his model of human development. Ecology is as much a human science as it is about the nonhuman and has led to the parallel/intersecting field of human ecology. Rachel Carson, for example, in her 1962 seminal book Silent Spring was one of the first biologists/ecologists to raise awareness of the power of humans to significantly alter the world. Similarly, at the time Ehrlich (1968) was the first to question population growth and the capacity of the Earth to sustain exponential human population growth. Human ecology is viewed by many as a truly interdisciplinary science that attracts psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, and epidemiologists, for example, whose interests lie in human relations and natural systems. In the seminal work of human ecologist Gerald Young written in 1974, human ecology commonly has three ways of thinking about human-nature relationships: (1) the study of humans as the ecological dominant in plant and animal communities and systems; (2) humans as simply another animal being affected by and affecting the physical environment; and, (3) humans as different from animal life in general with interactions with the physical environment in a distinctive and creative way (Young, 1974). A truly interdisciplinary human ecology most likely addresses all three perspectives. The human and ecological transformations of the so-called Anthropocene has ushered in a new science referred to as “coupled human and natural systems” (Liu et al., 2007) reflecting a somewhat earlier systems theory notion of structural coupling (Maturana & Varela, 1987). This is described as two-way interactive relationships whereby the organism and the context change, recognizing that each impacts the other over time as in coevolution. Critically, the context is not inert or passive as viewed from a position of human dominance over nature, and in the epoch of the Anthropocene,

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this contextual view is blatantly untenable. Thus, the field of human ecology must seek to generate new integrated knowledges aimed at understanding the complexities of human-nature interactions as central to the quest for both human well-being and global sustainability. It is interesting, however, that Bronfenbrenner’s use of terminology including “ecology,” ecological systems, and niches is unrelated to ecology’s predominant links with nature and natural systems. Of interest is that while the study of ecology is not treated as separate or distinct from humans by ecologists, Bronfenbrenner’s use of ecological terms as a psychologist was not inclusive of nature and natural systems, although he does make reference to “particular physical and material characteristics” of a microsystem setting (1979, p. 22). This oversight, we presume, is because the field of ecology was only becoming popularized at the time of his writing (Dritschilo, 2004). However, contemporaries of Bronfenbrenner were theorists with an interest in human-nature relationships including systems theorist Bateson (1979), deep ecologist Berry (1988), and, most notably, Lovelock (1979) and his Gaia hypothesis. Further, Berry (p. 240) explicitly stated “the natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human. To damage this community is to diminish our own existence.” Undoubtedly, there are systemic impacts for human development to be recognized here. We can only surmise that while Bronfenbrenner was obviously aware of the field, he was not able or prepared to incorporate key ideas about human-nature interactions into his thinking and model of human development at the time.

Pivotal Career Moments from Our Professional Narratives In further articulating this critique of one of early childhood educations’ “holy men,” both authors recognize pivotal career moments when we – quite separately – had reasons to question or found shortfalls in Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems model (1979). Davis was co-lecturing in an early childhood education course conducted in Papua New Guinea (PNG) with local early education “trainers” who were adding to their qualifications and experiences as elementary teacher educators. The unit of study combined families and community studies with a focus on Bronfenbrenner’s model (1979), sustainability aspects employing the UNESCO four-dimensional model of sustainable development (2010), and health promotion education – using both an ecological health-promoting schools model and Hancock’s mandala of health model of the human ecosystem (Hancock 1985). While the combined content fitted well together, Davis questioned the lack of recognition of the physical/natural environment in discussions about Bronfenbrenner’s work especially when this was so much a part of the livelihoods and knowledge systems of many PNG families and communities (Department of National Planning and Monitoring (DNPM), 2010). Recognition of their dependence on market gardens and subsistence farming that nurtures family and community health and well-being was unrepresented when using Bronfenbrenner’s model (1979) yet was clearly evident in the sustainability and health models being

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Macrosystem History

Exosystem Extended Family

Laws

Microsystem

Familiy

School Board

Individual Child

Peers

Parent’s Work Environment

Siblings Mass Media

Culture Neighborhoods

Social Conditions

Economic System

Fig. 1 Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model of human development (1979). Retrieved from https:// openi.nlm.nih.gov/detailedresult.php?img=PMC2676270_1471-2458-9-94-1&req=4

considered. Similarly, Elliott who led the establishment of early childhood environmental education in Australia during the mid-1980s (Elliott & Emmett, 1991) can recall many attempts to seek appropriate literature to support practitioners in the field to think about environmental and sustainability issues as having pedagogical relevance with young children. She was captured by the title “ecological” in Bronfenbrenner’s work only to be disappointed that the model did not include any aspects of the physical or natural environment. Sharing these past career moments cemented our resolve to offer this critique, and potentially, new ways forward in thinking about how the theories and practices of early childhood education and education for sustainability can be brought together to better fit with the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century (Figs. 1 and 2). Thus, in this chapter, we draw on our academic, professional, and research experiences as well as our theoretical leanings toward systems theory, post-humanist theory, new materialism, critical theory, and new sociology of childhood to challenge Bronfenbrenner’s model (1979). We begin by offering an overview of his ecological systems model. Next, we outline the relevant theoretical underpinnings to our critique then offer specific critiques from our axiological and ontological stance. We attempt to offer some resolution to our concerns with vignettes from current early childhood education practice that challenge ways of facilitating children and

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Fig. 2 UNESCO (2010) four dimensions of sustainability model Retrieved from http://www. unesco.org/education/tlsf/mods/theme_gs/mod0a.html # UNESCO, 2010. All Rights Reserved

nature connections with implications for early childhood education philosophy and pedagogy.

Bronfenbrenner: An Ecological Model for Human Development In examining Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological model, we firstly contextualize his model within the theoretical and discipline milieu of the time and then offer an overview of the model’s iterations with links to sustainability. We further provide some examples identifying how this model has variously been employed within the early childhood education sphere.

A Theoretical and Discipline Milieu We acknowledge that there has been some literature investigating Bronfenbrenner’s theory and model(s). For example, Tudge, Mokrova, Hatfield and Karnik (2009) discussed the uses and abuses of his theory, but there appears to be a lack of rigorous academic critique (Taylor, 2016). We are aware of the work of Boon, Cottrell, King,

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Stevenson, and Millar (2012) who found value in applying his theory in a field allied with sustainability – natural disasters and community resilience. However, we argue that our discussion is the first to critique his work from the perspective of early childhood education and sustainability. As previously acknowledged, although his initial model was recognized to be groundbreaking and transformative at the time of publication – perhaps even a theoretical disruption – we recognize that it occurred when shifts toward sociocultural theorizing were underway within the field of human development (Vygotsky, 1978). Perhaps Bronfenbrenner can be seen as a pioneer in breaking down the disciplinary silos of the time. Vygotsky’s theories of social constructivism and social constructionism, first translated in 1978, had instigated a movement away from earlier developmental theorizing (Gesell, 1950; Piaget & Inhelder, 1962). The field of human development was evolving at this time as demonstrated by Berthelsen, Lunn, and Johansson (2009, p. 184), and this strengthens our argument for an urgent reevaluation now, four decades later, when anthropocentric models are ill-equipped to foster sustainable futures for all. As has been already commented upon, “Bronfenbrenner moved the field from being an area of scholarship that described what ‘is’ in human development to a science that, through its collaborations with policy makers, practitioners, and other social change agents, envisioned what ‘could be’ about human development” (Lerner, 2005, pp. xii–xiii). Similarly, we question what “could be” and what “must be” envisioned about human development in the global epoch of the Anthropocene (Steffen et al., 2007). In essence, the point we make here is that Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological model was framed within the human-centered sociopolitical-environmental context of its time. Concerns about the state of the environment were only beginning to be understood, for example, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) had just been released, and Erhlich’s (1968) population predictions were alarmingly dire. However, concerns as a global issue and connections between human health and wellbeing were yet to be widely recognized. The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Conference) in 1972 was the UN’s first major conference on international environmental issues and marked a turning point in the development of international environmental politics. Also, pertinent to this milieu are the then-contemporary environmental education initiatives such as The Brundtland Report (WCED, 1987) and Agenda 21 (UNCED, 1992) which demonstrated a shift in thinking toward sustainability as comprising multiple dimensions, namely, economic, social, and environmental; and this prompted longer-term human thinking and action for the intergenerational equity of all species. Concurrently in the field of health promotion was the World Health Organization’s Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (1986) that emphasized that “Good health is a major resource for social, economic and personal development and an important dimension of quality of life. Political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, behavioural and biological factors can all favour health or be harmful to it” (p. 1). We question, was Bronfenbrenner (1999, 2001) aware of these shifts as he continued to reframe his original ecological model, through the 1990s, to become the bioecological model of 2001? We see our reevaluation of his model as being in the same vein.

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Iterations on the Model In referring to Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model, it is important to recognize that the first iteration published in 1979, and most often referred to in the literature, was not the only version. This initial model is frequently described as contextually focused acknowledging the diverse social contexts influencing human development. Bronfenbrenner depicted these social contexts as concentric nested circles comprising the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem. The microsystem alerts us to the child’s immediate settings, those settings that a child participates in on a daily basis including his/her home, school, or early childhood center. The mesosystem is about interactions and interrelationships between the microsystems, and in our tertiary teaching experience this is a somewhat perplexing system level given the lack of specific settings or entities. The exosystems are those social structures or settings both formal and informal where a child is not directly involved but may have indirect impacts for a child such as a parent’s workplace or extended family. The most outer system is the macrosystem that comprises the broader level policies, political institutions, and cultural beliefs that have import for all systems. These system-level contexts and interactions were initially reflected as given points in time, but Bronfenbrenner subsequently added the chronosystem to denote dynamic system changes over the human life span. Also, although he aligned the model with nested Russian babushka dolls (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, p. 3), the various systems or structural levels are not discrete, but integrated throughout the course of human development. Bronfenbrenner (1999, 2001) engaged in an ongoing reassessment and critique of his original model leading to various iterations over time. Here we highlight key aspects of these iterations relevant to our critique. A focus in Bronfenbrenner’s later 1990s theorizing is the person-process-contexttime (PPCT) model where the interrelationships between these four concepts come to the fore (Lerner, p. xv), overriding the contextual-only focus of his original model (1979). In this later iteration, interrelationships were framed as proximal processes – reciprocal, enduring, and increasingly complex (Bronfenbrenner, 1995, 1999) – such descriptors resonate well today. However, we raise concerns when such interrelationships most often allude to everyday anthropocentric objects and symbols such as toys and hobbies (Bronfenbrenner, 1999) when it is obvious that people also interact intimately on a moment-by-moment basis with the physical environment, for example, daily weather ranging from the inconvenience of rain or wind to extreme weather events impact human lives. Only now with climate change modeling are the impacts of changing weather patterns on human life courses, particularly children’s, evident and the reciprocity of these interrelationships with the physical environment being recognized (Zivin & Shrader, 2016). In addition, while the PPCT model acknowledges the personal or dispositional characteristics that any individual brings to their active interactions in social contexts (Bronfenbrenner, 1995), he describes such active interactional focus as “proclivities to set in motion, sustain and enhance processes of interaction between the organism and particular features of persons, objects and, symbols in its environment” (Bronfenbrenner, 1995, p. 634). We hold

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no argument with such proclivities and view them as core to transformative processes for sustainability. We consider that these dispositional characteristics do not go far enough. Our main argument is that a deeper and broader interpretation of environment needs to be part of systems where these tendencies are enacted. In the context of our critique, might we now include sustainable worldviews, ethics, and values held by the individual?

Considering Time In support of his theorizing, Bronfenbrenner (1999) also offered four guiding life course principles that highlight change over time. He acknowledges each individual’s life course is shaped by conditions and events during their historical life period, and the timing of biological and social transitions throughout this period is key. In Bronfenbrenner’s (1917–2005) own lifetime, the challenges of human-centered social and economic change ranging from world wars to industrialization and evolving family dynamics were at the fore as evidenced by his examples (Bronfenbrenner, 1999). As we have indicated previously, the current global historical period of the Anthropocene (Steffen et al., 2007) and the now ongoing transitions in human lives attributed to climate change (Currie & Deschenes, 2016) offer a compelling rationale for rethinking Bronfenbrenner’s model and its various iterations (1979, 1999, 2001). Bronfenbrenner (p. 22) reminds us in Life Course Principle 4, for example, that “within the limits and opportunities afforded by the historical, cultural and socioeconomic conditions in which they live, human beings themselves influence their own development – for better or for worse -through their own choices and acts.” The inherent sentiments are clear; our argument is to also include nonhuman environmental conditions and to consider all “choices and acts” as having consequences beyond those of current individuals, i.e., to consider the intergenerational legacy of our choices and acts. Furthermore, in reviewing his original model, Bronfenbrenner (1979) recognized the role of biological determinants of the individual, and a bioecological model was proposed (Bronfenbrenner, 2001), thus, bringing together human social ecologies and individual human biological determinants into a more comprehensive whole. However, we argue that this development is still not comprehensive enough for those advocating for childhoodnature aligned worldviews that integrate humans and nature and who have concerns for long-term intergenerational sustainable futures. Stanger (2011) has previously stated that the chronosystem must be extended to include evolutionary time scales. Further, we might provoke, is the nonhuman and/or physical environment potentially framed beyond these nested human systems and all encompassing, or situated within and impacted by human social systems, or integral and across all nested systems. Reframing these intersections over more than a human lifetime offers a unique challenge that we return to in later pages of this chapter. Lastly, we do not purport to offer a comprehensive overview of Bronfenbrenner’s theorizing and iterations here but have targeted those aspects that most invite both critique and offer support from our global sustainability and eco-centric stance. We

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acknowledge the challenges inherent in this approach as others have cautioned about the overly simplistic interpretations of Bronfenbrenner’s work which abound in both research and practitioner literature (Tudge et al., 2013). Nevertheless, we are inspired by Bronfenbrenner to proceed when he states “the possibilities of ecologies as yet untried . . . hold a potential for human natures yet unseen, perhaps possessed of a wiser blend of power and compassion than has thus far been manifested” (1979, p. xiii).

Bronfenbrenner’s Model and Early Childhood Education Along with the theories of Vygotsky (1978), Bronfenbrenner’s theory (1979) has been significant in shaping early childhood education worldwide (Härkönen, 2003; Sims & Hutchins, 2012; Penn, 2005) including in early childhood teacher education, as a theoretical basis for early childhood education curriculum and pedagogy and in research. The following diverse examples offer insights into the range and depth of impacts. In the early 1960s, for example, Bronfenbrenner was specifically engaged with the early childhood education field through the American government-funded Head Start program (American Psychologist’s Association, 2004). At a time of national social justice concern, the program aimed to address the deficits experienced by young children living in poverty through early intervention. The program involved coordinated efforts by professionals, communities, and parents (Hinitz, 2014), and the intent was to offer a more holistic approach to promoting young children’s development through early childhood education. The Head Start program has been sustained over decades now and facilitated interventions with some 32 million children (Head Start Office, n.d.). Multiple research studies have identified benefits, but questions are still raised about the longer-term outcomes for children (Hinitz, 2014). Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) approach to human development as occurring within multiple interactive social systems continues to underpin the Head Start programs today, but rethinking is needed given continuing social inequities and especially those being exacerbated with climate change (Currie & Deschenes, 2016). More recently, Krishnan (2010) described a Canadian provincial early childhood development-mapping project that utilized an Early Development Index (EDI) instrument based on Bronfenbrenner’s model (Janus & Offord, 2007). The overall EDI aim was to offer estimates of child development at the time of school entry with a focus on the multilevel systems and interactions that accounted for each child’s development. Implementation of the mapping project led to development of a conceptual ecological model taking into consideration individual and environmental factors, again with a focus on addressing social inequalities. In reporting this project, Krishan (2010) recognized the “physical environment” as a variable within the broad scope of neighborhoods and community, proffering examples including urbanization, nonprofit organizations, and transportation resources, thus retaining an anthropocentric lens. However, Krishan (2010, p. 14) notes as a concluding limitation to the conceptual ecological model “Among other things, an aspect not addressed in the

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proposed model but critical to children’s development is that of physical environment, including exposure to toxins and pesticides in a variety of contexts.” This limitation offers a glimpse into a less anthropocentric lens, akin to the health models previously noted, but from our stance much more is feasible. Further, we highlight an early childhood education tertiary text, one of a number citing Bronfenbrenner’s model (1979) as foundational to the publication (Arthur et al., 2015; Bowes et al., 2012; Page & Tayler, 2016). The text by Sims and Hutchins (2012) focuses on program planning for infants and toddlers supporting a holistic approach to embracing the multiplicity of systems and interactions that critically impact on early development. Advocacy for infant and toddler programs to best support their learning and development is applauded; however, these authors only refer to the physical environment for the establishment of appropriate indoor and outdoor playspaces. This is not the global physical environment related to environmental and sustainability crises that we identify as a “blind spot” (Wagner, 1993) for many early childhood education authors. We argue that continued reference to Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) anthropocentric model fails to fully convey the impacts of the physical environment in the Anthropocene (Steffen et al., 2007). For example, Zivin and Shrader (2016) state that higher global temperatures are linked to increasing global rates of childhood disease, plus water and food scarcity with potential to seriously impede early development leading to lifelong consequences. This is not to deny the complexity of human social, economic, and political system factors impacting very young children but to argue for a more inclusive and eco-centrically informed consideration of all local and global factors. In these examples, we note how Bronfenbrenner’s model has contributed to shaping early childhood education as anthropocentric, and its use continues almost without question to create explicitly human-centered approaches when examining children’s learning and development. One exception is McCrea and Littledyke’s (2015) adaptation of Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) model that offers practical guidance for educators seeking to link his model to education for sustainability and the pillars of sustainability with a focus on children’s health and well-being. While this adaptation offers much potential, our intent here is to more deeply theorize our concerns for the early education more broadly, particularly with reference to posthumanist thinking. Overall, the exemplars above give little or no place for more eco-centric and holistic views of human/child interests as shaped both by and with the physical environment. The world has changed since the 1970s, and Bronfenbrenner’s work needs reconceptualizing or disrupting to account for the contemporary challenges of the Anthropocene (Steffen et al., 2007).

Theories Driving Our Reevaluation of Bronfenbrenner’s Models in Early Childhood Education In this section, we discuss five theoretical perspectives that have influenced our critique of Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) model and offer a way forward for addressing the dilemmas that have become evident through this critique. We believe these offer

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new insights into thinking about and enacting early childhood education in light of the sustainability challenges and complexities of lived experiences and relationships in the twenty-first century.

Systems Theory Perspective Systems theory is core to the discussions here, and we recognize the contemporary systems theorists who built interdisciplinary bridges by examining mathematical systems, biological systems, and human social systems. In particular, Bateson (1979), and Maturana and Varela (1987) identified the primacy of relationships over objects in the interweaving of social and ecological systems in a holistic manner. “A system may be defined as a set of elements standing in interrelation among themselves and with the environment” (Von Bertalanffy, 1972, p. 417). A key tenet of systems is that they self-regulate to maintain stability through a constant messaging and responsive recalibration to promote ongoing stability and adaptiveness. If humans and nature are considered as a dualism, as was the case in the 1970s and still is for many, we can posit humans as unable to perceive, respond, and adaptively recalibrate. The resulting disequilibrium now has a name, the Anthropocene (Steffen et al., 2007). The current disequilibrium reflects dynamic systems theory (Thelen & Smith, 1994), which emphasizes the ongoing fluctuations of systems over an extended time frame from simplicity to complexity and back again. Further, the persistence of dualism can be linked to the conceptualization of systems as open or closed proposed by Von Bertalanffy (Weckowicz, 2000). An open system is characterized by ongoing exchanges between internal elements of the system and the environment, whereas closed systems are discrete or removed. Perhaps for too long, humans have perceived their existence within closed “human-centric systems” like Bronfenbrenner’s model (1979), removed from the physical environment and without responsibilities for ongoing reciprocal exchanges. Bateson doubted we could survive as a species if humans persisted in viewing the world in terms of dualisms. He asserted (Bateson, 1979) that mind and nature were one organism and the influential interrelationships between mind and nature promoted stability as in one whole organism akin to Lovelock’s (1979) Gaia hypothesis. Humans are only part of the Earth’s systems and can never control them; hence, the dynamics and reciprocity of interrelationships between humans and nature must be recognized in any theorizing about human development.

Post-humanism As previously noted post-humanist thinking seeks to de-center the human condition and challenge entrenched human-nature dualisms. Post-humanism is not one distinct paradigm with a readily traceable lineage, but “a constellation of different theories,

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approaches, concepts and practices” (Taylor, 2016, p. 6). Links are evident to ecofeminism, queer theory, Indigenous theories, deep ecology, systems theory, new materialism, and eco-centrism. In essence post-humanism invites an exploration of different ontologies about being in the world with a relational and ethical focus to others, both human and more-than-human. In moving beyond dualisms, Latour (2004) proposed “common worlds” as collective and relational spaces with shared agencies. Common worlds are “full of entangled and uneven historical and geographical relations, political tensions, ethical dilemmas and unending possibilities” (Taylor, 2013, p. 62). Bronfenbrenner’s model (1979) does suggest as entanglement of human interrelationships over time, but we echo post-humanist Braidotti (2013) in seeing the “potential to contest the arrogance of anthropocentrism and the exceptionalism of the humans” (p. 66). The implications of post-human theorizing are now being acknowledged in the education field (Taylor & Hughes, 2016). Common world pedagogies aim to avoid children-as-subjects learning about nature-as-object; it is about learning with or becoming worldly with the others in the human and morethan-human collective (Taylor, 2013). Further, Rooney (2016) describes “common worlding” as a pedagogical approach to exploring these messy, shared, and enmeshed worlds with generative potential for thinking differently about ethics and relations. Post-humanist thinking brings a unique ethical lens to how humans perceive themselves in the world with others and challenges the anthropocentric foundations of Bronfenbrenner’s model (1979).

New Materialism Closely aligned with post-humanist thinking, “new materialism” – also sometimes referred to as socio-materialism – is a term applied to a series of theoretical movements across several fields including philosophy, biology, and the human sciences that critiques anthropocentrism and links social and material conditions (social relations, other species, physical context, objects) to human consciousness and learning (McKenzie & Bieler, 2016). Such a critique challenges the long-held idea of human exceptionality over other entities (Weldemariam, 2017). It emphasizes the self-organizing powers of many nonhuman processes, explores dissonant relations between such processes and human/cultural practices, rethinks the sources of ethics beyond the human, and commends the folding of a planetary dimension more overtly and regularly into studies of global, international, and national and state governance (Connelly, 2013). A new materialist perspective, rather than promoting nature/environment as something to be saved, controlled, or mastered, emphasizes the mutually constitutive and entangled relationships between humans within a “common world” (Latour, 2004; Taylor, 2013). Exploration of relations from a new materialism framework does dramatically portray the fragility of “materials” and relationships today. As a theoretical tool, it forces us to problematize anthropocentric thinking and invites us to rethink human relationships with the physical world/environment.

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Critical Theory Critical theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole, in contrast to theories oriented only to understanding or explaining how societies and social structures work or don’t work. Critical theory provides a basis for investigating power relationships, and, as a result, it has a strong focus on the marginalization of some social groups (Freire, 1999 first published 1972; Habermas, 1971). Historically, these groups have included the poor, women, people of color, and gays and lesbians. Critical theories aim to dig beneath the surface of social life and uncover the assumptions that keep us from a full and true understanding of how the world works. Critical theory can be recognized today in many feminist theories and feminist approaches to conducting social science, critical race theory, cultural theory, gender and queer theory, and in media theory and media studies. It has also infiltrated the ways that scholars do research with, for example, critical action research and critical discourse analysis (CDA) being just two approaches derived from applying a critical orientation to research problems. As it relates to environmental and sustainability matters, marginalized groups include children, future generations, as well as nonhuman species (Borkfelt, 2011), places, and even natural elements, such as water, soil, and air. There is a significant body of work that investigates and theorizes, specifically, issues of the environment from a critical theoretical lens, for example, Luke (2003). Critical theory also assists in understanding how education systems have played their part in this marginalization (Stevenson, 2007). In particular, Stevenson (2007) argues that there is a fundamental contradiction in purpose and practice between what schools do, i.e., primarily construct a workforce to build and maintain capitalism perceived by many as the root cause of the problems, and issues confronting the globe; thus, growing inequalities and environmental/climate disruptions are evident. The goals of a critical education are to seek to empower learners to identify the social and cultural issues that lead to such exploitation and to change things for the better. The application of Freirean ideas of emancipation – with a focus on giving voice, engaging in dialogue and transformation – has been embraced by several educationalists (Apple, 1996; Giroux, 1992; McLaren, 1989) and is known as critical pedagogy with application across a broad range of schooling subjects (Haque, 2007). These principles are also deeply embedded in approaches to environmental and sustainability education. In McLaren’s recent work (2015), he has updated his discussions linking environmentalism and critical pedagogy and now uses the term “critical ecopedagogy” that is discussed later in this chapter.

New Sociology of Childhood Lastly, we refer to the new sociology of childhood (Corsaro, 2005) and perceive this theoretical lens as firmly aligned to the empowerment of learners and change for the better as described above. Childhood is most often recognized as a predetermined biological stage, but James et al. (1998) have long-argued childhood is constructed,

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culturally determined, and changes over time. Emerging in the 1980s alongside the UNCRC (1989), new sociology of childhood departed from traditional images of childhood where children were seen as incomplete individuals disconnected from society at large, or as a universal cohort passively enculturated by adults (Corsaro, 2005). New sociology positions children as active contributors to and interpreters of their social worlds; they are social actors in globally diverse social systems with individual accounts and voices to be valued, respected, and responded to by others (James et al., 1998). These accounts largely resonate with Bronfenbrenner’s model (1979), but across the spheres of early childhood education and education for sustainability, such images strongly impact educators’ pedagogical approaches and offer potential for researching with children. Christensen and James (2000) initially promoted a shift toward authentically recognizing young children as research participants and experts about their experiences; and, this approach often underpins early childhood education for sustainability research (Davis & Elliott, 2014). In these contexts, children are perceived as more than participatory individuals across multiple social systems; they are active social change agents with potentially far reaching impacts (Mackey, 2014). In summary, we argue – through the alternative theoretical perspectives introduced above – that continued reliance on Bronfenbrenner’s theory of child development in early childhood education works against ideas embedded in sustainability and education for sustainability (EfS). These include ideas about humans as interrelated with nature and the more-than-human world rather than as separate from; humans as critical thinkers and ethical social beings with collective potential for change rather than as disempowered individuals; and, humans as integral to the dynamics of interactive global systems beyond human life times. Reliance on human-centric systems is both outdated and deeply inadequate in the twenty-first century we postulate and serves to alienate and disempower children in dealing with contemporary lives and challenges as much as it has served to support and nurture their development in positive ways. However, as stated earlier, we consider that Bronfenbrenner’s idea of the chronosystem offers a bridge between human-centric ideas of growth and development and our contemporary concerns with sustainability because of the reference to time, the future, and intergenerational connections.

What Might New Ecological Models of Human Development Look Like? As we have researched for, and authored, this chapter, we have played with several models of our own about how to represent Bronfenbrenner’s ideas within the contemporary milieu of sustainability. In our reconceptualization of new ways of looking at the work of Bronfenbrenner (1979), we have engaged in a playful dialogic of models. Here we share our initial possibilities for (re)presenting his work. We have not come up with a “best” model. Indeed, we have three models – each using Bronfenbrenner’s more recent bioecological model (2001) as a starting point.

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Model 1: Overlay Bronfenbrenner’s Model with UNESCO’s 4 Dimensions

AL IC

MACROSYSTEM

NA TU L RA

PO LIT

Initially struck by the circularity of both the UNESCO (2010) model of sustainability incorporating four dimensions and Bronfenbrenner’s (2001) model, can we simply superimpose one on the other? If so, all dimensions of sustainability are overtly seen to overlay and impact all the hierarchical systems levels of Bronfenbrenner’s social model (2001), adding significant depth and relational complexity. For example, the natural/conservation dimension which comprises “all living things resources and life support systems” (UNESCO, 2010) intersects and can be mapped to the individual, the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem at any point in time and over time as the hierarchical human systems and natural world evolve and change enmeshed together (Fig. 3).

History

EXOSYSTEM Extended Family

SYSTEM MESO CROSYSTEM MI

Laws Peers

INDIVIDUAL CHILD

Economic System

AL CI

Mass Media

Social

IC

Neighborhoods

Parent’s Work Environment

EC ON

Culture

Siblings

OM

Family Service Management

SO

Fig. 3 Model 1: Overlay Bronfenbrenner’s model with UNESCO’s 4 dimensions

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Model 2: Add a Biosystems Level as All Encompassing Around Bronfenbrenner’s Macrosystem Another possibility is to recognize biosystems (physical and nonhuman elements) as an additional hierarchical level for Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model (2001), depicted as an additional outer concentric circle. Hence, biosystems become all encompassing beyond the macrosystem of human-centric policies, values, and cultural beliefs. The outer biosystems level has impacts at all levels in the humancentered hierarchy of systems, and, equally, humans are impacting the biosystems as realized in global climate change. We move beyond broken lines to depict the permeability of the hierarchical systems (McCrea & Littledyke, 2015; Rogoff, 2003) to a shaded model depicting systemic embeddedness. These changes acknowledge that the dynamics of biosystems ultimately determine human development and global sustainability as a whole (Fig. 4).

BIOSYSTEM EARTH’S

MACROSYSTEM

EXOSYSTEM Extended Family

History

OSYSTEM MES

CROSYSTEM MI

Laws

Family

INDIVIDUAL CHILD

Parent’s Work Environment

Peers

Service Management Siblings

Mass Media Culture

Neighborhoods Social Economic System

Fig. 4 Model 2: Add a biosystems level as all-encompassing around Bronfenbrenner’s macrosystem

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Model 3: Add a Biosystems Level Both Centrally and Outside Bronfenbrenner’s Macrosystem There may also be merit in strengthening human interrelationships with biosystems by recognizing biosystems centrally in Bronfenbrenner’s model (2001) as well as beyond the macrosystem as in Model 2. The individual at the center is intimately and daily actively interacting with local biosystems, whether or not humans are aware of this relationship – with capacities to drive agentic change that may ripple outward. This combined model reflects the “act local, think global” maxim of the environmental movement and identifies individuals and the microsystems they inhabit with capacities for action and change across the hierarchies of social systems and complexities of global interrelationships over time (Fig. 5).

BIOSYSTEM EARTH’S

MACROSYSTEM

EXOSYSTEM Extended Family

History

OSYSTEM MES

CROSYSTEM MI

Laws

Family Service Management

INDIVIDUAL CHILD’S LOCAL BIOSYSTEM

Parent’s Work Environment

Peers

Siblings

Mass Media Culture

Neighborhoods Social Economic System

Fig. 5 Model 3: Add a biosystems level both centrally and outside Bronfenbrenner’s macrosystem

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We have no one preferred model or response at this time, but are keen to continue playing with Bronfenbrenner’s model to give it relevance for today in early childhood education.

Some Resolutions to Addressing the Shortcomings of Bronfenbrenner’s Theory in Contemporary Early Childhood Education From our positions as specialists and researchers in early childhood education for sustainability over the past 25 years, we know that there is a small but growing number of educators who have engaged with newer frames of early childhood education with sustainability in mind. In this section, three vignettes contributed by leading educators in early childhood pedagogical practice demonstrate how reimagined Bronfenbrenner (1979, 2001) models that account for a sustainability paradigm might look in practice. Following the vignettes, we offer a tabulated analysis of links between the approaches described in the vignettes and our critiques and theorizing. For the time being, we collectively call such approaches “critical eco-pedagogies for early childhood education,” after the work of McLaren (2015). Vignette 1: Bubup Wilam Aboriginal Child and Family Centre, Victoria Lisa G. Thorpe, Gunditjmara, Gunnai woman CEO and Angie Zerella, Education and Training Manager Bubup Wilam is a self-determined Aboriginal Child and Family Centre catering for the education, health, and well-being needs of Aboriginal children aged 6 months to 6 years and their families. The purpose and the philosophy of the Centre was developed by the local Aboriginal community for Aboriginal people. Underpinned by Aboriginal, social justice and rights-based pedagogies, we aim to support children in collaboration with their families to build strong and proud Aboriginal identities as their foundation for lifelong learning health and well-being. With the inequities in health, well-being, and educational outcomes for Aboriginal people in Australia, Bubup Wilam strives to provide children and their families with the support they need to be self-determining in their own lives enhancing their opportunity to reach their full human potential. This requires a holistic pedagogical approach which is underpinned by an Aboriginal perspective. This is inclusive of children’s spiritual connection to country, connection to kin, and connection to where they are from and who they are. This incorporates ways of the past, present, and future and respects those that have walked this land before them, those that walk with them now, and those that will walk this land in the future. Our connection to country program supports children’s spiritual connection to their world and respects the interdependence between human, animal, and nature.

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It challenges them to critically reflect on their custodianship rights and responsibilities. Our children respect the spirit of the land and are taught not take anything off country as you remove the spirit and disrupt the space. We only use what we need while on country and leave as little damage behind as is possible. The hierarchy of human as dominant is challenged as the life and spirit of all things is acknowledged, and respect and equity for everything in our space is embedded in the way interactions occur within it. Modern-day tools are not used due to the damage they would inflict on whatever they come into contact with. When relationships are formed with land, life is given to the two parties and the interactions are respectful and considerate. Our children learn about all living things that they share their space with, and they research habitats, respect potential dangers, and learn to live respectfully and in unison with all aspects of their world and all who share it with them. They learn to appreciate the complexities of life and their responsibility in keeping their world healthy, well, clean, and nourished. Our children know the country they are from and the extra responsibility they have as traditional owners of that land. This gives them strength and connects them strongly to their identity as young Aboriginal children. They know that when on other people’s country, they have responsibility to respect their country to look after it and ensure it is cared for. For our children, we are on Wurundjeri country and we acknowledge this every day. This naturally ensures a world for sustainability is embraced; this is through a relationship of historical connections, respect, and equity. The challenge for our center in embracing this pedagogy is the cost of taking our children out on country in local bushlands, but this is far outweighed by the outcomes for our children and their families. Many of our families participate in the program which brings a richness of knowledge that is shared with the children. Being on country enables our children to connect to nature in a much richer way than in the yard at our service as they have a much deeper respect for the way they interact with their world and are activists for social change in sustainability as there is so much to protect. Connecting with country so richly has changed the way both children and educators interact with country back at our service where we extend on the richness of learning provided to us. Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model focuses on the impact of human connections and relationships on the lives of children. This is also inclusive of the political context and the time, era, and place that the child grows up. However, it silences the importance of the natural world and the impact this has on children’s lives. For our children this is central to their healthy life outcomes and to their identity. Family connections and ancestry is vital in developing strong identities, but this is never in isolation to knowing the land one is from and the stories of that land over time. Protecting land through an Aboriginal lens is central to health and well-being. A true ecological systems theory cannot silence the importance of this (Fig. 6).

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Fig. 6 Bubup Wilam Aboriginal Child and Family Centre, Victoria

Vignette 2: Bunyaville Environmental Education Centre, Queensland Noeleen Rowntree, Principal Bunyaville Environmental Education Centre (EEC) sits in the middle of the forest. To enter this forest, you rumble along a dirt road with car wheels crunching on gravel. As you step out from your vehicle onto the earth, you are surrounded and immediately dwarfed by very tall gum trees. The many bird sounds chatter around you. You have arrived in the “classroom” of the Bunyaville EEC – the forest and the bush. Bunyaville EEC is a Department of Education and Training of Queensland facility. Bunyaville EEC accommodates all ages from birth to adult, formal school years P-Year 12, kindergarten, and early childhood from birth to 5 years. At Bunyaville EEC we value a world where people care for themselves, others, and place (connecting to country), taking learning outside through experiencing, connecting, and enabling everybody to be part of sustainable futures. For us, it is about learning naturally and relationships matter, both to others and the Earth (country). Bunyaville as a place is very important, and it is the place that shapes our pedagogy across all age groups. As all of us from birth onward live more and more urban lives, connection and/or reconnection to natural places needs to be scaffolded. Across the years perceived fears of the bush have shaped our program design particularly in the early years. Most children are with us for the whole day with children from birth to 5 years spending 2 h with us outside. Whatever the age, it is important for the experience to be positive and joyous. For our visitors, time becomes irrelevant once we have entered the forest. Time doesn’t seem to matter as we explore, play, discover, learn, tell stories, feel, smell, and touch the natural world with each person immersed totally in the moment of being in the natural

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world. It is this total immersion that suspends time. We believe this full immersion provides the experiences and helps connect individuals to the natural world. What does it look like when place is at the center of your pedagogy? Purposeful program design and teacher pedagogy scaffold the learning for everyone. The learner, no matter what their age, is placed at the center of the learning seen as a component and capable problem-solver. Purposeful program design moves the learner from the familiar into the less familiar forest experience. Every learner spends time in the forest. So, if I am 2, 3, or 4 years of age, I arrive to see some familiar things that I can do. Maybe there is a cardboard box, storybooks, wooden blocks, paint brushes, and water that I can use immediately. This invites young children to engage in readily recognizable opportunities for play. Remembering that this may be my first time as a child to have been in a forest, the familiar provides an easy place to start. Meanwhile, the forest sits and waits, going nowhere while I play with the familiar. Ever present the forest waits, and in a very short time we all eagerly transition seamlessly into the forest. When in the forest, it is the many different places that drive the learning. Every place in the forest provides different opportunities. The natural materials, the special animal homes, the fallen log, and giant tree become the places for learning. Being attentive to the many parts, developing stories, adopting an inquiry approach, being in naive fellow, or empowering children to look, touch, feel, and see and encouraging children to ask questions, by answering with a question such as “I wonder . . .,” can deepen the engagement, the experience, and ultimately, the connection. Knowledge of the place matters here also. This is knowledge of what works best in what part of the forest. For example, knowledge of where to sit children comfortably to tell a story, where to invite children to explore freely, and how to set boundaries with children when there are no walls. Knowledge of where conversations are best had and where might the wallaby sleep on a hot day? Where will we need extra equipment to add to the captured moment? How to help children to see the micro in the vastness of the forest? Also, knowing the coolest route to walk after a hot morning. The teacher needs to understand and to have experienced the place. The place drives what you do. As the teacher, the place speaks to you about the relevant pedagogy as you flow through the natural area. It is when you are outside in the forest that humans begin to see that they are part of the whole, and not the whole itself. From being in the forest human-nature interconnections develop and deepen. The teacher extends the learning by being in, doing, resting, reflecting, and questioning. Children may arrive wondering what “monsters lurk in the corners of the ponds” and depart telling you that they want to stay forever as they want to be a plant to help the forest. In a very short space of time, fears about the forest melt. Children understand the interconnections of the natural world, understand ecological issues, understand the environmental issues and problems and, most importantly, understand their role and how they can make a difference. It is not a case of waiting until I am grown up to do something. It is about right now; and, this is what I can do.

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Fig. 7 Bunyaville Environmental Education Centre, Queensland

This approach works; however, the biggest challenges are adult perceptions about learning outside. Many adults perceive no learning happens outside of four walls, and in the formal school years, teachers can be told to stay inside to learn. In the before school years, adults and caregivers may feel afraid of being outside, and it is the adult fears that become the barriers. When teaching a pedagogy of place, the teacher trusts the learner as being competent and capable. The teacher is a co-learner and model with each child. If the teacher is content focused only, the human-nature interconnections is diminished as naming and labeling moves learning into the head and away from the heart and hands – the experience and connection. The program design and pedagogy slows time for the learner. Two hours is but a moment (Fig. 7). Vignette 3: Quirindi Preschool Kindergarten, New South Wales Director Alison Thompson Quirindi Preschool Kindergarten is a rural community-based not-for-profit preschool with a commitment to EfS, community connections, arts in nature, and bush programs. Our learning framework values play-based learning, sensory integration, and learning-style groups organized around how each child learns. When considering these groups, educators observe children at play and reflect on how much space each child needs and how actively engaged they need to be to learn. Each educator’s intentional teaching practices scaffold children’s learning to promote an inclusive learning environment where each child’s play skills and communication are extended. Our pedagogy includes a commitment to indoor/outdoor learning where

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the spaces invite the groups to move through the preschool environment designed to absorb the activity of the children. Our preschool has also made a commitment to being active within the community to make the children’s learning visible with the aim of strengthening community connections. Together educators, children, and their families are developing a growing awareness of our community, the community in which we live, and seeing our community landscape as being our broader family. Our definition of community landscape is what makes up our community the bush, the urban, and the social; collectively this is our natural environment. Thus, we are exploring the notion that a natural environment is not only related to our bushland program but makes up our community, for example, farming, transport, employment, buildings, bushland, community groups, businesses, and government initiatives at a local, state, and federal level. Also, using different art forms, for example, ephemeral nature-based art incorporating all our sensors, promotes children’s sharing of their stories while looking beyond the surface of the community landscape. Our “Collaborations with Children” 2015 and 2016 project with artist Shona Wilson was successful in holistically promoting children’s senses and stronger dispositions for learning, critical thinking, while also building the foundations for environmentally engaged adults. Our service philosophy is our recipe. A traditional recipe offers a strong foundation of ingredients and methods but also strength for change. Our recipe ingredients are educators who value children’s ability to play plus their wonder and curiosity, take time to listen and value children’s perspectives, and also value families’ traditions and community connections. Blended together, these are the basis for challenging and promoting educational change. Further, collaboration between educators, children, and families promotes educators’ strengths to step outside our space and to view the world beyond what we see on top but to look beneath and above. The aim is to view our learning community and our broader local community as all part of a community ecosystem, and each one of these parts is interconnected. Our small community is also part of a larger global community. If you take away one part of the many parts of the world that interconnect, there is a chance it will perish. We need to explore, imagine, reflect, and evaluate with separate views, but if EfS is to be strong, we need to bring these views together to merge as a community of thinkers striving for the connections between EfS and larger social change. We draw on pedagogical sources (Carter & Curtis, 2008; Edwards, Gandini, & Forman, 1998) that promote connectedness to community and a belief that educators are in a strong position to foster relationships with children, families, and people of our community, urban, commercial, and natural worlds. Educators are in a strong position through positive engagement and listening to children. They are able to understand individual children and feel empowered to challenge children and themselves with provocations. Provoking conversations encourages shared thoughts, questioning, and interests that can strengthen our thinking, creativity, and ideas, so that together we strive to see the interconnections between education and larger social change. Teaching intentionally from observing and actively being with

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Fig. 8 Quirindi Preschool Kindergarten, NSW

children and collaboratively with community, thus, give our teaching energy to learn together and to want to learn more. To critically engage with children around EfS, educators need to use their imagination, act with ethical ingredients and challenge themselves to step outside their spaces, just as we ask the children to challenge and extend their thinking. First and foremost, we are a community preschool which is strongly reflected in our philosophy and practices and links our preschool to the Bronfenbrenner model. The community system connections flow through our work and support children to understand what makes up their unique community landscape. Our educational team is learning that EfS is a growing journey for children, families, and educators. Services whose early childhood settings are situated in the city, on top of buildings, or in metropolitan areas have to create their own journeys in EfS. Our educational team feel strongly that if you value community and explore and document your community, you will find there are many possibilities to share the exciting, challenging, and risk taking journey of “EfS” (Fig. 8).

Our Analysis Linking Practice to Our Reconceptualized Bronfenbrenner Model In Table 1, we offer our analysis of these three vignettes of contemporary early childhood educational practice using the theoretical frames outlined earlier that take us beyond the anthropocentrism inherent in Bronfenbrenner’s models (1979, 2001) of human development.

Contexts and relationships

Critique Language

Examining what defines ethical relationships with the human and morethan-human world with children through pedagogical practices for sustainability Inviting immersion in natural contexts to facilitate relationships

Ethical relationships

Positioning children as skilled and knowledgeable social learning participants

Practice implications Interrogating language and making meanings with children

Encompass more-than-human relationships

Children recognized as active social participants and their perceptions valued

New sociology of childhood

Post-humanism New materialism

Key ideas Contextualizing language and the dynamics of changing meanings

Theory Critical theory as linked to critical discourse analysis

Table 1 Linking critiques with theories and critical ecopedagogies for early childhood education Vignette examples QP – our definition of community landscape is what makes up our community the bush, the urban, and the social; collectively this is our natural environment QP – educators who value children’s ability to play plus their wonder and curiosity, take time to listen, and value children’s perspectives BEEC – the learner, no matter what their age, is placed at the center of the learning seen as a competent and capable problem-solver BW – when relationships are formed with land, life is given to the two parties, and the interactions are respectful and considerate BEEC – relationships matter, both to others and the Earth (country) QP – educators are in a strong position to foster relationships with children, families, and people of our community, urban, commercial, and natural worlds BEEC – we believe this full immersion provides the experiences and helps connect individuals to the natural world

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Time dimensions

Systems

Post-humanism Dynamic systems theory

New materialism

Post-humanism

Systems theory

More-than-human life histories, global time frames Dynamics of change over time

Systems as open and not closed or human-centric only

Systems as comprising human and nonhuman entities and interrelationships

Systems as interactional at all levels and not entity focused

Acknowledging both human and nonhuman change over time

Discussing equity issues now and for future generations both human and nonhuman

Recognizing the reciprocity and responsiveness of interrelationships as integral to the functioning of open systems

Acknowledging and/or mapping all relationships with children

(continued)

BW – children’s spiritual connection to country, connection to kin, and connection to where they are from and who they are BW – respects the interdependence between human, animal, and nature BEEC – it is when you are outside in the forest that humans begin to see that they are part of the whole, and not the whole itself QP – the aim is to view our learning community and our broader local community as all part of a community ecosystem, and each one of these parts is interconnected. Our small community is also part of a larger global community BW – this incorporates ways of the past, present, and future and respects those that have walked this land before them, those that walk with them now, and those that will walk this land in the future BW – family connections and ancestry is vital in developing strong identities, but this is never in isolation to knowing the land one is from and the stories of that land over time BEEC – meanwhile the forest sits and waits, going nowhere

Challenging Taken-for-Granted Ideas in Early Childhood Education: A Critique. . . 29

Critique The individual

Theory Systems theory

Table 1 (continued)

Key ideas Systems are collective with impacts from one entity influencing all parts of the system

Practice implications Contextualizing with children about the impacts each individual sustainability action has for collective well-being of others both human and nonhuman Developing skills for sharing perspectives and working collectively in and with the community for change

Vignette examples QP – together educators, children, and their families are developing a growing awareness of our community, the community in which we live, and seeing our community landscape as being our broader family QP – collaboration between educators, children, and families promotes educators’ strengths to step outside our space QP – we need to explore, imagine, reflect, and evaluate with separate views, but if EfS is to be strong, we need to bring these views together to merge as a community of thinkers striving for the connections between EfS and larger social change QP – together striving to see the interconnections between education and larger social change

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New sociology of childhood

Critical theory

Children as empowered and global change agents through active social participation

BW bubup wilam, BEEC bunyaville EEC, QP quirindi preschool

Children’s agency

Inviting and promoting children’s active participation in social change

Recognizing and listening to children’s voices

Practicing advocacy and action for sustainability with children in relation to meaningful issues Questioning sustainable practice norms, ethics, and interrogating dilemmas and conflicts

BW – critically reflect on their custodianship rights and responsibilities BW – they know that when on other people’s country, they have responsibility to respect their country to look after it and ensure it is cared for BW – activists for social change in sustainability as there is so much to protect BEEC – encouraging children to ask questions but by answering with a question such as an “I wonder . . .” can deepen the engagement, the experience, and, ultimately, the connection BEEC – children understand the interconnections of the natural world, understand ecological issues, understand the environmental issues and problems and most importantly, and understand their role and how they can make a difference QP – to critically engage with children around EfS, educators need to use their imagination, to act with ethical ingredients and challenge themselves to step outside their spaces. Just as we ask the children to also challenge and extend their thinking

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Conclusion: Rethinking the Theoretical Tenets in Early Childhood Education Peter McLaren, one of the architects of critical theory and critical pedagogy, argued persuasively in 2015 about the need for a dramatic shift in how we think about education and has called for a new emphasis and shift from pedagogy to ecopedagogy (p. 307). He commented that, while progressive education’s emphasis on identity politics as a solution to creating a more vibrant, inclusive, and critical public sphere has met with some success, “issues of environmental sustainability [have] maintained but a lifeless presence, including within critical pedagogy” (McLaren, 2015, p. 308). He suggests that now is the time – emboldened by the activities of various global social movements and motivated by deepening planetary crises – when critical ecopedagogies have “arrived” and can offer powerful arguments for how to respond to the Anthropocene crisis. Further, he argues for a “revolutionary critical ecopedagogy” as a reconfiguring force. Drawing on its Marxian roots, this has the potential to re-center on essentials, suggesting a reining in of unsustainable, exploitative practices with a shift away from materialism to the expression of natural and acquired talents and the promise of improved ecological stewardship. Further, McLaren (2015, p. 316) reemphasizes the necessity for linking ecopedagogy with praxis, but not any kind of praxis. Drawing on the liberatory tenets of Freire, this should be praxis that is philosophically founded in ethics and recognizes the languages and discourses of the oppressed and marginalized. He recognizes that ecopedagogy must join up with existing decolonizing struggles of all kinds as natural allies in the battles against unsustainable world capitalism. Drawing on McLaren’s views, we argue that a radical ecopedagogy must inform, and reshape, early childhood education as much as education generally. Moss and Petrie (2002, p. 136) would agree; pedagogy cannot be neutral; it is “a political and ethical minefield in which choices are to be made.” One way to move to a transformative pedagogical stance is to continue shifting the theoretical underpinnings of early childhood education – of which Bronfenbrenner himself was once a revolutionary pioneer – toward critical ecopedagogies for early childhood education. We further argue that the vignettes presented in this chapter offer ways that such critical ecopedagogies might be enacted. As Mackenzie and Bieler (2016) emphasize, operationalizing critical education approaches must go “beyond critique and deconstruction to encompass the production and practice of alternatives” (p. 6). In this chapter, we have presented arguments for rethinking the theories and models of Bronfenbrenner (1979, 1999, 2001), who for the last 40 years or so has been a key figure in directing how the early childhood education field thinks about children’s development and well-being and how this is enacted in practice. We have offered critiques based on the changing times and pressing issues of the twenty-first century with particular reference to sustainability in the Anthropocene. We have proposed new ways of representing/updating Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) work and have presented vignettes where educators are exploring ecopedagogical approaches that go beyond the anthropocentrism of Bronfenbrenner’s theorizing (1979). We do

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not pretend to be putting forward a replacement of Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) theories/ models, though in the future there may well be models that have not yet been thought of and that better fit contemporary circumstances. What we hope to do, though, is instigate a conversation about Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) work and its dominance within early childhood education. Therefore, we invite others to critique his theories and models, and our ideas as presented in this chapter, and to propose new and/or better ways of reconstructing early childhood education, childhood, environment, and childhoodnature, for a flourishing twenty-first century.

Cross-Reference ▶ Childhoodnature the Anthropocene and Crisis of Sustainability ▶ Children and the Future of Sustainability ▶ Children in the Anthropocene: How They Are Implicated ▶ Towards a Pedagogy for Nature-based Play in Early Childhood Educational Settings

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Challenging the Anthropocentric Approach of Science Curricula: Ecological Systems Approaches to Enabling the Convergence of Sustainability, Science, and STEM Education Marianne Logan

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Socioecological Systems Approach and Posthumanism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Systems Thinking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . STEM Education and Economic Growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Relationship of Science Education, Environmental Education, and Sustainability Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Curricula Incorporating Sustainability: The Australian Example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ecological Literacy/Ecoliteracy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Strategies for Incorporating Ecological Systems Thinking in Science Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Learning About Ecological Systems in Science Education: The Big Scrub Rainforest Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Implementation of the Big Scrub Rainforest Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cross-References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2 3 5 8 10 12 14 15 19 20 21 24 25 25

Abstract

As we enter the Anthropocene, it is apparent that Earth has been severely impacted by human activities and the very systems that sustain life are challenged (Crutzen, 2002; Zalasiewicz et al., 2010). There is a call for increased awareness and action relating to degraded ecological systems particularly in the approach to the education of children and young people. Science curricula often promote anthropocentric/technocentric attitudes toward the environment. In fact STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in minority M. Logan (*) Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia e-mail: [email protected] # Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018 A. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, Springer International Handbooks of Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51949-4_99-1

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countries such as Australia and the United States is seen to be driven by neoliberal values where government economic agendas cultivate individualistic and competitive behaviors (Carter, 2016, p 33). With this neoliberal “technical growthist” perspective predominating in science and STEM education (Smith & Watson, 2016, p 5), how can deep respect and understanding of the Earth’s systems be fostered within education? There have been calls for decades to shift thinking in science education from looking at components of the Earth’s environment separately, such as looking at humans as being apart from nature, to, instead, looking at the components “within the context of the whole” (Capra, 2007). The systems concept can be difficult to grasp, but the emphasis is always on the “wholeness” and the “harmonious integration of the various components” (Orr, 2014). In an ecological systems approach, humans are just one of numerous, interdependent, and diverse life-forms in an ecological system, and there is no separation of childhood and nature, as they are one. Such an alternative view has an impact on how science education is manifested. This chapter challenges an anthropocentric (or technocentric) approach to science curricula. Research into approaches in science and STEM education that are ecologically sustainable and holistic in nature and incorporate relevant socio-scientific issues is explored. A science education that offers young peoples’ knowledge, values, and firsthand experiences of ecological systems in their everyday lives and the incorporation of intercultural approaches to science education are promoted. Ecoliteracy, ecological literacy, and ecological thinking are examined in a science education context. Elements of the more recent posthumanist theoretical approach underpin this chapter which takes an ecological systems approach in contrast to Bronfenbrenner’s socioecological theory. Keywords

Ecological systems · Ecoliteracy · Childhoodnature · Science · Young people

Introduction It is now evident that we have entered the Anthropocene, an era where humans have severely impacted the Earth, and as a consequence the very systems that sustain life are challenged (Crutzen, 2002; Zalasiewicz, Williams, Steffen, & Crutzen, 2010). In 1992 David Orr warned that “we have a decade or two in which we must make unprecedented changes in the way we relate to each other and to nature” (p. 3) to ensure life as we know it exists into the next century. As we now progress through the twenty-first century, there is clear evidence of the climate changing such as 2016 being the hottest year on record (Steffen, Hughes, Alexander, & Rice, 2017), marine temperatures rising leading to coral bleaching; sea levels rising, recent extreme flooding events, and intense forest fires (Steffen et al., 2017). However, despite these clear signs of a changing climate, many politicians and others are questioning the reality of human-induced climate change while they continue to view the Earth as

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a resource to be consumed. This way of thinking fails to see the interrelationship of human actions and the Earth’s ability to sustain life (Capra & Luisi, 2014); the very realization that we depend on all other living things is lost (Lovelock, 2000). It is becoming more apparent that people need to understand how the Earth’s systems maintain themselves and how human actions impact these systems. Unfortunately, science and technology have been, and continue to be, central to the human quest to conquer nature (Orr, 1992); however, science and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education have the potential to introduce a change in thinking toward an ecological systems approach. Scholars have long argued that in order to move toward environmental literacy, particularly an understanding of human impact on the Earth’s systems, young people need to understand the scientific concepts that underpin the Earth’s natural processes. Ecological systems thinking can assist young people to move toward a more sophisticated understanding of the Earth’s natural processes particularly in real-world contexts (Assaraf & Orion, 2005; Sterling, 2003). With an emphasis on an ecological systems approach in science and STEM education, practices such as water conservation, energy efficiency, and sustainable waste management can be introduced in a holistic context rather than in isolation. An example of a holistic approach is where young people learn about the Earth as a dynamic system with natural cycles where water use and pollution impact waterways and groundwater (Assaraf & Orion, 2005; Batzri, Assaraf, Cohen, & Orion, 2015) and greenhouse gas emissions impact ecological systems. This chapter challenges the anthropocentric approach to science education, where humans are perceived to be separate from other living things and where environmental conservation practices are for the benefit of humans. Instead a more holistic ecological systems approach to science education is promoted within a posthumanist lens framework. Traditional socioecological systems theory fails to promote holistic systems thinking relating to the interrelationship of humans and nonhuman other. The socioecological systems and the posthumanist theoretical underpinnings of this chapter are elaborated on further in the following section.

Socioecological Systems Approach and Posthumanism Urie Bronfenbrenner’s socioecological systems theory, first developed in 1979, dominates systems thinking applied to human systems and has been foundational in education, particularly early childhood education. Bronfenbrenner’s model includes four, and subsequently five, nested interconnected systems relating to external influences on the growth and development of the child over a lifetime (1994). The innermost system of the model is the microsystem which includes the child’s immediate relationships, such as family, friends, and school systems. The meso- and exosystems surrounding the microsystem include factors that might influence a child such as the relationships between the school and the family or relationship between family members and their workplace. The child may or may not enter these

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systems, but these systems may impact the development of the child. The outer system is the macrosystem, which includes cultural or policy factors that influence the development of the child (Bronfenbrenner, 1974). Later Bronfenbrenner introduced the chronosystem which relates to changes in the person’s life or social environment, including changes in family structure or marked changes in society that might influence the person’s development (Bronfenbrenner, 1994). Bronfenbrenner’s socioecological systems theory however is not true ecological systems thinking, as it is human centered and in fact almost silences the essential connection of the child with natural ecological systems. This chapter takes an ecological systems approach which differs from socioecological theory, as the ecological systems approach taken here is underpinned by a posthumanist lens. It is important to move away from the human as central in our world in order to fully understand an ecological systems approach. The posthumanist approach decenters humans as being “the measure of all things” and shifts thinking to humans as just one organism in relation to all other organisms and other elements, therefore reversing the traditional view of being human (Braidotti, 2013, p. 1). Malone (2018), taking a posthuman/new materialist approach, describes the relationship between the human and more than human world as “existing in an ecological collective of messy entanglement” (p. 19). This describes a world where humans, other organisms, rocks, air, and water interrelate. It does not make sense to consider young people as somehow being separated or disconnected from nature as young people are part of nature. We cannot separate ourselves from the air that we breathe. In fact, the human body itself is populated by a multitude of organisms that are essential to living a healthy life, such as bacteria and other microorganisms, and these organisms are part of who we are (Malone, 2018). The wastes and contaminants that are the products of industry and the human lifestyle, such as plastics, heavy metals, and radioactive waste, become part of nature, and that means they enter the human body as we are nature. The human body is part of and entangled with systems and networks of a multitude of natural organisms and elements, and when we pollute nature we pollute ourselves (Malone, 2018). To be aware of our place in nature is central to the concept of childhoodnature, where young people gain understanding of how and why humans are an integral part of nature, as are all other living and nonliving elements in the Earth’s systems. In education it is important to embrace this holistic systems approach toward nature where there is no separation between humans and other (Capra & Luisi, 2014). This holistic approach is in contrast with the anthropocentric view that predominates much of traditional science education, a view where humans are separated from the untamed, wild, natural world (Rodriguez, 2016) and the dimensions of the world are compartmentalized into biological, chemical, physical, and geological components (Gough, 2011). This traditional view attempts to separate young people from nature, but that is not the reality as children are part of nature. The following section elaborates on the holistic nature of ecological systems that promotes the interconnection of biological and physical systems and highlights the key ideas behind ecological systems thinking that frame this chapter. This section

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explores systems thinking generally, with an outline of the Gaia theory of the Earth as a dynamic system and consideration of the terms “ecology” and “ecosystems.”

Systems Thinking The term “system” is broad and can relate to natural systems, social systems, or technological systems (Assaraf & Orion, 2005). Systems thinking is not new and emerged in Europe in the 1920s, in a number of fields, but largely in the area of biological sciences (Capra & Luisi, 2014). Systems thinking more recently is commonly used in relation to organizational change, particularly in business (Sterling, 2003). Systems thinking is a way of looking at the unified whole rather than its parts in isolation. Sterling (2003) states that systems thinking is: Relational rather than non-relational; systemic and connective rather than linear and fragmentary; concerned more with process rather than substance, with complex dynamics rather than limited cause-effect, with pattern rather than detail, with wholes rather than parts. (p. 102)

Therefore “relationships, connectedness, and context” are at the forefront of systems thinking (Capra, 2007, p. 12). Assaraf and Orion (2005) describe a system as a unit that continues to exist and operate as a whole through the interrelationship of its elements. Each element needs to have a particular role, and all elements need to be present so that the system can carry out its function. Capra’s (2007) description illustrates the complexity of living systems: When we walk out into nature, living systems are what we see. First, every living organism, from the smallest bacterium to all the varieties of plants and animals (including humans), is a living system. Next, the parts of living systems are themselves living systems. A leaf is a living system. Every cell in our bodies is a living system. Finally, communities of organisms, including both ecosystems and human social systems such as families, schools, and other human communities, are living systems. (Capra, 2007, p. 11)

To think in terms of systems means understanding and interpreting these complex systems (Evagorou, Korfiatis, Nicolaou, & Constantinou, 2009, p. 655). Systems theorists emphasize that in systems thinking “the whole is more than the sum of its parts” (Capra & Luisi, 2014, p. 64) as the properties that define the system as a whole are different to the properties of the individual elements in the system (Assaraf & Orion, 2005). Therefore if systems are pulled apart and analyzed separately, some of these properties are destroyed (Capra & Luisi, 2014). By reducing a system to its parts in isolation gives an incomplete and sometimes inaccurate picture. Thus systems thinking requires “contextual thinking” within the context “of the larger whole” and is the opposite of “analytical thinking,” where something is pulled apart in order to understand it (Capra & Luisi, p. 66). An example of the importance of

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interactions and/or processes as essential elements of systems is feedback processes. Feedback loops occur in systems, where each element impacts on the next and eventually the last element feeds back to the first. With such feedback loops, the whole system is regulated and the first element in the system, “input,” is impacted by the last element in the system, “output” (Capra & Luisi, p. 89). Norbert Wiener in 1932, alluding to the theory of “cybernetics,” describes how in a natural system the feedback is part of “homeostasis” that enables the system to regulate itself and maintain a balance (as cited in Capra & Luisi, p. 91). Without systems thinking such important processes may be ignored in deconstructive, component-based approaches. Some examples of feedback loops occur in Australian sclerophyll forests after fire disturbance (Sclerophyll: refers to trees and shrubs with hard, stiff (sclerophyllous) leaves. Sclerophyll forests are prevalent in Australia with dominant species such as Eucalyptus, Acacia, and Casuarina (Harden, McDonald, & Williams, 2006).). Many Australian Eucalyptus trees have dormant epicormic buds that are protected from the fire under the bark, but with the heat of the fire disturbance, they are stimulated to grow. This fire-regulated system promotes the growth of leaves and branches and enables the trees to survive and regrow after fires. The Australian sclerophyllous communities also have other regulation mechanisms for fire disturbances such as the woody seed pods of some Eucalyptus and Banksia species that open and release seeds following the heat of a fire. The release of seeds and the heat and/or smoke of the fire often results in the prolific germination of seedlings that grow up to restore the forest system. Fires are an integral part of much of the sclerophyllous Australian landscape and play an important role in the regulation of the system to keep it healthy and in balance. However rising temperatures associated with climate change are resulting in changes to the frequency and intensity of fires, so these sclerophyllous ecological systems are challenged and threatened (Steffen et al., 2017). If the fires are too intense or more frequent than the plants’ regrowth feedback system can cope with, the trees do not survive, and this impacts the whole ecological system that is based on the resources and habitat the trees provide. It is important to look further at the terms, “ecology” and “ecosystem,” as these terms underpin the ecological systems thinking behind this chapter. Ecology was coined by Ernst Haeckel in the nineteenth century, and he defined the term as “the science of relationships between the organism and the surrounding outer world” (Haeckel, 1866 as cited in Capra & Luisi, 2014, p. 66). The term “ecosystem” was created by A. G. Tansley (1871–1955) and was originally positioned in relation to animals and plants. However, the more recent interpretation of ecosystem is “a community of organisms and their physical environment interacting as an ecological unit” which has shaped recent ecological thinking and promotes an ecological systems approach (Capra & Luisi, 2014, p. 67). The Gaia theory of the Earth, proposed by James Lovelock in the 1960s, built on the ecology concept to encompass the whole Earth as a dynamic, self-regulating system, and originally the emphasis of this theory was on living organisms. Lovelock revised the Gaia theory and moved away from the emphasis on the living organisms alone, to emphasize the interrelationship between the living and the nonliving. In this model the entire surface of the Earth, the living biosphere, is a “self-regulating entity,” and this

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includes the oceans, rocks, and air (Lovelock, 2000, p. 76). Lovelock’s revised definition of Gaia is: A complex entity involving the Earth’s biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil; the totality constituting a feedback or cybernetic system which seeks an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet. The maintenance of relatively constant conditions by active control may be conveniently described by the term ‘homoeostasis.’ (Lovelock, 2000, p. 424)

Within this dynamic Earth system are networks of systems interacting with other systems. A wetland ecosystem could illustrate this interconnection. The interaction of geological, atmospheric, biological, and hydrological systems, on a micro (local), meso (regional), and macro (continental) level, over time resulted in the formation of the wetland system. These interactions of systems continue to maintain the wetland system. Each organism in the wetland ecosystem is itself a system composed of subsystems. The network of interacting organisms within the ecosystem, such as plants, animals, and other microorganisms, is interdependent for food, oxygen, and habitat. The waste from one organism in the ecosystem is food for another (Capra, 2007). Any disturbance in one component of the system, such as prolonged drought or diversion of water for farming purposes, might cause a chain reaction within the wetland system and interrelating systems. It is important for young people to explore the interconnection of micro-, meso-, and macro-systems relating to the transfer of energy and matter between the systems rather than looking at microsystems in isolation (Assaraf & Orion, 2005). In this chapter the term the “Earth’s systems” refers to the Earth’s ecological systems encompassing macro-, meso-, and microsystems. Sterling (2003) argues that systems thinking requires a “change of consciousness. . .to some degree” (p. 103), and in some parts of society in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, moves toward more ecological systems thinking were taken up (Sterling, 2003). The Gaian principles of the Earth as a selfregulating system are behind “Earth system science or geophysiology” (Lovelock, 2000, p. 146). However, despite ecology being part of the curriculum in many countries, the paradigm predominantly in school science teaching and learning appears to be “analytical thinking,” where science is segregated into separate disciplines which are analyzed in isolation (Jacobson & Wilensky, 2006; Gough, 2011). In this compartmentalized model of science education, it is assumed that young people make connections and understand the interrelationships between the different components, such as the connection between geology and living organisms, but often they fail to see the connection (Evagorou et al., 2009). Mathematics, technology, and engineering skills fit well within a systems approach. By integrating the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics within STEM education, science curricula could break out of the traditional compartmentalized model of science education. However, there are concerns from environmental educators relating to the drivers of STEM and how this impacts STEM education as discussed below.

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STEM Education and Economic Growth The acronym STEM has been used since the 1980s and originated within the American National Science Foundation (NSF) in the 1990s (Bybee, 2010, p. 30) although some anecdotal evidence suggests that the term was coined earlier in the 1980s (Carter, 2016). The term is predominantly used with a mathematics and science focus, and the technology and engineering aspects are often downplayed in education (Bybee, 2010). STEM education is being widely promoted internationally, and the value that is placed on STEM is echoed by the Australian Chief scientist, Alan Finkel: “Our best future is a future that builds on technology, innovation, ideas and imagination. It is a future with STEM. And it is a future that is ours to build” (Office of Chief Scientist [OCS], 2016, p. iii). Some STEM programs have a strong sustainability and childhoodnature focus, where young people are encouraged to explore natural elements that drive ecological systems and how human actions impact the Earth’s systems. For example, the STELR (Science and Technology Education Leveraging Relevance) project in Australia provides high-quality resources for young people in secondary school to investigate the impact of fossil fuels on the Earth’s systems and explore energy transformation using alternative energy sources (Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering [ATSE], 2016). However, these environmental and sustainability issues do not necessarily gain sufficient attention within the STEM agenda, despite claims such as the following from Australia’s Office of Chief Scientist in the position paper of 2013 (OCS, 2013, cited in Smith & Watson, 2016): Australia’s STEM is respected for its contribution to international solutions to global challenges, especially in systems science where, for example, oceans, atmosphere, space and epidemiology are global responsibilities. (p. 23)

Instead economic prosperity is seen as central to STEM education, particularly by governments, and this is evident from a quote in an Australian report from the Office of the Chief Scientist: “the importance of STEM skills to the prosperity of economies is not only recognised by governments, but also by employers” (OCS, 2016, p. 4). The economic priority of STEM is also reflected in Coble and Allen’s 2015 report looking at the US global competitiveness and the role of education: Improving mathematics and science education in the United States belongs near the top of the policymaking agenda. America’s role as a leader in the world’s economy and its capacity to produce wealth and quality jobs for its future citizens depend directly on the ability of our education system to produce students who can compete in the math- and science- dominated industries of the future. (cited in Carter, 2016, p. 35)

The economic growth and prosperity focus of STEM is seen by environmental educators as problematic, as it is recognized that rapid economic growth along with increased carbon emissions is impacting climate and degrading natural ecosystems (Thiele, 2016). Just looking at consumption alone, the goods that are consumed, predominantly in minority countries, have components requiring resources

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extracted from often fragile ecosystems across the world. These components require energy for processing and transportation involving numerous countries, and the discarded waste that is produced in these processes impacts ecosystems far into the future (Thiele, 2016). Building on the idea of Volkmar Lauber, Orr (1992) states “growth makes the wealthy more so, but it also gives substantial power to government and corporate elites who manage the economy, its technology, and all of its side effects” (p. 86). Orr (1992) sees economic growth as having a fundamentally flawed ideology where “the faster a growing volume of materials flows from mines, wells, forests farms, and oceans through the economic pipeline into dumps and sinks the better” (p. 11). It is the emphasis on economic growth as central to STEM education with sustainability or reference to the Earth’s systems being scarcely mentioned or tokenistic that has led to wide criticism of STEM education from environmental educators (Smith & Watson, 2016). Economic systems are framed by capitalism and open markets. Thiele (2016) highlights the main factors that have led to the substantial economic growth in the postindustrial years as: • Exploitation of resources (including human resources) • Cheap energy sources (coal, oil, and gas being at the forefront) • Development in technologies including mechanization, communication, transportation, and infrastructure • Population growth resulting in demand for products and services Building on Georgescu-Roegen’s (1971) entropy law, Daly describes the impact of our growing economic systems as increasing “throughput,” where ecosystems provide the input of low entropy raw materials and energy and outputs include high entropy waste (Daly, 1996, p. 33; Thiele, 2016). The entropic costs are “depletion and pollution” (Daly, 1996, p. 33). Put simply in systems language, throughput is the measure of energy and raw material flow, and waste, that enters and leaves the system (Thiele, 2016). Economic growth largely fixates on generating growth by increasing throughput, and this is clearly unsustainable with the Earth’s finite resources and fragile ecosystems. The result is the impact on our “complex ecological life support services rendered to the economy by nature” (Daly, p. 33). Common sense would suggest that there should be limits to economic growth, but this is not predominantly the case. Cook in 1982 stated: The concept of limits to growth threatens vested interests and power structures; even worse it threatens value structures in which lives have been invested. (p. 198, cited in Daly, 1996, p. 35)

Despite numerous initiatives and actions by various governments, organizations, and citizens in the area of sustainability and protection of the Earth’s systems, the sentiment described in Cook’s quote appears to still dominate in the twenty-first century. Neoliberalism, the political paradigm that has predominated internationally in the past six decades, particularly in the minority world, has continued the “economic growth at all costs” sentiment. Carter (2016) described neoliberalism as:

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M. Logan The deliberate intervention by government to encourage particular types of entrepreneurial, competitive and commercial behaviour in its citizens with the market as the regulatory mechanism. It is also the management of populations to cultivate individualistic, competitive, acquisitive and entrepreneurial behavior. (p. 33)

One of the principles of the Earth Charter Initiative (ECI), which is a universal expression of ethical principles, is to: Adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard Earth’s regenerative capacities, human rights, and community well-being. (ECI, 2000, Principle 7)

Neoliberalism is at odds with this viewpoint, and with Ghandi’s philosophical observation, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not for every man’s greed” (cited in Krishna, 2014, p. 156). Carter believes that neoliberal thought has been “naturalized, normalized and ritualized” (2016, p. 34) to such an extent that this ideology is the only way we know and science itself is largely shaped by neoliberalism. Science organizations and scientific communities over the past two decades have shifted from an ideology of “advancement of knowledge” to the “creation of wealth” (Krishna, 2014, p. 142). Science, particularly STEM, has been associated with neoliberalism; Carter warns that this neoliberal agenda in science has intensified “to the exclusion of all else” (p. 34). In order to see the significance of science education and, more recently, STEM education in the context of childhoodnature and sustainability, it is important to be aware of the history of the science education and environmental education relationship.

The Relationship of Science Education, Environmental Education, and Sustainability Education There has long been tension between environmental educators and science educators. The term environmental education was used from the 1960s where it mainly focused on the study of nature or ecological/biological studies and at that time people generally looked to science to solve environmental problems. During the 1970s environmental education emerged in its own right (e.g., international conferences tracking the emergence of environmental education: United Nations at Stockholm, 1972; UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)) at Belgrade, 1975; UNESCO and UNEP (United Nations Education Program(UNEP)) at Tbilisi, 1977), and even at this early stage, some scientists identified that science alone could not solve the emerging problems associated with the environmental degradation taking place on a global scale (Gough, 2011). As early as 1970 scientists looked to environmental educators to bring about environmental awareness in young people. At an Academy of Science Conference in Australia in 1970, Boyden emphasizes the urgency for education in schools to

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inform young people about the detrimental effect of human activities on the Earth’s systems resulting in “social and biological problems” (as cited in Gough, 2011, p. 265), but this detrimental impact was related more to the impact for humans rather than for the Earth’s systems. During the 1980s the term sustainable development came into use, and in the 1990s the term “environmental education” was frequently replaced with education for environment and sustainability or education for sustainable development. The term “sustainability” kept the environmentalists happy, and the term “development” kept the business community and “bankers” happy (Orr, 1992, p. 23). The United Nations (UN) Brundtland Commission’s, Our Common Future, report defines sustainable development in 1987 as: Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts: • the concept of ‘needs,’ in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and • the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs. (World Commission on Environment and Development [WCED], Chapter 2, IV)

It is important to note the anthropocentric context of this definition of sustainable development, where the emphasis on human “needs” is in contrast to a holistic context where the Earth is a dynamic system and humans are one organism with needs in the system. In fact, the term “sustainability” can be quite problematic as it has numerous interpretations. David Orr (1992) coined the terms “technological sustainability” and “ecological sustainability.” The technological sustainability viewpoint (also referred to as a technocentric or anthropocentric viewpoint) sees the Earth as a resource for human benefit, and technical and market solutions can be applied to solve any associated environmental or social problems (such as sophisticated nuclear technology or carbon sequestration to address the energy crisis) (Cutter-Mackenzie, 2011; Orr, 1992). With a “technological sustainability” mindset, humans have dominion over nature and shape nature for their needs. A “technological sustainability” mind-set promotes economic growth as being essential for sustainable development, whereas “ecological sustainability” is a mind-set where the Earth’s systems are valued, nature is a model, and ecological principles set the agenda (Cutter-Mackenzie, 2011; Orr, 1992). An ecological sustainability viewpoint sees human activity as upsetting the balance of the natural systems unless it fits within the “carrying capacity of the natural systems” as “ecological systems are the only systems capable of stability in a world governed by the laws of thermodynamics” (Orr, 1992, p. 35). Linking back to the previous section on STEM education and economic growth, ecological sustainability is where throughput is kept in check – a mind-set that aligns with ecological systems thinking. The change in the terminology from “environmental education” to “education for sustainability” or “education for sustainable development” is seen as problematic by some environmental educators, particularly due to the range of interpretations of

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sustainability. The Thessaloniki Declaration (UNESCO, 1997), which was a charter for education for sustainability, is seen by Knapp as the “beginning of the end of environmental education” (2000, p. 32). Knapp believes that the spirit of environmental education is being neutralized, and he urges environmental educators to defend the underlying intentions and goals for environmental education. These goals include fostering an awareness, sensitivity, and concern about the Earth and its human impacts and environmental education being a guide for people to live environmentally responsibly by reducing their impact on the Earth (Knapp, 2000). Some environmental educators support the change in terminology toward sustainability and sustainable development. Fien and Tilbury (1996) in their report “learning for a sustainable environment” believe sustainable development and sustainability concepts are underpinned by: The hope that the impact humans have on the earth and the way we organize the flows, production and distribution of resources and wastes can be mitigated in both the short and the long-term. The idea of sustainability asks governments, communities and individuals to consider the needs of future generations in what political scientists define as the essential questions of public policy. (1996, p. 9)

This statement by Fien and Tilbury, relating to the concepts of sustainability and sustainable development, highlights a “technological sustainability” perspective (or an anthropocentric viewpoint) where human needs are at the forefront. In contrast the environmental education goals outlined above by Knapp (2000) are more in line with “ecological sustainability” where ecological principles are at the forefront. The period from 2005 to 2014 was declared by UNESCO as the decade for education for sustainable development. However more recently the terms, environmental education, education for sustainable development, and education for sustainability, have been used interchangeably, particularly in Australia (Malone & Somerville, 2015). The term sustainability generally has been adopted widely by governments and in the case of Australia has been incorporated into the national curricula. Despite sustainability being a focus in the Australian Curriculum, actually incorporating sustainability elements into the classroom is problematic, as is demonstrated through the Australian example.

Curricula Incorporating Sustainability: The Australian Example In Australia a new national curriculum was implemented in 2012, and sustainability was incorporated as a “cross curriculum priority” where it was intended to underpin all subject areas at all school levels (ACARA, 2017) (The Australian Curriculum has three “cross curriculum priorities,” sustainability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, and Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia (ACARA, 2017)). This priority was guided by the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, established in 2008 by the education ministers from all states and territories, and has a strong environmental, economic,

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and social sustainability emphasis (MCEETYA, 2008, as cited in Gough, 2011). The sustainability cross curriculum priority’s goals, which also reflect the “Our Common Future” document (WCED, 1987), include: Sustainable patterns of living meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Actions to improve sustainability are individual and collective endeavours shared across local and global communities. They necessitate a renewed and balanced approach to the way humans interact with each other and the environment. Education for sustainability develops the knowledge, skills, values and world views necessary for people to act in ways that contribute to more sustainable patterns of living. It enables individuals and communities to reflect on ways of interpreting and engaging with the world. (ACARA, 2017)

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) (2017) statement goes on to proclaim: Sustainability education is futures-oriented, focusing on protecting environments and creating a more ecologically and socially just world through informed action. Actions that support more sustainable patterns of living require consideration of environmental, social, cultural and economic systems and their interdependence.

At first glance the statement above appears to be a positive step in moving toward an education system that promotes ecological sensitivity and responsibility as well as informed action toward an ecologically sustainable future. This is particularly pertinent in the Australian context with its unique, fragile ecological systems and ongoing loss of biodiversity resulting from human impacts on the Earth’s systems (Whitehouse, 2011). Ecological systems thinking underpins the first set of key concepts behind the sustainability curriculum priority: • The biosphere is a dynamic system providing conditions that sustain life on Earth. • All life-forms, including human life, are connected through ecosystems on which they depend for their wellbeing and survival. • Sustainable patterns of living rely on the interdependence of healthy social, economic, and ecological systems. (ACARA, 2017). Despite having this strong underpinning of environmental, social, and economic sustainability, the Australian Curriculum fails to translate to subject level. In the four main curriculum areas of mathematics, English, history, and science, there is only one mention of “sustainability” in an elaboration of the descriptors within the curriculum throughout all Foundation to Year 12 Level curriculum descriptions (Kennelly, Taylor, & Serow, 2011). Some aspects of environmental sustainability are embedded into the science curriculum with reference icons to the sustainability cross curriculum priority (such as with the curriculum descriptors, “Energy from a variety of sources can be used to generate electricity”; and “The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment” (ACARA, 2017)).

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However, there are no explicit elaborations in the curriculum descriptions, and so when implementing science lessons, teachers are left to make the sustainability connection guided only by the presence of the icon that indicates the link. The curriculum largely falls short of its intention for Australian education to develop “the knowledge, skills, values and world views necessary for people to act in ways that contribute to more sustainable patterns of living” (ACARA, 2017) and is left to individual teachers or schools to enhance this mind-set in their teaching (Kennelly et al., 2011). An Australian national study into education for sustainability carried out by the Australian Education for Sustainability Alliance (AESA), looking at the preparedness of Australian teachers to integrate the sustainability curriculum priority into their lessons, revealed that 80% of practicing Australian teachers “don’t comprehensively understand education for sustainability,” 35.9% of teachers were unaware that sustainability was a cross curriculum priority, and less than 2% were effectively integrating education for sustainable practices into their classroom (AESA, 2014, pp. 89, 90). Furthermore, the Australian science curriculum is quite conservative in its traditional and analytical breakdown of the sciences to biological, earth, chemical, and physical sciences (Gough, 2011). This curriculum promotes a largely anthropocentric or technocentric position. This is evident in Rodriguez’s (2016) review of science in the Australian Curriculum, where she revealed the separation of humans and other animals or living things and the absence of values of care for other animals. In this curriculum humans are placed as “managers and administrators of nature and other species” with the Earth as a resource for the benefit of humans (Rodriguez, 2016, p. 1018). In contrast, David Orr (2012, p. 2) argues passionately for school curricula that trigger environmental change and transform communities, where the connection between “people, places, and nature” is evident. David Orr sees ecological literacy at the heart of building sustainable societies.

Ecological Literacy/Ecoliteracy The failure to develop ecological literacy is a sin of omission and of commission. Not only are we failing to teach the basics about the Earth, and how it works, but we are in fact teaching a large amount of stuff that is simply wrong. By failing to include ecological perspectives in any number of subjects, we are teaching students that ecology is unimportant to history, politics, economics, society, and so forth. From television they learn that the Earth is theirs for the taking. The result is a generation of ecological yahoos without a clue about why the color of the water in their rivers is related to their food supply, or why storms are becoming more severe as the climate is unbalanced. The same persons, as adults, will create businesses, vote, have families, and above all, consume. If they come to reflect on the discrepancy between the splendor of their private lives and the realities of life in a hotter, more toxic and violent world, as ecological illiterates they will have roughly the same success as one trying to balance a checkbook without knowing arithmetic. (Orr, 1992, pp. 83, 84)

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In 1992 Orr uses the terms “environmental literacy” and “ecological literacy” interchangeably, redefining environmental literacy (originally coined by Roth in 1968) to emphasize the building of sustainable communities and to reform education (McBride, Brewer, Berkowitz, & Borrie, 2013). Orr sees the ecological crisis that the Earth is experiencing as being linked to education, and he believes that in order for citizens to become ecologically literate, there needs to be a change in the education system, particularly in the minority world. He poses ecological literacy as underpinning the building of sustainable societies as this capability is based on an understanding of the interdependence and interrelationship of species within the Earth’s systems (McBride et al., 2013). In 1997, building on Orr’s work with ecological literacy, Capra conceived the term “ecoliteracy” which he defined as “an understanding of the principles of the organization of ecosystems and the application of those principles for creating sustainable human communities and societies” (McBride et al., 2013, p. 14). There is a view that to become ecologically literate we need to think “from the parts to the whole, from objects to relationships, from quantities to qualities” (Capra & Luisi, 2014, p. 353). Capra’s connectedness view is in stark contrast to the fragmented science education practices in Australia. In ecological literacy the strong emphasis is on developing knowledge about, and competence toward, the Earth’s systems where we are encouraged by a sense of wonder about our Earth (Orr, 1992, p. 86). To study single organisms in isolation from other organisms and their environment is failing to grasp a complete understanding of the organism (Orr, 1992). The understanding of how ecosystems have evolved over time to become organized systems is central to “ecological literacy” (Capra, 2007, p. 10). Ecological literacy is at the heart of ecological systems thinking and the “wisdom of nature is the essence of ecoliteracy” (Capra & Luisi, 2014, p. 353). Learning about environmental problems in isolation, such as water pollution, without looking at the connected hydrological, geological, biological, and atmospheric systems, does not provide young people with a comprehensive understanding in order to make informed decisions about environmental issues (Assaraf & Orion, 2005). Aspects of systems thinking are evident in science curricula, such as the study of ecosystems in the biological sciences or the study of the hydrological cycle in Earth and space/geological studies. However, as demonstrated earlier with the Australian Curriculum, science curricula tend to promote discipline-based science, and the young people are left to make the connections between the disciplines, which they often fail to do (Gough, 2011), for example, between a rainforest ecosystem and the hydrological cycle.

Strategies for Incorporating Ecological Systems Thinking in Science Education Assaraf and Orion (2005) found that after carrying out their systems thinking program with young people in secondary science, most of them significantly improved their systems thinking and their thinking became more holistic. Drawing on the work of Assaraf and Orion (2005), Evagorou et al. identify six levels of skills

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for systems thinking. Young people need to gain each level of skill before being able to move to the next level. These skill levels are: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

Identification of the elements of a system Identification of the spatial boundaries of a system Identification of the temporal boundaries of a system Identification of several subsystems within a single system Identification of the influence of specific elements of the system on other elements or the whole system (f) Identification of the changes that need to take place in order to observe certain patterns (g) Identification of feedback effects in a system (Evagorou et al., 2009, p. 663) A brief outline follows of five key strategies highlighted by Assaraf and Orion (2005) (strategies 1–4) and those from other researchers (strategies 5–7) that have been found to strengthen a systems thinking approach in science education and promote a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of the Earth’s systems: 1. Introducing the basic steps of systems thinking in primary school Introducing a basic systems approach in primary school, such as the ability to identify at least two components in a system, provides young people with the foundations to move toward more complex systems understanding in secondary school (Assaraf & Orion, 2005). Hung (2008) emphasizes how systems thinking can help young people move toward complex understandings of concepts that they often find challenging, such as complex ecosystems, and is particularly successful in providing them with understanding relating to the interrelationship of living organisms with nonliving elements (Evagorou et al., 2009; Riess & Mischco, 2010). There are few research studies relating to systems thinking with young people at primary school as most studies have focused on systems thinking with young people at secondary school or students in higher education. However the few studies that have been undertaken with young people at primary school do indicate that they can move toward systems thinking (Evagorou et al., 2009). In a study in Cyprus with young people at primary school, Evagorou et al. (2009) found that most participants developed some systems thinking skills when supported by an appropriate learning environment catering to their cognitive abilities. 2. Inquiry-based approach where young people explore and discover When implementing systems thinking in science education, it is important for young people to work with an inquiry-based approach. With an inquiry-based approach, the young people are provided with the opportunity to explore, question, investigate, make decisions, and build on their prior knowledge, in contrast to the passive learning of facts where teachers are at the center of the classroom (Assaraf & Orion, 2005; Evagorou et al., 2009). An effective inquiry-based approach assisted the young people in Assaraf and Orion’s (2005) research study to move from having “islands of knowledge” of the Earth’s systems to

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conceptual understanding where they made links between the systems. The big question behind the program was, “How should we act in order to preserve our water resources?” (Assaraf & Orion, 2005, p. 524). The young people worked collaboratively throughout the program to answer the question by exploring the Earth’s systems and the interrelationships between the systems including the impact of humans. 3. Working with young people in outside settings Young people often fail to see the relevance of science to everyday contexts (Bybee & McCrae, 2011); therefore it is important to connect science with the young people’s everyday lives. Bybee and McCrae’s research demonstrates that taking the young people outside enabled them to grasp systems thinking more effectively and connect their understanding with firsthand examples in their everyday lives. Assaraf and Orion (2005) identify ways to make use of outside settings; this included firsthand experiences such as visiting local waterways or ecosystems to enable young people to experience the Earth’s systems and put their learning into context. Orr (1992) emphasizes experiencing the Earth’s systems firsthand as being key to understanding these systems and connecting young people to their local place. Ecological systems thinking strengthens the childhoodnature position that young people are interconnected with all other living things and nonliving things in the Earth’s systems. Young people are systems or networks themselves within systems like all other living things; in fact young people are nature. 4. Knowledge integration activities Assaraf and Orion (2005) identify using tools to integrate knowledge throughout the learning cycle as an important aspect to assist young people in moving toward the conceptual ideas in a systems approach. These activities included “concept maps, drawings and summarizing the outdoor experiences”, in order for the young people to understand the water cycle as a “dynamic, cyclic system” (p. 525) and create relationships and connections between the components of the system and subsystems. Using diagrammatic representation and summaries of their experiences can assist the young people to consolidate their ideas and understand the relationships between the systems. 5. Utilizing computer technologies A number of researchers advocate the use of computer technologies when introducing a systems approach in the classroom. In 1999, in the early days of computer implementation in schools, Wilensky and Resnick implemented a computer StarLogo modeling language to introduce a systems approach in science lessons, and they found young people developed rich understandings, particularly between the connections in ecosystems (1999). Evagorou et al. (2009) integrated a systems approach using computer simulations where the young people worked with a forest ecosystem system to develop basic systems thinking skills. Riess and Mischo (2010) also found a forest ecosystem computer simulation worked well in developing systems thinking with young people in junior secondary school in Germany, particularly when incorporated with other modes of implementing systems lessons.

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6. Incorporating indigenous views Providing young people with the opportunity to experience living systems and to learn from the people who have lived by the “grace of these systems” (Orr, 2012, p. 1) can be effective in connecting science with the young people’s everyday life. Indigenous science knowledge tends to be more relational and applied to everyday contexts in contrast to mainstream science education which tends to be non-relational and compartmentalized (Augare et al., 2017). Therefore, indigenous ways of thinking are holistic and more in line with systems thinking as Aboriginal peoples “of many societies” demonstrate a balanced and harmonious relationship with the Earth’s systems (Fien & Tilbury, 1996, p. 22). Countries with colonial oppression and the strong Eurocentric curricula are positioned within a colonial (conquering) mind-set such that incorporating indigenous (relational) views into science, particularly ways of living in nature, has not been readily taken up (Aikenhead & Elliot, 2010; Lowan-Trudeau, 2018; Whitehouse, 2011). In Australia “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures” is a “cross curriculum priority” for all subject areas within the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2017). However, it requires teachers to bridge the divide of the traditional indigenous ways of knowing and science worldviews in order for both indigenous and non-indigenous young people to make this connection (Gondwe & Longnecker, 2015). Gondwe and Longnecker advocate going beyond tokenistic activities to incorporate cultural worldviews and how these worldviews influence values, attitudes, and beliefs of peoples of other cultures: for example, the contrasting values, attitudes, and beliefs toward humans’ interrelationship with the Earth’s systems. Aikenhead and Elliot refer to indigenous views in science as “wisdom tradition” of “thinking, living, and being” in contrast to the traditional Eurocentric views of disconnected “intellectual thinking” (p. 325). In Australia, indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders use the term “country” that “means far more than ‘land’, ‘landscape’ or ‘environment’. Country is a relationship — a contiguous way of seeing, being and acting. Country is tens of thousands of years of accumulated knowledge and understanding,” and with country there is no separation between humans and other (Whitehouse, 2011, p. 230). Orr (1992) and Capra (2007) emphasize the extensive knowledge and practices of indigenous peoples over thousands of years of being in their local areas as being important to ecological sustainability. Learning traditional indigenous knowledge is a benefit to all young people; it can lead them to move toward a more holistic understanding of local areas, and in particularly it increases the knowledge and engagement of the local indigenous young people (Augare et al., 2017). 7. Debating and discussing socio-scientific issues In order for young people to move to more holistic thinking about the Earth and to understand the significance of human impact on the Earth’s systems, it is important to involve young people in debating and discussing socio-scientific issues in the science classroom. Young people need to look critically at our society and its values and, furthermore, how it could be changed to “achieve a more socially just democracy and ensure more environmentally sustainable lifestyles” (Hodson,

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2003, p. 654). Research has revealed that even though young people in minority world schools may be interested in scientific issues that they perceive to be relevant to their lives, such as health issues or environmental issues, they often see little connection between science in the classroom and the socio-scientific issues that link to, or impact, their everyday lives (Bybee & McCrae, 2011). Such connections can be achieved by providing the opportunities for young people to study, discuss, and debate issues that confront them and that are relevant to their lives (Hodson, 2003) and can be enhanced using an ecological systems approach. This socio-scientific connection with everyday lives was evident in a school in Chicago (United States) where young people identified the problem of their local river system being polluted due to illegal rubbish, soil, and rocks being dumped on the banks of the river (Bouillion & Gomez, 2001). The young people voiced their desire to address the pollution problem, and they worked collaboratively with teachers, local council, community, and scientists to clean up the riverbank. The teachers encouraged the students to use an ecological systems approach in this project where they explored their own connection to ecological systems. The students investigated scientifically the impact of pollution on the river system (by measuring oxygen levels and investigating the impact of low oxygen levels on fish and other living organisms in the river) (Bouillion & Gomez, 2001). The following vignette outlines an ecological systems program that incorporates six of the seven strategies identified above for integrating a systems approach into science lessons. Using computer simulations was the only strategy not utilized in the following education program.

Learning About Ecological Systems in Science Education: The Big Scrub Rainforest Program This place and community-based program in the North Eastern region of the Australian state of NSW involved 120 young people from four schools, three primary and one high school. The young people investigated their local critically endangered subtropical rainforest ecological system, The Big Scrub Rainforest, and learning took place within the whole community (Smith & Sobel, 2010). This example illustrates the cyclic nature of ecosystems where nutrients are continually recycled along the feedback loop pathways and where organisms have evolved over time to “use and recycle the same molecules of minerals, water, and air” (Capra & Luisi, 2014, p. 354). The Big Scrub Rainforest program in the schools was facilitated by the Northern Rivers Group of Environmental Educators (Cindy Picton, Tamlin Mackenzie, Simone Blom, Lyn Thomson, Barbara Jensen, Georgina Jones, Linda Tohver, Ian Judd, Graeme Patterson) and the Custodian of Nyangbul Country (Lois Cook). Funding was provided by Australian Association for Environmental Education and the NSW Government’s Environmental Trust.

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Context The Big Scrub Rainforest ecosystem is an ecological community with geological links to the supercontinent, Pangea (325 million years ago) and subsequently Gondwana supercontinent, when Australia was linked to Antarctica and other continents (Holland, 2017, p. 34). When the continents broke apart, tectonic activity resulted in the formation of volcanoes. The lava flows from this volcanic activity in the Big Scrub region are important as they are “conduits” for the aquifers that give rise to the springs which drive the hydrological systems behind this ecosystem (Holland, 2017, p. 35). The soils of the Big Scrub area result from a combination of eroded basalt from Wollumbin (a volcano that formed in the area 23 million years ago) and soils that originate from Pangean and Gondwanan times. The soils support a rich rainforest ecosystem with a multitude of organisms including tall trees, shrubs, vines, palms, herbs, epiphytes (high up in the canopy), birds, invertebrates, bats, marsupials, humans, fungi, microorganisms, and other plants and animals, some of which are endangered. Prior to European settlement, the Big Scrub Rainforest was the largest continuous lowland rainforest in Australia (Parkes et al., 2012). The Big Scrub Rainforest is part of the land of the local Widjabul people from the Bundjalung nation, who lived in this area for “many thousands of years and cared for the country” (Gordon, 2017, p. 26), and is also significant to the Nyangbul people and all the Bundjalung tribes. The peoples from the Bundjalung nation “lived with their environment,” and their cyclical relationship with this land is closely tied to “seasonal changes and renewal” (Gahan, 2017, p. 104). After colonization of Australia, new settlers viewed this rich ecosystem very differently to the local Bundjalung peoples who had an interconnectedness with this ecosystem – their country. The rich diversity of the Big Scrub was seen by the settlers as a resource to use as they wished. The magnificent red cedars that had grown to a great height on the volcanic red soils, with girths of over 3 m (Gahan, 2017), were prized for valuable timbers. Following the “cedar getters” in the second half of the nineteenth century, “spurred by imperialist and capitalist ideology,” the Big Scrub, with its rich fertile rainforest soils, was cleared for agriculture largely by colonists from England, Ireland, and Scotland (Gahan, 2017, p. 108). During this period, the NSW Government encouraged free selection so any colonists could obtain land in the area if they “occupied and improved” their chosen land, in other words cleared the land for agricultural purposes (Gahan, 2017, p. 109). By the end of the nineteenth century, the rainforest was reduced to less than 1% of its original extent, with the remaining remnants scattered throughout the Big Scrub area (Parkes et al., 2012). This lowland rainforest is listed as an endangered ecological community under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act 1995) and as a critically endangered ecological community under the Federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act 1999) (cited in Parkes et al., 2012). The rainforest consists of scattered remnants that contain threatened animal and plant species, some being close to extinction (DECCW, 2010).

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Implementation of the Big Scrub Rainforest Program The Big Scrub Rainforest place and community-based program integrated six of the seven key strategies for incorporating a systems approach into science lessons using the following processes: Strategy 1: Introducing Systems Thinking in Primary School Young people in both primary and secondary school were included in this Big Scrub Rainforest program where they explored their local ecological system over time. The young people identified the elements of the interrelating systems. The feedback systems were explored relating to the mechanisms that enable this critically endangered system to regenerate. Strategy 2: Inquiry-Based Approach Where Young People Explore and Discover A strong inquiry-based approach was employed where young people worked collaboratively with their peers, to build on their knowledge about this ecological system and build on their ecological literacy. Botanists, bush regenerators, environmental educators, and Landcare representatives worked with the young people to answer their questions and provide background information relating to the geological, atmospheric, hydrological, and rich biological systems surrounding this ecosystem. Strategy 3: Working with Young People in Outside Settings Young people worked outside in rainforest remnants within, or close to, their school where they identified plants, animals, and microorganisms, and assisted with regeneration processes. The young people supported regeneration of the rainforest by planting rainforest species (Fig. 1) and carrying out rehabilitating exercises (such as weed removal in the remnants and riparian [riverside] plantings). By exploring the rainforest remnant systems close to their schools and helping to regenerate the forest, the young people discovered the biodiversity of the forests and saw examples of the interdependence of the elements of the rainforest ecosystem. Fig. 1 A student co-researcher planting a rainforest tree in a riparian area next to the school grounds

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Strategy 4: Knowledge Integration Activities Diagrams, concept maps, and drawings were used by the young people to explore the interrelating systems over time and to assist them with their understanding of the spatial and temporal boundaries of the rainforest. Strategy 6: Incorporating Indigenous Views A local Aboriginal custodian of the Nyangbul Country worked with the young people to discuss the significance of the Big Scrub Rainforest to her people and shared “dreamtime” (indigenous lore) stories. Strategy 7: Debating and Discussing Socio-scientific Issues The young people addressed socio-scientific issues surrounding the clearing of vegetation for human use. The devastation of the clearing of the Big Scrub, particularly on the biological systems, was discussed. The impacts of the removal of vegetation on the geological and hydrological systems were also reviewed. The young people explored both calls to protect this rainforest and protests that were conducted in the area dating from the late nineteenth century to the present day (Gahan, 2017). Poems, raps, artworks, and media releases surrounding the protests and the clearing of the rainforest were created by the young people. Embedded within the Big Scrub Rainforest program was a critical participatory action research/A/r/tography project with a group of 12 young people as student co-researchers (aged from 9 to 13). (The researchers who supported the student co-researchers in this project were Marianne Logan, Simone Blom, and Steven Andrews.) The aim of this research project was to investigate young people’s knowledge of, and values and attitudes toward, their local critically endangered ecological community. The project sought to position young people as active researchers where they shared their knowledge, values, experiences, and research findings, to inspire young people both locally and beyond, to take action toward their local natural ecosystems. The young people shared their immersive creative experiences (such as narratives, drawings, photographs, and poems) in their researcher journals, written texts, and online blogs in order to inspire other young people to take action to protect their local ecosystems. The following narrative and illustration (Figs. 2 and 3) by a student co-researcher, Niamh Montgomery (year 7), is the voice of the forest in response to the clearing of the Big Scrub Rainforest: The rainforest used to be quiet. Birds sang quietly to themselves in the trees and unseen creatures rustled the leaves that lay undisturbed on the ground. The wind whistled and we whistled back, and everything stayed silent, the same. That was until some new creatures arrived. They were bigger than others and they feared them. The new creatures were loud. They trumped around as if they owned the land. They made light that ate wood. It flickered. The forest flickered back. Then they brought their tools. Cold iron sliced the forest apart. Leaves curled and died. They started a war. They lay our fallen friends in the river and washed them away. The river raged. They raged back.

As a result of taking part in the program, the young people built on their knowledge about this local critically endangered ecosystem. The majority of

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Fig. 2 Year 7 student co-researcher Niamh Montgomery’s illustration of where “Cold iron sliced the forest apart”

Fig. 3 Niamh Montgomery and Megan Elliot (student co-researchers in year 7) illustrate their understanding of the spatial and temporal boundaries of the ecological system over time

young people agreed or strongly agreed that they had learnt a lot of things about the Big Scrub Rainforest (86%), that they cared about the future of the Big Scrub Rainforest (83%), that they liked planting trees and shrubs (88%), and that they had a deep understanding of how their actions affect the natural world (77%). The young people’s responses, such as the exemplars below, about what they learnt in the program demonstrate that they were able to build on their understanding of the importance of natural ecosystems and feel empowered to take action: • • • •

I knew nothing about the Big Scrub Rainforest now I know a lot. We have spread the word and planted trees. I now feel a connection. I love this Big Scrub rainforest so much now.

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• I think it is an important forest that preserves invaluable habitat for native animals. • The Big Scrub Rainforest is amazingly beautiful and sacred. We need to keep it from disappearing forever. • I think it is a very precious and fragile part of Aboriginal landmarks. The young people were working with the rainforest in their school grounds and in some cases their own neighborhood. The following response from a young person demonstrates being able to identify their own local forest after participating in the program: “I now know that the massive rainforest behind my house is the big scrub.” By addressing the key strategies for implementation of an ecological systems approach in science education, these young people had the opportunity not only to build on their ecological knowledge but also to develop values and attitudes toward, and their interconnection with, their local ecosystem. Young people’s appreciation of their interconnection with the Earth’s systems is the essence of childhoodnature.

Conclusion This chapter has considered ecological systems and how a systems approach could be incorporated into science curricula. In the minority world where Eurocentric curricula dominate science and STEM education, and economic prosperity is at the heart of a system driven by neoliberal ideology, science education traditionally tends to be compartmentalized into separate disciplines, and learning is centered around the Earth as a resource for the benefit of humans. This economically driven curricula tend to dominate, despite moves to incorporate sustainability and, in some countries, indigenous cultures and values into curricula. By looking at science curricula through a posthumanist, systems thinking lens, in contrast to the anthropocentric view of mainstream science education, a holistic approach is encouraged where humans are not viewed as separate, but we, like all other organisms, are interdependent on other living and nonliving elements in the Earth’s systems. Incorporating an ecological systems approach in science education encourages young people to look at the Earth as a dynamic system with subsystems such as the geological, atmospheric, hydrological, and biological systems rather than looking at the Earth’s systems in isolation. With a systems thinking approach, young people can begin to see how the behavior of every organism in an ecological system depends on the behavior of many others and how humans impact ecological systems. Ecological systems-based science and STEM education can draw on tens of thousands of years of indigenous knowledge, attitudes, and values, to enrich science education and learning about first people’s interconnection with the Earth’s systems. Through inquiry-based approaches, young people explore and investigate ecological systems in everyday contexts and connect with their local ecological systems, even within the school grounds or on balconies, and move toward ecological systems thinking. It is important to provide opportunities for young people of all stages, from

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early childhood to secondary, to debate and discuss current issues that impact their lives, particularly the significance of the Anthropocene. I am not suggesting that increasing scientific knowledge relating to environmental degradation will lead to environmental action (Selby & Kagawa, 2010). However it is argued that by enabling young people to build on their knowledge, values, and attitudes relating to complex scientific concepts in a holistic way through ecological systems thinking, particularly in the context of their local region, they will begin to move toward childhoodnature understanding, that is, the inseparability of themselves and nature.

Cross-References ▶ Challenging Taken-for-Granted Ideas in Early Childhood Education: A Critique of Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory in the Age of Post-humanism ▶ Children in the Anthropocene: How They Are Implicated ▶ Posthuman Child and the Diffractive Teacher: Decolonising the Nature/Culture Binary ▶ Significant Life Experiences That Connect Children with Nature: A Research Review and Applications to a Family Nature Club ▶ Uncommon Worlds: Towards an Ecological Aesthetics of Childhood in the Anthropocene ▶ Wild Pedagogies: Six Touchstones for Childhoodnature Theory and Practice

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Child-Nature Interaction in a Forest Preschool Peter H. Kahn, Jr., Thea Weiss, and Kit Harrington

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Environmental Generational Amnesia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Interaction Patterns as a Method to Model Human-Nature Interaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Child-Nature Interaction in Fiddleheads Forest Preschool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Leaning on and Hanging from Supple Tree Limbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Climbing High in Small Tree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Looking at Wild Animals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Imitating Animals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Imagining Nature to Be Something Other Than It Is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Making Boundaries on Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pushing to the Edges of Boundaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Waiting Attentively in Nature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Abstract

In 2012 there were only around 25 nature preschools and kindergartens in the United States; now there are well over 250. It is a national movement that is gaining momentum. It is an exciting time because in principle these schools have within them the kernels to transform the world through increasing children’s direct interaction with nature and a more wild nature than that exists in most urban children’s lives. In this paper we begin to characterize forms of child-nature interaction that occur in one specific nature preschool, Fiddleheads Forest P. H. Kahn, Jr. (*) · T. Weiss University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA e-mail: [email protected] K. Harrington University of Washington Botanic Gardens, Fiddleheads Forest School, Seattle, Washington, USA # Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018 A. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, Springer International Handbooks of Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51949-4_33-1

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Preschool in Seattle, Washington, USA. Based on our observational data, derived through a randomized time-sampling methodology, we modeled child-nature interaction using what we call interaction patterns: characterizations of essential ways of interacting with nature described abstractly enough such that the pattern can be instantiated in different ways, across diverse forms of nature. Specifically, we use a nature language to describe (with photographs) eight interaction patterns: leaning on and hanging from supple tree limbs, climbing high in small tree, looking at wild animals, imitating animals, imagining nature to be something other than it is, making boundaries on earth, pushing the edges of boundaries, and waiting attentively in nature. Through an interaction pattern approach, we seek to provide insight into what is actually happening on the ground at a forest preschool and how that provides a key solution to the problem of environmental generational amnesia. Keywords

Nature preschools · Interaction patterns · Environmental generational amnesia · Rewilding

Introduction The good news is that, over the last decade, research studies have been providing more and more evidence that interaction with nature benefits people physically and psychologically. The benefits are wide-ranging. Studies have shown, for example, that interaction with nature can reduce stress (Berto, 2014), reduce depression (Taylor, Wheeler, White, Economou, & Osborne, 2015), reduce aggression (Younan et al., 2016), reduce diabetes (Bodicoat et al., 2014), reduce obesity (Lachowycz & Jones, 2011), reduce ADHD symptoms (Kuo & Faber Taylor, 2004), improve immune function (Rook, 2013), improve eyesight (He et al., 2015), improve mental health (Bratman, Hamilton, & Daily, 2012), and increase people’s social connectedness (Holtan, Dieterlen, & Sullivan, 2014). There are extensive reviews of this literature, including those by Frumkin (2012), Frumkin et al. (2017), and Hartig, Mitchel, de Vries, and Frumkin (2014). In one study, for example, Bratman, Hamilton, Hahn, Daily, and Gross (2015) assigned adults to one of two areas for a 90-min nature walk. One area was a natural setting on a beautiful university campus. Another was along a busy urban street. They investigated whether nature experience would influence rumination (repetitive thought focused on negative aspects of the self), a known risk factor for mental illness. They found that the nature walk (in contrast to the urban walk) decreased (a) self-reported rumination and (b) neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex which has been linked to rumination in both depressed and healthy individuals. It is increasingly clear, then, that a vibrant natural world is not only good for the ecological sustainability of this planet but good for us individually, as communities, and as a species. Of course, through the lens of evolution, how could it be otherwise?

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For tens and even hundreds of thousands of years, we came of age with a vibrant, diverse, wild natural world, and the architecture of the human mind and body is optimally calibrated to many aspects of that world still (Kahn, 1999, 2011; Kellert & Wilson, 1993; Shepard, 1998; Wilson, 1984). Still, the emerging scientific evidence is good news because in today’s world science is often the currency for ideas to be accepted. Unfortunately, the good news stops short. For, in our view, the plain fact is that science will likely have little effect by itself in changing our destructive relationship with nature. There are different reasons for this. An obvious one is that extracting resources from nature can lead to many critical short-term economic benefits that override longer-term costs. For example, a coal miner can help destroy a mountain top and pollute the waters as he destroys his own lungs over time; but if that is his only way of putting food on the table each day, then he may be unlikely to change his occupation. Another reason can be framed from the perspective of the tragedy of the commons (Hardin, 1968): that in public areas of shared resources, individual people collectively over-extract resources (and destroy natural areas and entities) to maximize their own self-interest in the short term, contrary to the common good. This tragedy is still relevant today (Dennie, 2011), as has been highlighted in the area of climate change (Gramopadhye, 2013). Short-sighted self-interest may help explain the continued destruction of nature. However, the deeper and perhaps more insidious reason – of environmental generational amnesia – rarely gets noticed. In this paper, we first explain how environmental generational amnesia originates in childhood, through the child’s construction of knowledge. Next, we offer a general solution to the problem based on the importance of children interacting with nature and with a nature at least slightly more wild than lies within their current purview. To do so, we elaborate on our working model of human-nature interaction, which is based on the idea of interaction patterns: characterizations of essential ways of interacting with nature specified abstractly enough such that the pattern can be instantiated in many different ways, across diverse forms of nature and diverse natural entities. Then we use our interaction pattern approach to begin to characterize child-nature interaction in a forest preschool. We hope that this last section does two things. One is to provide insight into what is actually happening on the ground at a forest preschool. Another is to provide the reader with emerging evidence that our interaction pattern approach has veracity and is generative and in principle could provide a key solution to the problem of environmental generational amnesia. Before beginning, it is also worth noting for the purposes of this volume that we use the term child-nature interaction instead of Childhoodnature interaction because of our ontological commitments. As we understand the term Childhoodnature, it is used to signify that children are nature, not separate from it. The larger question is part of a long-standing one in the field: Are humans a part of or apart from nature? In our view, humans are both. Clearly we are nature: biological and with an evolutionary history, interwoven with all. But somehow in our evolutionary history, perhaps from the Neolithic period forward, our minds became “modern” – increasingly reflective, generative, creative, and technological – and are embedded within

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complex cultural systems. As such, we as humans have also become unleashed from natural rhythms and balance, and one of the central challenges of today is to bring modern mind within a more natural framing. In our view, child-nature interaction allows us the ontological room for this work.

Environmental Generational Amnesia One of the central theories of child development is based on a constructivist psychology, wherein a central principal is that children construct knowledge of the world through interaction with it (Langer, 1969; Piaget, 1952/1963, 1952/1965, 1983). You can see this principle play out even in infants. For example, you might see an older infant who can reach for small objects and pick them up with one hand or the other hand and thus has consolidated this form of a grasping scheme. But then one day you might see her try to pick up an object that is too large for either hand. You might see her try with one hand and then with the other and then back again, clearly frustrated. In constructivist language, she is disequilibrated. Her existing way of understanding and acting on the world is no longer as effective as she would like. She might then continue to interact with the ball, seeking a solution, and at some point discover – construct – a new way of acting on the ball that coordinates what had been two independent grasping schemes (with her right hand and left hand) into a single psychological organization. The resulting behavior is that she uses both hands together to pick up the ball. It is an enormous developmental achievement that occurs through the child’s interaction with the physical world. In turn, within this theoretical tradition, children construct not only physical knowledge but social and moral knowledge through their social and moral interactions with people (Kohlberg, 1969; Turiel, 1983) and environmental knowledge through their interactions with the natural world (Kahn, 1997, 1999; Kahn & Lourenço, 2002; Severson & Kahn 2010). But now here is the question: What happens when children grow up and construct knowledge in natural environments that are ecologically impoverished? One answer emerged in an early study by Kahn and Friedman (1995) who interviewed 72 inner-city black children (low SES) in Houston, Texas, on their environmental views and values. In this study, one of the surprising findings was that the majority of children understood about the problem of air pollution insofar as they could describe it in general terms and sometimes referred to places that were polluted; but these same children often believed (a statistically significant difference) that Houston itself was not polluted. Yet at the time of the interviews, Houston was the most polluted city in the United States. Thus the question emerged: How could children who knew about air pollution in general not know that their own city was highly polluted? The likely answer is that these children grew up in the highly polluted city and had had little if any direct experience of less polluted environments, and thus they constructed a deep phenomenologically grounded understanding of what is normal air. Thus Houston polluted air was neither experienced nor understood as polluted but just normal.

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This is not just about inner-city children in Houston. It happens to all of us. It is not just about air pollution. It happens with most all of nature. All of us construct a conception of what is environmentally normal based on the natural world we encounter in childhood. The crux is that with each ensuing generation, the amount of environmental degradation can and usually does increase, but each generation tends to take that degraded condition as the nondegraded condition, as the normal experience. It is a condition called environmental generational amnesia (Frumkin et al., 2017; Hartig & Kahn, 2016; Kahn, 1999, 2002, 2011; Kahn & Weiss, 2017). (This section draws from a few portions of Chapter 11 of Kahn’s (2011) Technological Nature: Adaptation and the Future of Human Life.) Evidence for environmental generational amnesia comes from diverse sources. In one experimental study, for example, Evans, Jacobs, and Frager (1982) established two groups of participants. One group, long-term residents, had lived in the Los Angeles area 5 years or more. A second group, new arrivals, had just moved to the Los Angeles area within the previous 3 weeks. Results showed that long-term residents of the Los Angeles area, in comparison to the new arrivals, judged that smog was less of a problem in the area and less often spontaneously mentioned smog as a problem. In addition, while both groups of participants were equally sensitive in detecting the presence of substantial amounts of smog in photographs, for low levels of smog, long-term residents in comparison to the new arrivals were less likely to report that smog was present. Taken together, these results offer evidence for environmental generational amnesia insofar as they support the proposition that people who live with a certain level of air pollution for an extended period of time become desensitized to that pollution and less readily recognize that such pollution exists. It might be assumed that at some point the environmental conditions become so diminished that a population of people can readily “wake up” from their amnesia and recognize the harmful conditions of their environment. Yet the historical record suggests otherwise. As a case in point, consider the human and environmental history of Easter Island (Diamond, 2005; Flenley & Bahn, 2003; Tilburg, 1994). Humans arrived on Easter Island by 900 AD and found an environment rich in resources for people to thrive. Yet within about 800 years, the land was completely deforested, with all of its tree species extinct, wildlife had decreased, land birds had disappeared completely, wild fruits no longer grew, erosion had led to decreased crop yields, and there was no firewood with which to keep warm on the Island’s winter nights. People starved. There was a population crash. Cannibalism emerged “Oral traditions of the islanders are obsessed with cannibalism; the most inflammatory taunt that could be snarled at an enemy was ‘The flesh of your mother sticks between my teeth’” (Diamond, 2005, p. 109). You would think that people on Easter Island would have seen the environmental harms emerging and been able to change course. But as Diamond (2005) argues, it is much more likely that it was a gradual process across generations: “the changes in forest cover from year to year would have been almost undetectable: yes, this year we cut down a few trees over there, but saplings are starting to grow back again here on this abandoned garden site. Only the oldest islanders, thinking back to their

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childhoods decades earlier, could have recognized a difference. Their children could no more have comprehended their parents’ tales of a tall forest than my 17-year-old sons today can comprehend my wife’s and my tales of what Los Angeles used to be like 40 years ago” (p. 426). Diamond calls this psychological phenomenon “landscape amnesia.” It is people “forgetting how different the surrounding landscape looked 50 years ago, because the change from year to year has been so gradual” (p. 425). Diamond says that landscape amnesia is a “major reason why people may fail to notice a developing problem, until it is too late” (p. 426). Others have described versions of this amnesia. Pauly (1995), for example, has written of the “shifting baseline syndrome” of fisheries: “Essentially, this syndrome has arisen because each generation of fisheries scientists accepts as a baseline the stock size and species composition that occurred at the beginning of their careers, and uses this to evaluate changes. When the next generation starts its career, the stocks have further declined, but it is the stocks at that time that serve as a new baseline. The result obviously is a gradual shift of the baseline, a gradual accommodation of the creeping disappearance of resource species” (p. 430). Along similar lines, in terms of humans adapting to disease, Dubos (1980) has argued: “Any disease, or any kind of deficiency, that is very widespread in a given social group comes to be considered as the ‘normal’ state and consequently is accepted as a matter of course within that group” (pp. 250–251). What, then, are solutions to the problem of environmental generational amnesia? Kahn (2011) has suggested numerous approaches, including (a) keeping alive accounts and stories of rich interactions with nature from past generations, (b) imagining the future so as not to be blinded by present conditions, (c) embracing complex discourses of societal issues, and (d) being cautious in believing that new technologies can or will save us, because throughout history new technologies have brought new problems even if they have solved existing ones. But the solution Kahn proposes that seems to us most powerful focuses on having people, and especially children, interact with nature and increasingly rich if not wild forms of nature. In our view, this approach provides the phenomenologically grounded experiential basis by which children can construct understandings of more healthy nature and more healthy forms of human-nature interactions and to recognize and act on increasingly rich affordances of nature. But it is one thing to advocate for such human-nature interactions, and to ground them in constructivist and ecological psychological theory, and it is another to model what those interactions actually look like in any comprehensive way. We move in that direction in the next section.

Interaction Patterns as a Method to Model Human-Nature Interaction In its most basic sense, a model in the scientific sense of the term is a simplified description of the information of a phenomenon in the world with the objective of making the phenomenon understandable (Frigg & Hartmann, 2012). If we take the

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phenomenon of interest in the world as human-nature interaction, then one challenge in modeling human-nature interaction is that the interactions can seem endless. It is not only that you can hop over a log, bask in the sun, swim in the ocean, skip a stone, smell a flower, listen to frogs croak, pet a cat, and forage for wild asparagus, and that the list goes on and on. It is also that any single type of an interaction can seem to vary endlessly. For example, a swim in the ocean one day is not exactly the same as a swim at the same spot the next day: the weather is slightly different, the tide has changed, you are never swimming in the exact same location nor being moved by the waves in the exact same way; indeed no two waves are ever identical so that each moment of swimming can be experienced and understood as itself completely unique. How, then, is it possible to model human-nature interaction in a way that allows the phenomenon to be understandable while keeping alive the endlessly diverse – infinite – expressions of nature and human interactions with it? Our answer builds on the idea of an interaction pattern. What is that? Think about a meaningful way that you have interacted with nature, and then characterize it in such a way that you could see the same thing happening with different forms of nature. That is what we call an interaction pattern. For example, it is often wonderful to walk along the edge of a lake or along a river. The pattern could be framed as walking along the edges of water. You would be able to recognize this pattern pretty easily anytime you saw it or enacted it; yet the pattern does not confine it to happening in any particular way. More formally, interaction patterns are characterizations of essential features of interaction between humans and nature, specified abstractly enough such that countless different embodied versions of the interaction – what we will refer to as instantiations of the interaction – can be uniquely realized given different types of nature, people, and purposes. The idea of human-nature interaction patterns builds from the pioneering work of Christopher Alexander in architecture wherein he and his colleagues developed a “pattern language” for the built environment (Alexander, 1979; Alexander et al., 1977). To date, Kahn and his colleagues have generated around 150 human-nature interaction patterns, with photos and descriptions for many of them (Kahn et al., in press; Kahn & Weiss, 2017; Kahn, Ruckert, Severson, Reichert, & Fowler, 2010; Kahn, Ruckert, & Hasbach, 2012). For example, there is a meaningful interaction that you have likely enacted in many different ways of recognizing and being recognized by a nonhuman other. If you have a dog, then likely every day you have moments when you and your dog look at one another and communicate. That is a domestic instantiation of recognizing and being recognized by a nonhuman other. A wild instantiation occurs when you’re on a forest trail and walk around a sharp bend and come face-to-face with a black bear 20 yards away. Then there may be that instant when you look into the bear’s eyes, and you recognize bear consciousness, as the bear is looking into your eyes and recognizing human consciousness from the standpoint of bear consciousness. Time slows down. It is a moment that can last in your memory for a lifetime even as it is over within a second, as the bear gallops off as you simultaneously move away. This example highlights an important characteristic of interaction patterns in that they can be instantiated in more domestic or more wild ways:

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• Watching birds eat is an interaction pattern. You can watch seagulls fighting over a piece of white bread thrown by a child (more domestic); or you can watch a blue heron, initially still as a rock, quickly plunge its head into a lake and snatch a six-inch bass into its beak and then, over the next minute, swallow it whole (more wild). • Wading in water: You can roll up your pant legs and wade into an urban fountain (more domestic) or into the Pacific Ocean (more wild). • Eating blueberries: You can eat blueberries from your garden (domestic) or on the high mountain slopes in the North Cascades (more wild). • Resting in the shade under a tree: You can rest under a 20-year-old planted Douglas fir (more domestic) or under the enormous canopy of a 200-year-old cedar. • Running the land: You can run 8 laps around a quarter-mile track (more domestic) or a 2-mile loop through Central Park (a little more wild) or a 20-mile loop through the Canyonlands of Utah (even more wild). We use the word wild to refer to that which is untamed, unmanaged, not encompassed, self-organizing, and unencumbered and unmediated by technological artifice (Foreman, 1991; Kahn & Hasbach, 2013; Rolston, 1989; Shepard, 1998). We can love the wild. We can fear it. We are strengthened and nurtured by it (Rolston, 1989; Turner, 1996). Wildness is not to be confused with wilderness. The reader may agree with Cronon’s (1995) view that wilderness is a social construction and that the idea of untouched pristine landscape is a fantasy of a Western European worldview. Be that as it may, there is nature that has more wild or less wild features and affordances, which allow for forms of interaction that are more wild or less wild. It is not a culturally determined social construction, or at least not much of one, when one comes face-to-face with a grizzly bear and recognizes that one’s life could be in jeopardy. Thus it is useful to characterize the constructs of the wild and the domestic as existing along a continuum. Pyle (2002) once wrote an essay titled Eden in a Vacant Lot. He was trying to show that, even in cities, small open patches of land are not what some people call “wastelands” but areas for more wild nature to exist and for people, especially children, to interact with. Even weeds growing through the cracks of a sidewalk can be understood as embodying some wild characteristics, such as being unmanaged and self-organizing. But the instantiation of this wild weed should not be equated as equally wild as a vast stand of old-growth redwood trees. Because domestic interaction patterns can be instantiated in evermore wild ways, it becomes possible to restructure human life, social organizations, and the urban-built environment to engender evermore wild instantiations of currently existing forms of interactions. For example, if you are designing an urban fountain, you can design it to allow for visual and perhaps auditory interaction: you look at it and hear it. But some fountains go further and allow for people’s bodies to find its way into, amidst, or through the water. You can wade into the water, get sprayed by it, run through it, or run on stepping stones over it. Or another example, in the

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metropolitan area of Seattle, Washington, there were about 20 miles of an abandoned railroad line that were repurposed as a contiguous trail. People use it for many purposes, such as for a biking commuter route and for recreational exercise. But what such a long stretch of urban trail also affords is the enactment of a very old interaction pattern with nature, one that goes back to the earliest days of Homo sapiens: of walking (or running) away from human settlement and then the return. Back then, women might walk out 3 or 5 miles from camp to forage and then return later laden with tubers and nuts. Men might go out for several days hunting and then return, successful or not. It is an important interaction pattern because it creates the conditions for many other smaller interaction patterns, such as an emphasis on being aware of weather patterns or one’s location in landscape so that one can take care of oneself the further one moves from the safety of camp. We are saying that interaction with more nature, and more wild nature, not only promotes people’s physical and psychological well-being but even more importantly provides perhaps the most powerful countervailing force against the insidious problem of environmental generational amnesia. For the knowledge and understandings that emerge through such interactions run deep within the human psyche, and within the body itself, so that there is both human memory and muscle memory – a lived reality – of one’s relation with nature. We are also suggesting that it is possible to restructure human life, social organizations, and the urban-built environment to engender these interaction patterns. In the next section, we show how some of this unfolds in the context of a nature preschool.

Child-Nature Interaction in Fiddleheads Forest Preschool The school is the Fiddleheads Forest Preschool in Seattle, WA, directed by one of us (Harrington). The children (ages 3–5 years old) and teachers spend all of their time outside, in a matrix of trees, in one of the two classrooms located in the University of Washington Botanic Gardens. These botanic gardens are open to the public in this fast-growing city. We divided each of the two outdoor areas into five different filming zones, and through a randomized time-sampling methodology, we filmed the children. Our data collection was recently completed. As a step forward in characterizing child-nature interaction in a nature preschool, we offer here a handful of interaction patterns that have been emerging from our data. This effort builds on our presentation of five other interaction patterns – falling on the ground, not falling on the ground, digging in the ground, leaning against the tree, and calling the birds – that we have described elsewhere (Kahn & Weiss, 2017). In addition to describing each pattern, we offer a little bit of what we call a nature language about the pattern. By a nature language, we mean a way of speaking about how the pattern is enacted, how it is meaningful in a child’s life, how it may lead to important developmental outcomes, how it may originate from sources deep in our ancestral heritage, and how it connects to a wider social and communicative discourse throughout time and place (Kahn et al., 2010, 2012).

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Leaning on and Hanging from Supple Tree Limbs The boy in Fig. 1 is talking to a person on a road outside the boundary of the classroom. As he is talking, he begins to lean a little on the supple branches of the tree. This leaning appears to start almost incidentally, based on the affordances of the limbs right within his grasp. But then as he starts enacting these minimal interactions, the responsiveness of the limbs leads him to further engage with them. The child tests the tree’s support of his body weight as he leans his body forward and backward. He holds onto a limb and leans back, and as he feels the limb support his weight, he leans back further and then a little further. He even goes so far as to lift one foot off of the ground as he leans far back, before placing the same foot on a low-hanging branch and shifting his weight forward in a lunging position. Thus these forms of interactions with nature illustrate a canonical principle described earlier of ecological psychology, where interactions with the affordances of nature quickly create new affordances which lead to further and often more extensive interactions. Moreover, you can almost see here the child’s construction of knowledge, as he is learning how to balance himself amidst supple tree limbs. It includes proprioceptive knowledge, as he gains an understanding of his body in relation to a dynamic natural system. Fig. 1 Interaction Pattern: Leaning on and Hanging from Supple Tree Limbs

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Climbing High in Small Tree The same boy as in Fig. 1 now engages in a solo exploration of the trees lining the edge of the classroom (Fig. 2). The tree he chooses to climb is relatively small and offers many low-hanging branches for him to easily make his way up to a suitable vantage point. Indeed, it seems plausible that his ability of leaning on and hanging from supple tree limbs (Fig. 1) engenders this further interaction pattern of climbing high in small tree. The branches embody an element of uncertainty as to their exact load-bearing capacity, which the boy needs to figure out. For example, when he reaches for the small branch in the bottom photo, he needs to figure out how much of his body weight the branch will hold as he uses it to pull himself up with. In the middle photograph, the child next stands on a limb and keeps his balance holding onto another limb. After that, he lets go with his right hand and balances only with his feet. The primary interaction pattern of climbing high in small tree makes possible many other interactions, such as standing in tall tree, climbing across small tree, straddling branches, or looking out while standing in tall tree. Some of these interaction patterns presumably have their origins in our evolutionary history. For example, looking out from a natural vantage point is the more general form of the interaction pattern of looking out while standing in tall tree, whereby it presumably conferred advantage to be able to see what lay in a more distant landscape from the vantage of higher ground. Even in modern urban environments, you can see this interaction pattern enacted and highly valued. For example, the real estate prices of homes increase when, all things being equal, the home has a view with a vantage point, especially with a territorial or water view. Contrast this boy’s climbing high in small tree compared to the girl in Fig. 3 climbing on a concrete and metal pillar. The wood 4  6 beams are smooth and offer few affordances by which to climb them. One could perhaps shimmy up a little bit. But there is little to grab on to or to step up on, except for the initial cement pier; and for that it is one step and you are done. Even if it were a metal jungle gym, the affordances would be few compared to the small tree, because the metal is solid and uniform, fully load bearing and thus offering little variation and little opportunity for the child to strategize compared to the dynamic natural system of a tree.

Looking at Wild Animals Biophilia refers to the innate propensity for humans to affiliate with nature (Kellert & Wilson, 1993; Wilson, 1984); and one of the most salient aspects of nature that humans affiliate with is animals. In our ancestral history, we hunted wild animals and depended on them for our survival. We paid attention to where they were, what they ate, when they ate, where and when they drank, when they migrated, how they moved, their footsteps in the ground, the sounds they made, their forms of communication, and many other things. One of the primary ways of interacting with a wild animal is visually looking at the animal. And, still today, this form of interaction has

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Fig. 2 Interaction Pattern: Climbing High in Small Tree

a powerful pull on the human psyche. For example, each year in North America, more people visit zoos and aquariums than all professional sporting events combined (Wilson, 1984). Why? Perhaps the most plausible explanation is because zoos and aquariums satisfy the human desire to look at wild animals, even if the animals are in captivity and are but fragments of their former wild selves. One of the strengths of a nature preschool is that it affords children the opportunity to look at wild animals or at least non-domesticated animals that are not in captivity, such as insects, lizards, squirrels, and birds. These animals have a degree of freedom and autonomy that go far beyond what animals in a zoo experience. The girl in Fig. 4 was initially jumping over the log and exploring her ability to place one foot on the log and propel herself over it. In the process, she then noticed (and vocally says in the video) that she sees a spider. She then stoops down and invites a teacher to look at the spider on the log with her. Looking at animals can be both an individual

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Fig. 3 Child Climbing on a Concrete and Metal Pillar

and social interaction. The animal is free, in its own habitat. The child is free to look at the spider or not and to marvel or not. The child is not trying to control the spider; no more than the spider is trying to control the child. It is a relationship of mutuality.

Imitating Animals Looking at animals is one form of interacting with them. But it can go much deeper than that. According to Shepard (1996), “the human species emerged enacting, dreaming, and thinking animals and [still today] cannot be fully itself without them” (p. 4). A nature preschool provides such opportunities with both domestic and wild animals. Specifically, one interaction pattern we have observed to date is that of imitating animals. In the first photo of Fig. 5, a girl crawls on her hands and knees and imitates the physical actions and vocalizations of a domestic housecat. She makes direct eye contact with the boy and is interacting with him in her pretend role as a cat. These interactions occur in a part of the outdoor classroom that can be characterized as in between the more domestic and more wild parts of the landscape. In contrast, the girl in the second photo of Fig. 5 is standing in one of the most untouched parts of the classroom, and instead of imitating a domestic animal, she chooses to imitate the sounds of birds overhead. She is making bird calls. She is calling to them. One can think of birds as some of the wildest animals that people encounter in urban environments insofar as birds, especially those that migrate, are not hemmed in by human infrastructures and desires. Birds fly where they want to fly. If they do not care to be around you, they leave. During migrations, they can fly many thousands of miles, themselves interacting with some of the wildest landscapes of the world. Based on our emerging data, one working hypothesis is that more relational interactions that seek harmony with nature (such as calling the birds) occur in the more wild and secluded parts of the nature school, while the more domination

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Fig. 4 Interaction Pattern: Looking at Animals

Fig. 5 Interaction Pattern: Imitating Animals

interactions with nature (such as using a stick as a pretend chainsaw to cut down trees) occur in the more domestic and built parts of the nature school. If this hypothesis bears out, it would be an important result. For as discussed elsewhere (Kahn, 2011; Kahn & Hasbach, 2013; Kenny, 2013), one of the overarching problems of the world today is that many people, and many world leaders, see themselves as dominating over other people and over nature, rather than living in relation and seeking harmony with both. Thus if this hypothesis is supported empirically, it would provide evidence that interactions with wild nature are vitally important in children’s development, as such interactions provide the mechanism for

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the child’s construction of more relational interactions of equality and harmony with each other and with their surrounding environment.

Imagining Nature to Be Something Other Than It Is In the field of developmental psychology, imagining and pretending has an illustrious history (Baldwin, 1973/1897; Vygotsky, 1978) and been the focus of modernday research (Taylor, 1999; Taylor & Carlson, 2002). The young child’s mind undergoes a far-reaching transformation when it comes to understand that something can be represented as something other than what it is. This transformation, in turn, opens up new forms of play and even humor. There is a story one of us heard, for example, of a very young boy who was sitting with his parents around the dining room table and then all at once he got a mischievous expression on his face. He then looked at his parents and then pointed to his glass of milk and proclaimed “beer!” Then he burst out laughing. It is actually quite funny, certainly from his perspective, because in a social communication with his parents, he was making something into something it was not. Adult irony in many Western cultures works in a similar way. You might walk outside to yet another rainy day and say to your partner: “I’m sure enjoying all the sun.” You do not mean it. You are playfully having the language mean something other than what the language literally means. Phylogenetically – tens of thousands of years ago, and perhaps much longer – this achievement of our species likely occurred through people interacting with nature and then imagining nature to be something other than it is (Shepard, 1998). In storytelling around a campfire, for example, hunters may well have used sticks or rocks to represent the animal they were talking about. Many examples of this interaction pattern of imagining nature to be something other than it is are emerging in our data. For example, the bottom photo in Fig. 6 shows a girl who had been playing with another girl, and then she saw a long thin stick and had an idea. She got on the stick and began to ride it, calling it a “train” and then a “horse” at different times. A few other classmates wanted to join her, but she rebuffed their entreaties and in effect claimed ownership over the nature she now possessed. But after a few minutes of solitary play, this girl began asking her classmates to join her for a ride. Most who had initially wanted to take a turn were now engaged in other activities; but, as shown in the top photo, eventually the girl was able to entice a friend of hers to join her for a “trip” around the center of the classroom. Along with illustrating this specific interaction pattern, this example shows how interacting with nature forms the basis for children’s construction of social and even moral knowledge. Namely, one way to interpret what happened between the children in this event – and this may be a stretch of an interpretation on our part, but it is worth considering – is that when the girl excluded others from playing with her with her imaginary stick, she then came to recognize that there were social repercussions: that the other girls got interested in something else and no longer wanted to play with her when asked. It was a nuanced event. It did not appear to us, at least, like the other

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Fig. 6 Interaction Pattern: Imagining Nature to Be Something Other Than It Is

girls rebuffed the individual girl out of spite (e.g., “you didn’t let us play when we asked, so we’re not going to play with you when you ask us!”). No, it was more that the other girls simply got interested in another activity. Thus the initial girl had to try hard to bring a friend back into her field of imaginary play. It did not take a teacher saying “it’s good to share your stick with others now!” Rather, the girl was learning on a microgenetic level that that it is fine not to share if you do not want to, but it can often come with costs in terms of social affiliations, and so you might well want to take that into account in your future decision-making.

Making Boundaries on Earth With the rise of agriculture, roughly 5,000–10,000 years ago, nomadic life gave way to settling, to the farmer, and for the first time in human history, it was possible to accumulate and store large quantities of food. With increased food production and storage, populations increased. Bands and tribes thus became chiefdoms and then city-states (Diamond, 1997). As populations increased, complex hierarchical systems of social organizations emerged. As part of this enormous cultural shift, the concept of land as private property emerged. This concept is now deeply rooted in Western culture and the Western mind. “This is my house.” “This is my land.” “Fences make good neighbors.” And children coming of age within Western culture begin to learn about boundaries that separate spaces, not in the way a natural

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boundary such as a ridgeline may separate two watersheds but in the way that a constructed boundary divides social uses of a landscape. This way of interacting with nature can be named making boundaries on earth. We are seeing evidence of this interaction pattern in the children at Fiddleheads. For example, the boy in Fig. 7 dragged a long thick branch from another location into an open space and used it to make a boundary of sorts, which he then buttressed with wood rounds and rock that he also carried from elsewhere. The open space within the nature preschool affords him this opportunity, as well as the many “loose parts” of nature that he perceived and acted upon.

Pushing to the Edges of Boundaries Children and adolescents often push to the edges of rules and other social understandings and sometimes go past them. A 2-year-old in a high chair might be told, “please don’t throw your broccoli across the kitchen anymore.” And then she may pick up a piece of broccoli and hold it in her hand and look at her parent. She may throw it. She may not. She is exploring and testing the edges of how social life is regulated, which is part of the mechanism by which she learns how to self-regulate. In the previous interaction pattern, we illustrated making boundaries on earth. Children live within such social boundaries. The Fiddleheads Nature Preschool has one and asks children to respect it. The rule is that during school hours they are not allowed unattended outside the boundary of the school, as demarcated in many places by rope or webbing attached across trees and bushes. Yet time and again, it appears that children are attracted to the boundaries and push to the edge, and occasionally slightly over. As a case in point, look again at the top photo of Fig. 1, and you can see the boy right at the boundary of the classroom, swinging his body almost over the boundary itself. This example also illustrates that while interaction patterns can be described individually, they almost never actually occur individually. At a minimum there are “background” interaction patterns that are always occurring, such a breathing air or being in space. But more substantively, often multiple interactions are being enacted at the same time, such as leaning on and hanging from supple tree limbs and pushing to the edges of boundaries. In addition, interactions readily lead to other interactions.

Waiting Attentively in Nature A boy and a girl had been exploring the more wild outer edges of the land. The girl then instructed the boy to wait for her. She then left the scene. More than 5 minutes passed, and, as shown in Fig. 8, the boy continues to wait for the girl, patiently, sometimes scanning the environment around him for her return. In our interpretation of his face and body motion, he is not bored. He is attentive. He is highly aware of

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Fig. 7 Interaction Pattern: Making Boundaries on Earth

his surroundings and taking in natural stimuli through his senses: sometimes looking for her, yes, but also likely listening. He is feeling and manipulating the leaf in his hand. He can hear birds chirp and the sound of wind in the leaves of the surrounding trees. He can see the changing light of the sun as clouds pass overhead. Compare this interaction pattern of waiting attentively in nature to Samuel Beckett’s 1949 existential play Waiting for Godot. In the play, two characters wait for a third person Godot (who never arrives) in a landscape barren except for one leafless tree. While the characters endlessly wonder why they should wait, and if Godot will indeed ever come, the boy in this more wild area of the landscape appears content and alert, neither bombarded by external sensory overload nor becoming distraught in a denatured environment. Could it be said that modern-day children are being schooled in traditional classrooms and are coming of age in natural environments that are existentially as barren as in Beckett’s play? But rather than face the existential conundrum, which Becket asks his audience to do, people today seek to avoid it by immersing consciousness as often as possible in digital distraction. For example, if you look at people waiting at a bus stop at a crowded urban intersection, or in line at in a crowded supermarket, and in many other situations, often they are peering intently into their smartphone and mentally tuning out their outer environment – an environment which often is so noisy and distasteful, if not toxic, that one can understand them doing so. This new form of human-technology interaction, which we could call peering into digital device while waiting, is becoming the conventional practice. People have sometimes told us that when they are waiting in a crowd that they will

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Fig. 8 Interaction Pattern: Waiting Attentively in Nature

pull out their smart phone and look like they are looking at their phone, even if they do not want to, so as not to stand out from the crowd and draw attention to themselves. It may look like the boy in Fig. 8 is doing nothing; but we would like to suggest that he is engaged with some of the fullness of life.

Conclusion Environmental generational amnesia helps explain how cities continue to lose nature and why people do not really see it happening and to the extent they do, they do not think the loss is too much of a problem. Each generation calibrates to a new degraded baseline and thinks it reasonably normal. But it is not. No more than is the prevalence of disease in the modern world. In the United States, for example, about two-thirds of the population is considered overweight, and one-third is considered obese. Eight percent have asthma, and 10 percent have diabetes. Fifty percent have one or more chronic health conditions. Numbers like these are evidence of a physically sick society. In the United States, one in ten people take antidepressants. is that not an astoundingly large number? We should look at these conditions and be appalled and seek for radical change. But mostly we stay the course: allowing for – if not participating in the destruction of nature – the destruction of the wellsprings of human life and well-being and crowding ourselves into increasingly mind-numbing urban confines, often in megacities of over 20 million people where most days the air is toxic and the sun a hazy shadow that moves across the sky and where the waters are polluted and wild animals go to die. Paragraphs like the one you just read convey a sad state of affairs. People who write them hope that such truths will help motivate action, in the way that if you tell

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people that their homes are on fire, you assume they will get moving and take appropriate action. But the “renormalizing” of the baseline by each new generation diminishes the alarming meaning of such words. Perhaps the ideas are understood cognitively, but not phenomenologically, not in a deep sense of one’s being. As a case in point, elsewhere, Kahn (2011) describes a conversation he had with an architect. The architect said that he had come to understand very well the idea of environmental generational amnesia when one day he was driving with his son along the tree-lined streets of Seattle, and his son said something like “Dad, look at the beautiful forests!” The architect said with a knowing smile on his face that his son was constructing a concept that a forest was young planted trees along a tree-lined street, while he (the dad) knew that a real forest was. . . and here he mentioned a forested area outside of Seattle with hiking trails through it. But what the architect did not seem to understand was that the land he was referring to had been logged many times over the last hundred and more years. That land is now a former shell of what the old-growth forests were. So the architect, like all of us, even when we understand about the idea of environmental generational amnesia, is at a severe disadvantage for understanding what we have lost because we do not particularly experience it as a loss, even as the loss causes us tremendous ills and prevents the well-being and flourishing of human consciousness. Thus our response in our work, as reflected in this chapter, is not so much to describe the ills of the world, as that does not seem all that effective. Rather we seek to show – in terms of building theory and in terms of practice – what is possible to rediscover. In terms of building theory, we are putting forward an interaction pattern approach to modeling human-nature interaction. These interaction patterns can be thought of as a little like words in a dictionary insofar as they can be individually named, though their basic definition lies in the name itself. Thus, for example, climbing high in small trees and looking at wild animals are pretty much selfexplanatory at their most basic level. But individual words often have nuanced meanings and complex histories. The unabridged version of the Oxford English Dictionary, for example, has extensive expositions on tens of thousands of individual words, often showing how they have been used in sentences throughout the ages. So, too, we seek to provide a nature language for the interaction patterns. The interactions can be enacted in an infinite number of unique ways, always alive, sometimes on fire so to speak, meaningful. Looking and being looked at by a wild animal are not some cerebral experience; no, your whole body comes alive, your senses open, and your immediate perceptions deepen. In a future publication, we aim to provide a comprehensive account of the foundational interaction patterns that children enact at Fiddleheads Forest Preschool. This account should complement emerging work that has been providing lists of activities that children engage in at forest schools, such as running, digging, sand play, yelling, wrestling, building, birding, gardening, cooking over an open fire, and going barefoot (Hanscom, 2016; Kenny, 2013). In future work, we also aim to provide an account of interaction patterns in other locations as well, such as in city parks. One long-term goal is to be able to associate interaction patterns with the

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affordances of diverse landscapes, which would then help position us to use GIS mapping data to give voice to the human dimensions of specific landscapes the world over. In turn, that knowledge could be used to articulate a more powerful conservation agenda (to conserve not just land or species but the affordances for humannature interaction) and be used as a metric to assess the efficacy of specific landscape designs. To rediscover nature is to care for it because we live within it and are part of it. To rediscover nature requires that we interact with it – in increasingly diverse, deep, and wild ways – and relearn how to speak about it. For anthropologists, the loss of a language is a sign of a vanishing culture. As Davis (2002) writes: Language isn’t just a body of vocabulary or a set of grammatical rules; it’s a flash of the human spirit, the vehicle through which the soul of each particular culture comes into the material world. When you and I were born there were 6,000 languages spoken on Earth. Now, fully half are not being taught to schoolchildren. Effectively, they’re already dead unless something changes. What this means is that we are living through a period of time in which, within a single generation or two, by definition half of humanity’s cultural legacy is being lost in a single generation. Whereas cultures can lose their language and maintain some semblance of their former selves, in general, it’s the beginning of a slippery slope towards assimilation and acculturation and, in some sense, annihilation.

Thus part of our larger project is to reinfuse in our world an alive nature language that is based on our actual experiences with our encounters with a living nature and an infusion of our being into the wider and wilder energies and consciousness from which we come. That is part of our theory-driven agenda, based on what we refer to as interaction patterns and a nature language. In terms of practice, through the work presented here, we are beginning to characterize child-nature interactions in one specific nature preschool. As the reader will likely have noticed from the photographs of the school’s landscape, it is not a particularly wild landscape. True, there are some large trees, 5 or 6 ft in diameter at their base. And the area is removed from much of the urban noise and traffic, situated as it is within a larger natural area of the University of Washington Botanic Garden. But the land is mostly flat, with bark underfoot in many areas. Perhaps the wildest aspect of the school’s nature is the weather itself. Children and adults are outside all of the time, even when it is cold and raining. Likely enough, this nature preschool could be more effective with more wild terrain, affording more wild forms of interaction. But what we want to emphasize here is that it is wild enough to engender some deep and pervasive forms of child-nature interaction, especially when contrasted to what little nature children encounter in cities throughout the world. Nature preschools serve approximately 10,000 children each year, and 80% of the programs report a waiting list (NAAEE, 2017). It is a national movement that is gaining momentum. It is an exciting time because in principle these schools have within them the kernels to transform the world through increasing children’s direct interaction with nature and a more wild nature than that exists in most urban children’s lives. Imagine not just 10,000 children engaging in somewhat wild

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forms of interaction with nature but hundreds of thousands and even millions of children. Imagine school systems that are fundamentally structured in these ways. It is possible, and if enacted, they will help awaken us to a natural world that is as vital, demanding, spacious, and awe-inspiring as it is nurturing.

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Childhood Animalness: Relationality, Vulnerabilities, and Conviviality Joshua Russell and Leesa Fawcett

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tracing the Divisions of Childhood, Animality, and Adulthood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Children, Adults, and Other Animals in Continuity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Interspecies Ethics Within Children’s Embodied Experiences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusion: Toward an Interspecies Pedagogy of Conviviality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cross-References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Abstract

This paper traces how animals have been and are reduced to mere objects for use in child development, examining historical and contemporary trends in developmental literature. We alternatively present scholarship that delves into children’s and animals’ subjective encounters and intersecting worldhoods as critical of more anthropocentric developmental psychology models. We utilize continuity as a model that emerges from our field work in order to make various suggestions about the ethics that emerge from children’s embodied experiences with animals, including felt senses of vulnerability, death, and precarity. Finally, we finish the chapter by outlining potential pedagogical directions that encourage deeper reflections about the precariousness of childhood lives, lived differently and

J. Russell (*) Department of Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, Canisius College, Buffalo, NY, USA e-mail: [email protected] L. Fawcett Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada e-mail: [email protected] # Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018 A. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, Springer International Handbooks of Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51949-4_64-1

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together on this planet. Key to this is the consideration of interspecies, intergenerational conviviality – emphasizing the shared joys, pleasures, and problems of multispecies living. Keywords

Developmental psychology · Animalness · Vulnerability · Human-animal relations · Childhood · Conviviality

Introduction While interviewing a 13-year-old girl named Sabrina, Joshua asked a question about the differences between the death of beloved companion animals and the deaths of animals in the wild or on farms. Sabrina thought for a moment before offering the following response: Um, well I feel like pets is different because you have like, a connection with them and like specific people will like, be sad about it and stuff, but I try not to think about like, the animals that are killed for food and stuff and then like the wild and stuff you don’t really notice as much when they’re killed because you don’t really watch them die or anything and so then you kind of, its like not the same because you don’t really think about it you don’t really like notice, cuz I’m sure there’s like lots of animals who have died like, really recently, like in the past hour or something but you just like don’t, you don’t know cuz you don’t know specifically each animal.

As scholars working at the crossroads of environmental education, environmental philosophy, and human-animal relations, we are interested in the kinds of experiential curiosities that Sabrina outlines in her thoughtful response above. We wonder how children’s lived experiences converge and diverge with wider sociocultural and political practices and discourses about multispecies cohabitation, and we believe that critical and caring research on child-animal relationships can provide insights that counter hegemonic practices and promote nonviolent coexistence. In this chapter, we outline a theoretical framework built on relational ontologies and ethics, as well as bodily experiences – ranging from felt desires to mutual vulnerabilities – that we argue illustrates the significance and implications of child-animal relationships. By using the phrase childhood animalness, we mean to reclaim the continuities and differences across animals from the tight anthropocentric hold that has existed in schooling. We use our framework to build a pedagogical vision of conviviality, albeit an interspecies living and learning together that embraces interdependence and ethical comingling. Throughout our framing, we employ a range of phenomenological, evolutionary, and feminist materialist approaches as well as examples from our research with children, to identify the ethical, political implications of the intersubjective, bodily phenomena that are central to child-animal relationships. Drawing from an array of discourses, we turn our critical eyes toward the persistence of anthropocentric views of childhood (often Western, Eurocentric views too) and of animal life that encourage a hegemonic hyper-separation of “the adult human” as contra to “the animal” or

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“the child.” These are the same views that posit “culture” as dominant over nature, as outlined in the important work of Val Plumwood, Donna Haraway, and others. In place of these limiting and damaging human-centric models of child-animal-nature, we trace various ecological lines of thought that emphasize relationality, complexity, and material interconnections as foundational ontological realities. In addition, we challenge both political and educational habits that emerge from ontologies of separation and human exceptionalism, which perpetuate existing violent and destructive human-animal relations driven by varieties of anthropocentrism. Such practices rely on speciesism and long-standing generalizations about (white, privileged) adulthood as the pinnacle of human development. We align with non-anthropocentric philosopher Matthew Calarco as we try to disrupt and “shrink the influence of the institutional and economic practices that limit animal potentiality and to create other ways of life that allow for both human beings and animals to flourish” (2015, p. 5). Our goal is to highlight bodily experiences that emerge from child-animal relations – in particular experiences of shared, bodily vulnerabilities across species lines – as a starting point for decentering privileged, anthropocentric visions of individual development. In its place, we offer our thoughts on a living and dynamic pedagogy of conviviality that aligns with the vision of childhoodnature that reminds us that human children, more-than-human animals, and human adults are all materially and ethically embedded in relational, naturalcultural spaces. We are using the linguistically awkward term more-than-human (Abram, 1996) to signal the enormous array of living beings other than human beings. We chose not to use the common term nonhuman as it reproduces a binary negation. Some Indigenous scholars, such as Haudenosaunee elder Paul Williams (1999), talk about animals and plant as our brothers and sisters, as our relatives (p. 2); we find this environmental philosophy much more suitable, especially given the lands we are on, but we do not wish to misappropriate it or use it disrespectfully, as we do not speak the language.

Tracing the Divisions of Childhood, Animality, and Adulthood It is likely that anyone formally trained to work with children has at some point become familiar with the work of Swiss biologist Jean Piaget. Piaget was originally trained as a zoologist, and his particular interest in children actually arose from a deep curiosity about the development of rational, scientific cognition in humans. Piaget’s work is described as establishing a “strong” model of human development (Damon, 1983). Piaget – along with Erik Erikson, Lawrence Kohlberg, and many others – portrays human development as a sequence of qualitatively distinct, holistic, and universal stages. Piaget notably outlined four stages of cognitive development: 1. 2. 3. 4.

The sensorimotor stage (newborns to infants of 2) The preoperational stage (roughly ages 2–7) The concrete operational stage (ages 7–12) The formal operational stage (ages 12 and beyond)

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These stages are part of Piaget’s overall epigenetic theory of child cognition (Damon, 1983; Piaget and Inhelder, 2013). That is, Piaget held that children are born with a genetic disposition or map for cognitive development, social meaning making, and self-recognition. Included in any child’s journey through these four stages and into adulthood are mastery over cognitive concepts like object permanence, intentionality, egocentrism, inductive reasoning, abstract thought, and rational problem-solving. In his research, Piaget generally followed two categorical lines of growth in human beings: individuation, referring to a person’s distinguishing of self from others, defining one’s direction, and finding a position in society, and socialization, referring to the self’s ability to integrate into society and dealing with others and the world at large (Damon, 1983). As a result of Piaget’s foundational work, children, as research subjects, are often described in abstraction from their specific familial and social environments so as to maintain a dispassionate and universal view of their individuation and, ironically, their socialization (Damon, 1983; Burman, 1993). Piaget’s empiricist approach not only abstracts children from their environment and universalizes this pattern of growth, but as Erica Burman (1993) notes, his actual tools of measurement work to produce children as both research objects and research subjects, thereby failing to theorize the contexts they inhabit. Of interest to us, Piaget conducted only limited research into child-animal relations, and much of that was focused upon children’s categorical understanding of animals as animate and their cognitive ability to separate living from nonliving objects. For example, Piaget (2004) draws attention to the stage of development wherein children recognize that the moon, stars, and sun are objects separate from the free, self-motivated, and animate objects present in the animal kingdom, but this is the extent of his foray into children’s interactions with animal others. Research on childhood covers a significant amount of disciplinary ground, from developmental psychology and psychoanalysis to cultural, historical, and sociological research on childhood as a phenomenon (Jenks, 2005). Investigations of the roles and experiences of animals in childhood remain rooted mostly in critical and cultural studies of symbolic animals – especially those drawing on psychoanalysis – and in psychological research surrounding children’s development in the presence of real animal others (Taylor, 2016). Gail Melson notes that child-animal relationships have rarely been given serious attention within research and scholarly literature, save for a few exemplary studies that tended toward an anthropocentric bias, studies which have “impeded both theory and research into the developmental significance of animals, especially companion animals, for children” (2003, p. 32). Given the disciplinary breadth of interest, however, researchers that do take up child-animal relationships vary widely in their scope and focus. What such work often shares, however, is an attentiveness to the ways in which animals play a key role in children’s attainment of some contextually specific vision of “adulthood.” At times, this emphasis on a predetermined achievement of adulthood diminishes children’s knowledge and likewise erases other animals as subjects, agents, and active, meaningful participants in relational spaces alongside of children and adults. Still, it is useful to trace some of the ways in which researchers have sought to

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explore children’s relationships with animals as predominantly aligned with an anthropocentric, becoming-adult vision of development. Several researchers have approached the study of child-animal relations as a way of understanding the development of empathy or morality. Lori Gruen (2009) outlines empathy’s varied use within the psychological literature; it is typically described as knowing, feeling, or responding to another being’s (typically a person’s) own feelings. There is a historical precedent for thinking that relationships with companion animals contribute to children’s empathic abilties (Grier, 1999). Several contemporary, developmental studies suggest that higher empathy “scores” are correlative to relationships with pets (Daly & Morton, 2006; Wynne, Dorey & Udell, 2011). What such scores mean, however, is debatable. As Gail Melson notes (2003), there is no indication that the presence or introduction of cats or dogs into the family home produces the effect of higher empathic understanding; it may be just as likely that sensitive, empathic children ask their parents for a pet. Still, when asked about the connections between children and animals, almost 70% of adults reported a belief that it is “good for a kid’s development to grow up with pets” (Ipsos-Reid, 2001, p. 33). In a recent Time special edition on “The Science of Childhood”, psychologist Michele Borba advocates teaching children empathy and how pets can assist with those teachings: “watch the puppy’s tail, and you will know when she’s happy” (2017, p. 63). Another psychologist interested in what child-animal relationships reveals about children’s affective and moral development, Frank Ascione similarly draws upon notions of empathy (see Ascione, 1992); although, his most prominent research tends to consider children’s animal relationships as indicative of future affective capacities or psychopathologies. In Children and Animals: Exploring the Roots of Kindness and Cruelty, Ascione (2005) investigates various case studies and conducts new research into the correlations between domestic abuse, child abuse, and animal abuse. He argues that children who are abused by caretakers are more likely to abuse animals when young and spouses, family members, or other children when older. Ascione cites humane education programs as important steps toward improving children’s empathic capabilities, not only toward companion animals but toward other human beings as well (1992, 2005). He also describes various social work programs and strategies as critical methods of intervention for an otherwise predictable turn from childhood animal abuse to future psychopathology and criminality. Stephen Kellert’s developmental research focuses upon the role of biophilia, as well as experiences with animals and nature, in children’s “personality formation and character development” (2002, p. 117). Kellert distinguishes between three kinds of experiences children have in natural environments or with nonhuman beings: direct, indirect, and symbolic experience. Direct experiences involve physical contact “largely outside and independent of the human built environment,” experiences that are unplanned or unstructured (Kellert, 2002, p. 118). Indirect experiences involve physical contact with “natural habitats and nonhuman creatures” that is the “result of regulated and contrived human activity” (Kellert, 2002, p. 119). Examples include visits to zoos or aquariums, animal visits to classrooms, and even experiences with pets in the home. Symbolic experiences, also referred to as “mediated”

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experiences (Fawcett, 2002), occur outside of physical contact with nature, where children encounter “representations or depicted scenes of nature that sometimes are realistic but that also, depending on circumstance, can be highly symbolic, metaphorical, or stylized characterizations” (Kellert, 2002, p. 119). Children, for example, may have symbolic experiences while watching nature documentaries, YouTube videos, or reading books with animal characters. Each of these experiential modes, Kellert argues, enhances the development of various cognitive, affective, and moral abilities within childhood, a finding which Kellert describes as unfortunate, given the decline in natural spaces and species as a result of modern capitalist culture. Recent developmental research builds upon the concept of biophilia in establishing young children and infants’ tendency to “monitor the environment for the presence and location of animals and other humans,” known as the “animatemonitoring hypothesis” (DeLoache, Pickard, & LoBue, 2011, p. 87). An overview of research in this area indicates that even in infancy, human beings are drawn to animate stimuli and in particular animals. Both dynamic and static features of animals are attended to, including facial features, body shapes, animal movement patterns, “self-initiation, and apparent agency and intentionality” (DeLoache et al., 2011, p. 94). Arguably, this perceptual attendance to animate and animal objects in an infant’s lifeworld builds a foundation for children’s future epistemic investigations, including categorization, names, identities, and typical behavior of animals. Furthermore, tracking the presence and location of individual and recognizable animals in early childhood figures to be key in establishing interspecies relationships, bonds, or even friendships (Fawcett, 2014). Kahn and Kellert’s (2002) exposition of biophilia overlooks the experience and meaning of child-pet relationships. Kellert suggests that direct experiences in nature are preferable to, and indeed more beneficial than, indirect and symbolic experiences. With this idea we largely concur. As a result, he puts studies of “pets” on a lower tier of interest. Ecological feminists have a lengthy history of critiquing the tendency to focus only on populations of wild animals and not include individual animals, such as pets. Erica Fudge notes similar trends within animal studies, citing a widely held belief that pets are “degraded animals,” since the “truly animal qualities of wildness and self-sufficiency have been removed from – bred out of – the pet and replaced with tameness and dependency” (2008, p. 8). Fudge instead suggests that pets provide much to think about regarding globalization, the destruction of natural spaces, and the human-animal divide, particularly, she argues, within literary explorations of human-pet relationships. We would add that pets are good to think with, especially about the development of interdependence and empathy in childhood and throughout human lives. What Ascione, Kellert, and the others have in common with Piaget and more traditional developmental thinkers is the anthropocentric and adult-centric framework they use in thinking through the process and endpoints of development. While there is more emphasis placed on relationships outside of the human realm, other animals are reduced to bystanders or passive participants in the nexus of childhood. In some extreme instances, animals become objects for contemplation, consideration, or moral and affective experimentation on children’s journey to fuller participation in a human-centered world, full of adults and their grown-up concerns.

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Children, Adults, and Other Animals in Continuity Challenging Western psychology’s anthropocentric approach, a variety of other researchers have argued that children’s relationships to animals and to the larger ecology of multispecies assemblages are important for nourishing development, not as an endpoint for human adults but as a continuous process of becoming-with (Fawcett, 2014; Livingston, 1994; Malone 2016; Myers, 2007; Russell, 2016; Shepard, 1982, 1997; Taylor & Pacini-Ketchawbaw, 2015; etc.). Gene Myers provides one of the earliest empirical studies of child-animal relations that embraces participation across species lines. Drawing on his year-long study of preschool children’s interactions with animals in the classroom (2007), Myers’ work is built around a belief that nonhuman animals are real, subjective, and vital figures in children’s lives: Partly because we do not see animals as fundamentally important to human life, we have dispersed them to the official domains of child psychology – here in conceptual development, a bat that is not a bird; over there in psychoanalysis the horse that is the father. . . But in the actual lives of children, the animal is a whole and compelling presence. We can recover that animal by identifying the biases that have led us to marginalize other creatures and, most importantly, by going directly to the source – to children and their experience of animals. (2007, p. 2)

Myers firmly places humans within the sphere of animality, arguing that we are first and foremost relational selves within an ecology of subjects (Evernden, 1993). Such an expression of human embeddedness and creaturely existence echoes Donna Haraway’s suggestion that “beings do not pre-exist their relatings” (2004, p. 6). Myers’ observations of children led to a wide range of findings regarding the significance of child-animal relationships and the self-other relations more broadly. While there is not enough room here to summarize each of his developmentally significant findings, a few stand out as particularly relevant for the project at hand. First, Myers presents several examples of child-animal interactions that display children’s ability to recognize animals as possessing unique and significantly different minds, developing what is known as a “theory of mind.” Theory of mind “holds that people have beliefs and desires, which can lead to intentions and actions, and which interact with situations in the real world and with emotions in the self” (Myers, 2007, p. 101). In essence, theory of mind is the ability to recognize subjective and affective states in other beings. Recent cognitive and consciousness studies indicate that theory of mind is present in varying degrees in humans, primates, and possibly other animals and may be attributed to the possession of mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are unique in that they “fire” as a result of both action and observation: They constitute, therefore, a specific neural system matching action observation and execution. The observed action produces in the observer’s premotor cortex an activation pattern resembling that occurring when the observer actively executes the same action. (Gallese, 2001, p. 36)

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We experience the effects of mirror neuron activation when we witness others being injured and reach for our own uninjured body part; the effect is similar when witnessing others act in ways that reveal a particular emotional response. It is possible that mirror neurons are actually at the root of some empathic understanding (Gallese, 2001). Children articulating a theory of mind regarding animals challenge the outdated Cartesian notion that animals are merely instinctual beings. Myers reveals that while children tended to attribute wants and desires to animals rather than more complex thoughts, the foundation for further development is laid in early childhood (2007). Myers also emphasizes the interaction between theory of mind and children’s development of language use. He describes several examples of children speaking to animals or speaking about animal language. One particularly interesting conclusion Myers makes is that children both make assumptions about animals’ ability to recognize their intentions through verbal communication – typically through highpitched, upward inflected questions – and that children can distinguish between their own use of language and the animals’ modes of communication. Myers shares an interaction between the classroom teacher and the children during a visit with a dog as evidence: Mr. Grier: “If I’m up in my apartment and he’s out in this park by himself, I’ve got to know when to go get him, right, when he’s ready to come in. So you know what he does?” A child barks. Mr. Grier: “Exactly, who said that?” Ms. Tanner and Drew indicate it was Joe. Mr. Grier: “exactly, I’ll be up in my apartment, maybe reading or something, and I’ll hear from outside ‘Woof, woof woof’ just a couple of times, and that means he’s waiting right by the door outside and he’s ready to come on.” (2007, p. 112)

Myers interprets 5-year-old Joe’s barking as evidence that Joe recognizes the meaning conveyed by the dog’s communicative action. Language use around animals shifts according to the contexts, moods, and desires of the children, revealing shifting experiences of self-awareness and relationality in a more-than-human. According to Myers, “language is essential in making us the creature that connects” (2007, p. 91). Myers’ description of humans as the creature that connects belies a humanistic, psychological tendency to differentiate between humans and animals on the basis of some cognitive capacity, including language use (Calarco, 2008). David Abram, drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s exploration of the embodiment of language, suggests that language is not just a matter of grammar or speech but is embodied: In the Phenomenology of Perception, Merleau-Ponty had begun to work out a notion of human language as a profoundly carnal phenomenon, rooted in our sensorial experience of each other and the world. (1996, p. 74)

Abram further suggests that language and meaning emerge within a sensory, affective world of embodied encounter with others and even with entire landscapes. Understanding language in this way reveals that humans are one of the many social beings who make connections, both within and across species boundaries.

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The highlight of Myers’ study is perhaps his exploration of various intersubjective experiences and states. Intersubjectivity is multiply defined, but through outlining the phenomenological work of Edmund Husserl, David Abram concludes that intersubjectivity is, at heart, the experience of specific phenomena “by a multiplicity of sensing subjects” (1996, p. 38). Such shared experiences can be embodied, cognitive, imaginative, theoretical, and even affective or emotional. Myers outlines several modes of shared experience that he observed between children and animals to varying degrees, notably the sharing of affects (interaffectivity), shared attention, and shared intentionality. When different animals were brought into the classroom, Myers described the children’s behaviors as often aligned with the vitality affects of the animal: a hyper monkey entered the classroom and the children became hyper, a turtle’s presence made the children move slowly and even take the hunched over shape of a turtle in its shell, and so on. He notes that these “vitality affects” may have been unconscious on some level, but that children were often actively interpreting an animal’s behavior as representative of her emotions and intentions (2007). While he warns that little evidence was found in his studies to suggest that animals aligned their own affects or intentions with the children’s, Myers does acknowledge the possibility and suggests that children and adults may actually learn to interpret animal actions interaffectively. He provides the example of animals “liking” children: The turtle crawls toward Dawn, who declares: “He likes me.” Mr. Lloyd: “He likes you? He’s going to crawl right under you there, huh?” Dawn backs up, spreads her knees on floor, and laughs. (Myers, 2007, p. 93)

Myers’ work reveals a promising foundation for a shift in developmental focus on child-animal relationships, one that takes animal agency and children’s animality as a starting point. It is important to recognize the interplay of cognitive, linguistic, and embodied developments in the real and imagined relational spaces of childhood to obtain a larger picture of children’s experiences, without predetermining what children “ought” to become as adults. Following in similar footsteps as Edith Cobb (1959) and John Livingston (1994), Myers draws attention to the ecological and intersubjective contexts of childhood. The rational, dispassionate, apex adult that epigenetic models of development portray as the endpoint of proper child development are so often removed from the more-than-human world. Models of development built on relational, ecological concepts offer new possibilities for thinking about not only childhood but the human animal’s place in various contexts (Code, 2006). As indicated in the previous section, many studies of child-animal relationships tend to focus on the impacts of those bonds on children’s cognitive, emotional, and moral development, with little consideration to the agency, well-being, or subjective experiences of the animals themselves. This is a common trend within much academic literature, one that has become the focus of human-animal studies (HAS) and anthrozoology. These interdisciplinary fields have risen in popularity among academics in fields as diverse as ethology, literary studies, science and technology

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studies, education, philosophy, political studies, and sociology (DeMello, 2010). We use the phrase human-animal studies broadly, to cover a wide range of scholars who may choose to label their work as “posthumanist,” “post-Cartesian,” “critical,” or otherwise (see Castricano, 2009; DeMello, 2010; Wolfe, 2010). Like others in human-animal studies, we espouse the post-Cartesian view that the oppressive dualisms of mind/body, human/animal, and culture/nature are both deeply embedded within Western culture (Plumwood, 2002) and also work to create unnecessary separations, suffering, and loss. Many of our colleagues in humananimal studies and environmental studies have developed strong research orientations toward what they see as a problematic and violent understanding of animals within their various research projects and publications (Castricano, 2009). Traci Warkentin, for example, articulates an approach that is rooted in phenomenological biology and ecological psychology for exploring human-whale interactions. Drawing in particular on the work of Jakob von Uexküll, Warkentin (2007) suggests that it is possible to imaginatively envision another being’s sensory lifeworld – including the sights, sounds, scents, flavors, textures, and even their sense of time. Uexküll’s famous concept of the umwelt – translated as “environment” or, more roughly, “surrounding world” – was radical in that it extended the possibility of worldhood and multiple realities to all living things. According to Uexküll, no singular being’s reality is more truthful or accurate than another’s; they are different yet complementary. This ontological coupling of animal being with environment is the foundation of an umwelt, the closed perceptual world of an individual organism. Uexküll’s most famous example is that of the tick, an organism that can lie for years in an almost catatonic state until it perceives the scent of mammalian blood, when it will then drop down for a meal. Our perceptual worlds do not overlap; our reliance upon vision and sound is perhaps nonsensical to the tick. Its perceptual capacity for smelling blood and sensing body heat is largely unknown to humans. A tick’s umwelt can be imagined, but never truly known or experienced, yet it is no less materially present in the world and “real” (Evernden, 1993; Warkentin, 2007).

Interspecies Ethics Within Children’s Embodied Experiences Recently, while watching a young seated child of 9 months exuberantly kicking his feet in every direction and simultaneously dancing his hands in the air as he made numerous sounds, Leesa was struck by the child’s enthralled embodiment and the surrounding adults’ enchantment. This was a scene of delight, especially when the child paused suddenly, looked down at his leaping feet, seemed surprised, stopped moving, and simply watched his feet as if to wonder whose they were. To be in awe about one’s own bodily extensions and expressions into the world is part of childhood development. This child had dogs wandering underfoot, dogs with active legs and feet. For a child to discover their own feet and then see the feet of a dog (or cat or squirrel, etc.) gives them the opportunity to witness the similarities and differences across physical forms and functions of legs, feet, and movement. Is it possible that children’s discovery of their own bodies is abetted by seeing other animals’ bodies?

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Individuals are not alive alone. We are embedded in relationships with humans and a multitude of other species, daily. Searching for a nonviolent ethics (from a humanistic perspective), Judith Butler (2004) discusses a “common human vulnerability, one that emerges with life itself” (31) and that calls forth our collective responsibilities to each other. Butler carefully questions how some humans are made unhuman and their lives made unreal and how violence accompanies that unreality (2004, p. 33). To extend Butler’s notion, for example, to the lives of animals in the animal-industrial complex is not unthinkable; indeed, Stanescu (2012) has done just that. The critical questioning of the wholly autonomous self is necessary to understand the circulation of recognition and reciprocity in social lives. As Butler acknowledges, “I am not fully known to myself, because part of what I am is the enigmatic traces of others” (46). These others need not be human others only. Although, her life’s work is from a humanistic standpoint, Butler has recognized the importance of human-animal relationships (Stanescu, 2012). Butler asks us: “Is there a way that we might struggle for autonomy in many spheres, yet also consider the demands that are imposed upon us by living in a world of beings who are, by definition, physically dependent on one another, physically vulnerable to one another?” (2004, 27). When Leesa asked a 10-year-old about nature, they replied: “Nature is the same as people sort of. If people think they have the right to kill animals then they have the right to kill people, and it shouldn’t be either one.” In Butler’s argument that all bodies are differently and inequitably vulnerable, we are reminded of children and animal’s corporeal vulnerability and (inter)dependence, and we agree with both the 10-year-old child above and with Butler that we have a communal responsibility for the interdependence of our physical, emotional lives. Key to Butler’s response is her description of “recognizability,” a Hegelian concept which she defines as “the more general conditions that prepare or shape a subject for recognition – the general terms, conventions, and norms “act” in their own way, crafting a living being into a recognizable subject, though not without errancy or, indeed, unanticipated results” (Butler, 2009, p. 5). Butler’s descriptions align with a wider sense that others have meaningful lives, worthy of recognition. She provides an epistemic framework that echoes the animal rights philosopher Tom Regan’s (1983) notion of moral subjects – including certain “higher” animals – as being “subjects of a life.” Regan’s metaphysical argument for animal rights suggests that beings capable of individual beliefs, desires, and a sense of self that extends both into the past and into the future are “subjects of a life” and hence deserve moral recognition. The children in our studies often recognize that this is the case and often express those observations while describing death, pain, and suffering of other creatures. Thirteen-year old Neville provides such a perspective, when asked about his thoughts about animals: Neville: . . . if we were just to call them [animals] like, an object, I don’t think that would be um, too specific to them, I think they should be. . . all animals should be called like, uh, have feelings and, um, really to show you um, not to like, because yeah I have a microphone and a watch and, they’re things (I: Yeah) I mean, a cat, I mean, living animals aren’t (I: Yeah) if you know what I’m saying?

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For Neville, this recognition of the vitality of other animals separates them from the world of “mere” objects. His description was particularly tied to various discussions about animal suffering and his experiences with the death of a cat. Why might recognition of animals’ lives and subjectivity coincide with the witnessing of their suffering or death? Butler (2004) claims that human beings’ fundamental relationality and existential awareness of vulnerability leads to the possibility of recognizing others’ lives as “precarious.” Butler describes precariousness as built upon affective apprehension of life’s fundamental relationality, the fact that we emerge from social conditions and attachments. This affective knowledge surfaces in the experience and expression of grief: It is not as if an “I” exists independently over here and then simply loses a “you” over there, especially if the attachment to “you” is part of what composes who “I” am. If I lose you, under these conditions, then I not only mourn the loss, but I become inscrutable to myself. Who “am” I, without you?. . . What grief displays. . . is the thrall in which our relations with others hold us, in ways that we cannot always recount or explain, in ways that often interrupt the self-conscious account of ourselves we might try to provide, in ways that challenge the very notion of ourselves as autonomous and in control. (Butler, 2004, pp. 22–23, emphasis ours)

Is it possible then to recognize precariousness in other kinds of beings? While Butler maintains an anthropocentric focus, concerned with how human lives are subject to the production of normative frames, she does acknowledge briefly that precariousness is “a condition that links human and non-human animals” (2009, p. 13). Butler has been criticized for establishing a line of inquiry and argument that maintains and reinforces the primacy of “humanness” (Iveson, 2012), but we suggest that Butler’s arguments encourage a hermeneutic, phenomenological line of inquiry into the experience and meaning of interspecies relationality. In previous work, Joshua argues that mutuality and intersubjectivity between humans and more-than-human animals – and perhaps even landscapes – often leads to a sense of narrativity experienced in relational spaces between subjects (Russell, 2016). This phenomenon, referred to as “animal narrativity,” acknowledges that other beings’ lives are often perceived as stories both in and of themselves, but even more significantly, that other life stories converge and diverge with our own personal histories or those of our wider communities. Children have provided us with various narratives, anecdotes, and descriptions highlighting the potential for recognizing other animals as having meaningful lives that are interdependent with human being(s) and subject to the same conditions of life. Building on Butler’s descriptions of recognizability and precariousness, we argue that the children often recognize vulnerability in their relationships with animals in several, mutually significant ways. During research interviews with Joshua, several children described euthanasia as a responsible choice made by members of the family out of care and concern for their pet’s perceived suffering. One child even referred to prolonging a cat’s perceived suffering as “animal cruelty.” Extending Butler’s terms, companion animal lives become “grievable” because of what is profoundly shared with others: space, time, bodily awareness and touch, and shared affects such as care, love, joy, and even sorrow. The children we have worked

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with throughout our studies seem to recognize precariousness as a shared state of existence among all living things and that personally significant relationships are the locus of the most deeply felt ethical and emotional connections. Children may recognize that part of the pain of losing a pet, for example, comes from a lost connection within a wider set of relations among family, friends, and other animals. As a result of one being’s death, the structure of the community left behind can become significantly altered. Yet ethical challenges persist, and through our conversations with children, we are often reminded about the complexities of sharing lives and worlds with other animals. Children have expressed difficulties in recognizing the vastness of loss, death, and suffering felt by other animals around the world. This was encapsulated in Sabrina’s interview with Joshua about animal death: Sabrina: I feel like pets is different because you have like, a connection with them and like specific people will like, be sad about it and stuff, but I try not to think about like, the animals that are killed for food and stuff and then (p) then like the wild and stuff you don’t really notice as much when they’re killed because you don’t really watch them die or anything and so then you kind of, its like not the same because you don’t really think about it. You don’t really like notice, cuz I’m sure there’s like lots of animals who have died like, really recently, like in the past hour or something but you just like don’t, you don’t know cuz you don’t know specifically each animal.

Sabrina’s thoughts about all of the unseen, unknown animal deaths echo ecological feminist’s concerns about the invisibility of individual animal suffering.

Conclusion: Toward an Interspecies Pedagogy of Conviviality Charles Darwin (1936) understood the coextension of humans with other animals as a lineage of bodily and emotional similarities. Darwin was and is still reviled for suggesting the animality of human beings. Yet, many children are cognizant of their animalness. A grade five student told Leesa that they knew they were an animal because: “I’m alive. Because we live, eat, breath and grow and we’re alive and if you do that you’re either a plant or an animal and we’re certainly not plants, so we’re animals” (#111, 2002). In his nursery school research, Myers (2007) outlined how children felt vital and alive with other animals, and this was demonstrated in their actions. In a beautiful example, one young girl who enjoyed watching the classroom doves and was intrigued by flight was videotaped gesturing, moving, and dancing silently in from of the doves (Myers, 2007). Myers believed that the animal’s subjective qualities confirmed the child’s own sense of self, deepened the child’s self-other differentiation, and created special symbolism from the shared animacy. Myers identified four core traits of relatedness exhibited between children and animals: (1) agency, animals move on their own; (2) coherence, animals are each experienced as an organized whole; (3) affectivity, animals show emotions; and (4) continuity, animals exist over time. These traits of relatedness offer a stark contrast to human exceptionalism, reinforce Darwin’s hunches, and give educators tangible teachable moments to work with.

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Critical animal studies scholars, like Helena Pedersen (2010), have interrogated the lack of curricular attention to animal lives in public schools, despite student interest. Previously, philosopher Anthony Weston (2004) went so far as to call for deschooling environmental education, urging teachers to go against the patterns of the dominant culture and to examine the permeability of the human/other-thanhuman boundary beyond the classroom walls. Weston was drawing on Ivan Illich’s ideas about how schools reproduce the established order of society and treat learning as a commodity to be produced for the benefit of an elite – instead of the learner’s “inalienable right to learn what he likes rather than what is useful to someone else” (Illich,1973, p. 2). Illich railed against schools that “made teachers into administrators of programs of manpower (sic) capitalization through directed, planned, behavioural changes” while tying students into “unending consumption and dependence” (1973, p. 20). Illich believed in “the social structure necessary to facilitate learning, to encourage independence and interrelationship and to overcome alienation” (1973, p. 22). Despite, lively critiques of Illich’s gender politics and his albeit humanist interests, we find his focus on capitalist systems of schooling and the importance of interrelationships vital to pedagogies of childhoodnature and animal relationality. Conscious throughout his work of natural limits and scales, Illich envisioned: “A convivial society would be the result of social arrangements that guarantee for each member the most ample and free access to tools of the community” (1985, p. 12). Tools for Illich had a very broad meaning, as he maintained “schools were losing their claim to be effective tools to provide education” (1985, p. 8). Illich (1985) chose the term “conviviality to designate the opposite of industrial productivity” (people being much more than plain consumers) and for it “to mean autonomous and creative intercourse among persons, and the intercourse of persons with their environment,” and he believed “conviviality was an individual freedom realized in personal interdependence and, as such, an intrinsic ethical value” (p. 11). Recognizing the agency and interconnectedness of emotional lives, one of Leesa’s grade five students said: “If my Dad or Mom is in a bad mood he (the dog) runs away from them, jumps a fence.” We would like to jump over the fence of anthropocentrism in childhood animal relations. To learn and teach from such an ethical, convivial standpoint – children in creative conversation with each other and their animal environments, realizing their interdependence – is a vision worth realizing on our collective pedagogical horizon.

Cross-References ▶ Eye-to-Eye with Otherness: A Childhoodnature Figuration ▶ Children’s Imaginative Play Environments and Ecological Narrative Inquiry ▶ Phenomenology with Children: My Salamander Brother ▶ Experiences of Animal Death in Childhood Memories ▶ Rethinking Children’s Connections with Other Animals: A Childhoodnature Perspective

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Childhoodnature Alternatives: Adolescents in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh Explore Their Nature Connectedness Helen Widdop Quinton and Ferdousi Khatun

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conceptualizing Childhoodnature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nature Deficits? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nature Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Child-Nature Relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “Child-Framed” Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Childhoodnature in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nature as Community Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nature as Spirituality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ecological Literacy and Identity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Socioecological Systems Thinking and Entanglements with Neoliberal Realities . . . . . . . . . . Nature Knowing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Child-Nature Relationship Reimagining Through Childhoodnature Alternatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusion: The So What: Childhoodnature as Assemblages of “Socioecologicalization” Interactions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cross-References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Abstract

Enhancing children’s connections with nature has emerged as a “hot” topic in child development and learning discourses over the last decade and in the context H. Widdop Quinton (*) Victoria University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia e-mail: [email protected] F. Khatun Southern Cross University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia e-mail: [email protected] # Springer International Publishing AG 2018 A. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, Springer International Handbooks of Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51949-4_57-1

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of childhood that is increasingly screen mediated. Privileged, Minority (Western) modernity perspectives dominate, with a harking back to a romantic view of (usually young) children frolicking in nature. Rarely is there consideration of diversity within the discourse, in terms of lifestage or cultural, geographic, and socioeconomic contexts. In this chapter, adolescents from a range of Majority (non-Western) situations in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh contribute their perceptions, conceptualizations, and practices of nature in their lives as researchers within a “child-framed” methodology (Barratt Hacking, Cutter-Mackenzie, & Barratt, Children as active researchers: The potential of environmental education research involving children. In B. Stevenson Robert, M. Brody, J. Dillon, A. Wals (Eds.), International handbook of research on environmental education (pp. 438–458). New York: AERA/Routledge, 2013). Socioecological factors influence the adolescents’ nature knowledge, attitudes, and pro-environmental behaviors. The adolescents in these Majority contexts live intimately connected to natural systems, but the life for these adolescents in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh is very different to that of dominant conceptualizations of Minority-style childhoodnature. The factors that influence their nature connectedness provide alternatives for conceptualizing and nurturing childhoodnature. Keywords

Ecological literacy · Majority (non-Western) context · Nature connectedness · Socioecological · Adolescents · Culture

Introduction

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This grasshopper has two different colour – one is green and the other is a golden and black, so it looks a nice colour. A natural creation, the gift of natural. (We) enjoy the jumping. (Adolescent boy, Chuikhim village, India)

Orr (2011) describes people who have no recognition of their connectedness with natural systems as “ecological yahoos” (p. 252), as ecologically illiterate with little or no knowledge of the natural environment and natural systems. Orr’s colorful language reflects popular contemporary concerns about the increasing separation of people and nature in a context of global attention on the need to enhance nature connectedness and pro-environmental behaviors. Such perspectives predominantly originate in privileged, Minority (“Western”) contexts and do not reflect the realities of many children and adolescents in Majority (“non-Western”) countries. This chapter explores silences in the “New Nature Movement” (Louv, 2011) and disrupts the often nostalgic view of childhoodnature through the nature connectedness and ecological literacy of adolescents in less privileged, Majority regions in both rural and urban areas of Bangladesh and remote Himalayan regions of India and the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. We share a collection of “stories” from adolescent researchers (aged 14–17 years) involved in different studies in these regions to highlight possibilities for enabling and enhancing adolescents’ nature connectedness. The childhoodnature experiences of the adolescents portrayed here are different from the carefree and romanticized idyll Louv (2005) promotes in his call to reconnect children with nature. Such differences serve as a reminder that childhood does not follow a universal pattern and childhoodnature perspectives drawn from mostly affluent Minority perspectives are not the only indicators for our attention. Through their photographs, drawings, and conversations, these adolescents give voice to their childhoodnature perceptions, beliefs and practices, and the position of natural systems in their daily lives. Their voices disrupt the dominant childhoodnature discourses and aspirations that permeate the “New Nature Movement” of “No Child Left Inside” (Louv, 2011) and recognize alternative perspectives and approaches. Sociocultural influences, postcolonialism, neoliberal realities, and indigenous perspectives impact on these adolescents’ childhoodnature experiences; this illuminates key determinants of environmental knowledge construction, practices, and meaning making and extends our understanding of childhoodnature to rarely explored Majority contexts.

Conceptualizing Childhoodnature Systems thinking influences our exploration of adolescents’ nature connectedness in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. By systems thinking, we refer to consideration of the constituent elements and interconnections that are structured into a productive “whole” (Meadows & Wright, 2008), be this a system in nature or a human-created system. Systems thinking focuses our attention on parts, connections, and “flow” of the dynamic sociocultural and ecological systems of adolescents’ lives. Systems insights direct attention to factors influencing childhoodnature connections

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following Capra’s proposal that “to understand a (system) pattern we must map a configuration of relationships” (1997, p. 81). Making connections with nature has been recognized as an essential element of human development (Brody, 2005; Hasbach & Kahn, 2013; Kahn & Kellert, 2002). Humans, particularly children, have been observed to have a natural affinity and curiosity with nonhuman nature. Wilson (as cited in Orr, 2004) called this phenomenon biophilia, a term that has been used by many to describe this human affinity with nature across time and cultures (Kahn, 1997). Natural systems are at the basis of all life on Earth. The global apex species humans are powerful manipulators of nature, such that many are now identifying a new geological era, the Anthropocene, to recognize human environmental impacts on a planetary scale (Steffen, Grinevald, Crutzen, & McNeill, 2011). Despite human changes to natural systems, our basic survival needs are still ultimately dependent on the networked ecosystems of the planet. Humans are also embedded in our social systems – the cultural, political, economic, and more recently techno systems of our lives. Historical philosophizing on human ways of being created a nature-culture dichotomy of thinking that has only recently come under challenge (see, e.g., the writings of Haraway, 2003; Latour, 1993, 2005). Perceptions of a separateness of humans from nature, and the dangers of this in the light of concerns for the sustainability of natural systems, are increasingly part of academic and popular discourse. As Jordan poses, “the split with nature is at the heart of our environmental crisis” (2009, p. 30). The term childhoodnature introduced in this handbook reflects challenges to the traditional nature-culture divide that is encapsulated in Haraway’s term “naturecultures” (Fawcett, 2013; Haraway, 2003), reflecting the inseparableness of nature and culture. Complex, mutually defining interrelations occur between culture (the human way of interacting with the world) and nature (the networks of natural systems human biologies are situated in). Aligned with this is now the term childhoodnature introduced in this handbook that we are using as a provocation and reminder of the embeddedness of children and childhood as part of the natural world, guiding our exploration of the lived experience of nature for adolescents in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. What do we mean by nature? Williams (1983) identifies “nature” as complex and difficult to define. The “nature” adolescents interact with is variously described, with related terms including the outdoors (outside), the (natural) environment, the “nearby nature” (Kaplan & Kaplan, 1995) of created and landscaped “green” locations (parks, gardens, etc.), and relatively undisturbed natural (wild) ecosystems. Our use of nature encompasses any green, white, or blue (Korpela, Borodulin, Neuvonen, Paronen, & Tyrväinen, 2014) nature-rich setting. This includes house gardens, crop fields, the snow-covered Himalayan mountains, water catchment areas, forests, and urban rooftop gardens. Human “nature” is another version of nature entirely as Williams established in his five-page discussion of the meaning of this key (English) word. For our purposes, we consider the cultural “rules” that permeate human societies, as well as the personal meaning making of psychological processes (such as self-discovery that is particularly relevant to the lifestage of adolescence), as the “culture” dimensions of naturecultures and childhoodnature

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(Matsumoto & Juang, 2008). A lens selected for manageability while still recognizing that this is a narrowing of the encompassing concept of naturecultures (and childhoodnature). Increasingly nature or natural systems (biology and ecology) are coupled with social/cultural processes to frame onto-epistemological explorations of humannature relationships and interactions. Examples of these new merged ways of thinking are Ingold’s notion of humans as “biosocial becomings” (2013, p. 9), while White, Rudy, and Gareau call for imagining a future through “hybrid social natures” (2015, p. 215). Similarly a socioecological lens for conceptualizing learning and being is becoming more widely used (Brown & Harris, 2014; Kyburz-Graber, 2013; Wals, 2007; Wattchow, Jeanes, Alfrey, Brown, Cutter-Mackenzie, and O’Connor, 2014) to focus consideration of nature-culture entanglements. The dynamic interplay of environments and cultures that impact on a person’s experience of the world is represented by the well-known ecology of human development framework proposed by Bronfenbrenner (1977, 1979, 1993, 1995) and Moen, Elder, and Luscher, (2001). Bronfenbrenner describes a hierarchy of influences based on a systems approach to locating the complex array of factors and interchanges through which an individual gains their knowledge, makes sense of their world, and in turn impacts on the world. We have found that Bronfenbrenner’s nested systems of dimensions (shown in Fig. 1), that an individual interacts within, provide a framework for analyzing the people, places/spaces, and cultural factors that are important to adolescents in their nature-connectedness explorations and for making sense of their positioning of nature. We realize that Bronfenbrenner’s theorizing is problematic with its marginalization of the natural environment and a strongly human-centric focus. So we use the framing of intersecting systems of natures and cultures, overlaid with a focus of attending to the natural and more than human, to aid our conceptualizing of nature-connectedness mediation factors in the context of Majority cultural influences.

Nature Deficits? The proposal of “nature-deficit disorder” popularized by author and journalist Louv (2005, 2009) has generated much interest in popular and academic discourse about the need for promoting children’s experiences in nature and local natural places. Nabhan and Trimble (1994) and Pyle (2002) previously posed concerns regarding modern lifestyle impacts on childhood experiences of nature; however, Louv’s writing has catalyzed a passionate response in the wider education and environment communities which has led to the slogan “No Child Left Inside” (Louv, 2007). Louv maintains that there is an absence of nature in the lives of today’s “wired” generation of children. Griffiths has continued this emotive portrayal of modern childhood as “unnatural” and disconnected from “kith” or homeplace nature (2014, p. 11). Going further, Louv links the lack of connection to nature in children’s lives to some of the most worrying childhood trends: obesity, severe anxiety, attention deficit disorders, and depression. The trends reported by Louv were initially taken up more strongly

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Fig. 1 A representation of the socioecological influences in an adolescent’s life based on Bronfenbrenner’s (1977, 1993) social ecology systems theory of human development (Widdop Quinton, 2015)

by the wider community than the academic community, although research in the early childhood field in relation to children’s nature connectedness has increased more recently (Munoz, 2009). Ecological literacy or ecoliteracy has been used to describe a person’s understanding of natural environment elements and systems, including the interconnectedness of people, societies and nature, and the application of this understanding for sustaining socioecological systems (Capra, 1997; Cutter-Mackenzie & Smith, 2003; Orr, 2011). There is some consensus related to concerns of declining environmental or ecological literacy evident in affluent Minority societies (Baker, 2007; CutterMackenzie, 2004; Orr, 2011). However, the childhoodnature experiences promoted by the popularist “New Nature Movement” (Louv, 2011) are not necessarily a realistic picture of childhood experiences in nature, based as they are in romanticized affluent Minority perceptions (Munoz, 2009). The rural childhood idyll of the nostalgically portrayed “good life” is in fact not the case in many contemporary contexts (Government of India, 2014; Matthews, Taylor, Sherwood, Tucker, & Limb, 2000). Louv’s work is problematic in that it is solely based upon trends in the USA and does not acknowledge other contexts, such as the Scandinavian tradition of friluftsliv – of spending time outdoors (Henderson & Vikander, 2007). There is limited knowledge about the environments that children experience in diverse cultural contexts (Barratt Hacking, Barratt, & Scott, 2007; Chawla, 2007;

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Fawcett, 2013; Sobel & Orion Society, 1996) despite some recognition that contextual factors shape children’s nature connectedness differently (Collado, ÍñiguezRueda, & Corraliza, 2016; Müller, Kals, & Pansa, 2009). The focus on (re)connecting children with nature is primarily on younger children (see, e.g., Louv, 2007), while older children/adolescents’ nature relationships are underrepresented (Mannion, Sankey, Doyle, & Mattu, 2006; Pointon, 2013). This may be due to an observed decline in interest in nature during adolescence (Hart, 1979; Kaplan & Kaplan, 1995, 2002; Korpela, KyttÄ, & Hartig, 2002; Nabhan & Trimble, 1994; Sommer, 1990), such that researchers are dissuaded from pursuing research with adolescents. It would seem however that this area of research is crucial in order to identify the most effective means of keeping adolescents connected with nature in a climate of concern about humans perceiving themselves as separated from natural systems. All nature experiences and relationships are not the same. Popularist views of child-nature interactions are primarily restricted, even somewhat prescriptive, representations with little recognition or understanding of childhoodnature beyond nostalgic, affluent Minority conceptualizations. The adolescents’ stories from Bangladesh, India, and Nepal highlighted here extend consideration of childhoodnature beyond early childhood and Minority contexts as a way of broadening our understanding of factors that shape adolescents’ relationship with nature and natural system connectedness.

Nature Benefits Apart from nature and natural systems powering all life on Earth and supporting humankind’s physical well-being as discussed earlier, human-nature relationships can also benefit people’s psycho-emotional health and well-being. The restorative effects of time in nature are recognized with theorizing of attention restoration and stress-recovery responses (see, e.g., Basu, Kaplan, & Kaplan, 2014; Hasbach & Kahn, 2013; Kaplan & Kaplan, 1995) and the body of work on environment restoration by Korpela & Hartig (1996), Korpela, Hartig, Kaiser, and Fuhrer (2001), Korpela et al. (2002, 2014). Nature connectedness for children (and all humans) is vital for holistic health and well-being. Indigenous ecohealth scholar, Arabena (2006), goes as far as posing socioecological impacts she terms a “disconnect disorder” for the layered disconnection of people and nature-referent ways of being. She identifies this disconnect for both indigenous people and for those “ensnared” (p. 45) by the ultimately empty and unrewarding consumerism of affluent modern life (2006). Considering nature connectedness at a community and planetary level, many scholars pose interactions that lead to a bonding with nature as an important first step in fostering a nature-caring ethos necessary for sustaining the planet (Chawla, 2007; Gruenewald, 2003; Leopold, 1966; Orr, 2011; Sobel, 2004). How adolescents’ nature connectedness is constructed through their many and varied socioecological experiences is therefore important to explore – for people and planetary well-being.

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Child-Nature Relationships In exploring people-place relations, such as our focus here of how adolescents in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh position nature in their lives, the theoretical understandings of the role place plays in the human psyche are connected. This is particularly relevant for the adolescents at this time in their lives that is characterized as one of self-discovery (Marcia, 1983). Place interactions affect a person’s perceptions of themselves as “places hold and shape our experiences” (Greenwood, 2013, p. 93). In environmental education, there is a growing interest in linking connections between perceptions of self in relation to natural places and caring for nature behaviors (Clayton & Opotow, 2003; Devine-Wright & Clayton, 2010). Descriptors of ecological identity (Thomashow, 1995) and environmental identity (Clayton, 2003) as specific examples of self and place identity have developed in the discourse, and Orr (2011) poses a sense of place that connects with nature as promoting ecological literacy (what he describes as proficiency in knowing nature). Selfplace interactions align with Bronfenbrenner’s human ecological systems theory that informs our research. Time spent in nature does not necessarily promote ecological identity and pro-environmental behaviors; however, nature experiences enhanced by positive emotional connections are more likely to strengthen adolescents’ affinity with nature (Müller et al., 2009). There is a large body of work about significant life experiences that influence affinity with nature and pro-environmental behaviors. Positive childhood experiences in nature, often mediated by an adult guide, is a key factor in enhancing nature connectedness (see, e.g., Chawla, 2002a, 2007; Palmer & Suggate, 1996; Palmer, Suggate, Robottom, & Hart, 1999; Wells & Lekies, 2006). Families in particular are the social conduit to an environmental ethos (Francis, Paige, & Lloyd, 2013; Payne, 2010; Robottom, Malone, & Walker, 2000). Indigenous ways of knowing nature and the land are similarly socially mediated (Cameron, Mulligan, & Wheatley, 2004; Cameron & San Roque, 2003; Wheaton, 2000; Yunkaporta & Kirby, 2011). Previous explorations of self-nature relationships categorize young people’s positioning of nature as ranging from simple (object) perspectives of nature as elements and background to more complex cognitive, embodied, and affective (relational) perspectives of nature integrated within their lives (Cheng & Monroe, 2012; Collado et al., 2016; Loughland, Reid, & Petocz, 2002). Beyond childhoodnature studies, theorizing also identifies anthropocentric (human-centered) and ecocentric (nature-centered) perspectives of human-nature relationships (Eckersley, 1992). In an interesting departure from the object-relational, anthropocentric-ecocentric binaries, Evernden (1989) poses a third category of “nature as wonder” that does not seem to have permeated the literature. Minority perspectives dominate such self-nature theorizings. Our research with adolescents prompts us to ask are such relationships universal to childhood or expressions of cultural conditioning?

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“Child-Framed” Research Majority children’s worldviews in our research illuminate alternative child-nature relationships. Working with adolescent research partners following a “child-framed” methodology (Barratt Hacking et al., 2013) contributes an insiders’ perspective, giving adolescents agency and voice in the research. Taking a child-framed approach addresses calls for greater representation of young people’s perspectives (Rickinson, Lundholm, & Hopwood, 2009; UN, 1989) and pragmatically recognizes that places and nature significant to children and adolescents may not be identifiable by adults (Fawcett, 2013; Gold & Gujar, 2007; Hart, 1979; Korpela et al., 2002; Nabhan & Trimble, 1994). Our qualitative, child-framed approaches have generated visually rich narratives that we draw upon here. The Nepalese, Indian, and Bangladeshi adolescents’ contributions to this chapter are childhoodnature highlights from four separate qualitative studies involving adolescents as active research participants exploring connections to the natural environment in their lives: • In Nepal, four adolescents, aged 14–15, contributed to a study on community reuse of water. • In the Eastern Himalayan region of India, 12 adolescents aged 15–17 in a remote rural village and 10 adolescents aged 14–16 from a semi-urban area researched the most important places in their lives. • In Bangladesh, participants exploring adolescents’ ecological literacy were aged 14–15 years, with 42 from an urban area and 42 from a rural area contributing their ideas, with 25 of these adolescents undertaking their own research and participating in group discussions and interviews. Most of the Nepalese and Indian participants were Hindu or Buddhists of the Nepali cultural group, while the Bangladeshi adolescents were predominantly of Muslim faith. Despite geographic, language, political, spiritual, and social differences between these adolescents, they are historically and culturally connected. All three countries are South Asian and have some shared historical influences including a recent history of British colonization and exploitation in the seventeenth to early twentieth centuries. Both India and Bangladesh were occupied by the British, and Nepal fought for territory dominance with the British East India Company with the British eventually becoming a highly influential ally. The current postcolonial situation in India exhibits a huge divide between the wealthy elite and the majority, rural, subsistence poor (Guha, 2010/1999) that is mirrored in Bangladesh and Nepal. We must point out that although our young partners had agency in the research activities, their contributions may have been subjectively skewed to what they regarded as acceptable to share with us. This was inevitably influenced by the situational dynamics inherent in the created research relationships between our adult selves and these adolescents. This was compounded at times through some language barriers. Only one of us is of Majority background, so some of the research

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activities were conducted with the assistance of local translators and guides. As adults and visitors to the adolescents’ communities, we were always mindful of researching ethically and with sensitivity to minimize the impact of our relationship power or personal interpretations, ensuring the adolescents could authentically “voice” their ideas. A focus on visual representations (photographs, maps, and drawings) elicited powerful expressions of the adolescents’ nature connectedness that were not reliant on self-reported or translated perceptions and behaviors.

Childhoodnature in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal Exploring childhoodnature – how children are part of and relate to nature – was not necessarily the main focus of our research activities with the adolescents in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Yet the importance of their relationship with nature, the position of nature in their lives, and their lives in relation to natural systems is evident through the adolescents’ photographs, drawings, maps, and conversations. Nature is not just a pleasant background to their lives. The adolescents regularly identify nature as an actor and affiliate in their everyday lived experiences. Nature permeates their lives, often determining their activities – be this working with lifesustaining resources, engaging with community-significant natural places, mediating culture and spirituality meaning, or enabling positive emotions such as enjoyment and relaxation. In India, Nepal, and rural Bangladesh, the adolescents roam freely around their community. Their lives evidence a seamless integration of their socioecological systems including home, family places, village or community spaces and the nearby nature of gardens and crops, and the wild nature of the forest, with much of their day spent outdoors. Bangladeshi urban boys are free to roam their communities, similar to the Indian and Nepalese adolescents, but the Bangladeshi urban girls are more restricted due to social and safety factors. In urban Bangladesh, adolescents tend to spend more time inside and experience nature through rooftop gardens, parks, and ornamental lakes. Their wild nature experiences occur through visits on family holidays and on school excursions. Despite most of the young researchers living in close contact with nature, this was not an idealized nature frolic characterized in affluent Minority children-in-nature discourses (Munoz, 2009). The tough realities of survival translate into a focus on nature as a providing partner with the adolescents’ prime motivator for nature relationships as family and community well-being. Acknowledging the physical demands associated with many of the community’s rural, subsistence lifestyle in nature, one of the adolescents, Laxmi, in India comments about his photograph (Fig. 2) of a villager using a traditional basket to transport materials (rocks, cut foliage for the animals, wood, etc.) around the village and surrounds and states that “In our village the people work harder, they work very hard on their land.” Laxmi’s comment suggests a personal experience of the hard work associated with the village, rural lifestyle that is consistent with the contention that adolescents in Majority contexts are positioned differently to adolescents in affluent Minority

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Fig. 2 Laxmi’s photograph of the hard work associated with village life

societies. Brown, Larson, and Saraswati (2002) characterize adolescents in India as dutifully engaging with societal expectations and responsibilities in a society shaped by the echoes of colonialism and the caste system, a hierarchical social system. So the adolescents’ local economic and physical factors (Bronfenbrenner’s “excosystem” influences) and overarching cultural influences (Bronfenbrenner’s “macrosystem” factor) are indicated in the adolescents’ development of their relationship with nature. This situation contrasts with the affluent Minority positioning of childhood as a time free of responsibilities (Munoz, 2009). Laxmi’s recognition of the collectivist efforts for community good is echoed in other Majority and indigenous contexts (Appuhamilage, 2017; Gold & Gujar, 2007; Panelli & Tipa, 2007). The Indian, Nepalese, and rural Bangladeshi adolescents’ experience of their outdoor life is in direct contrast to the romanticized view of a carefree, rural childhood often portrayed in affluent Minority discourses, particularly those related to childhoodnature connectedness (Munoz, 2009). The Government of India (2014) also recently recognized the harsh conditions of adolescents marginalized by “structural poverty” (2014, p. 21).

Nature as Community Life The adolescents in the research studies identify the importance of nature in their lives through a lens of value to their family and community. This is consistent with collectivist good and interdependence as dominant cultural values observed in non-Minority contexts, where the cultural imperative is for the family/community/ societal greater good in contrast to the predominantly individualistic approaches in many affluent Minority contexts (Appuhamilage, 2017; Panelli & Tipa, 2007). Culture shapes people’s relationship with nature (Evernden, 1989; Mead, 1977). In Nepal plants are deeply culturally significant (Kunwar & Bussmann, 2006). A shared conservation ethos and careful consumption of natural resources are

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embedded in Bangladeshi culture (Islam, 2006) and Indian traditional philosophies (Almeida & Cutter-Mackenzie, 2011; Ravindranath, 2007; Sarabhai, 2004). This ethos of nature care combined with a cultural preferencing for collectivist value is evident in the adolescents’ positioning of nature as valuable in their lives. In the villages in India, the forest areas around the village are identified by the adolescents as essential for firewood for cooking and fodder for the animals, as well as appreciated for their views, as cultural symbols and for “refreshment.” The adolescents are aware that their lives depend on natural systems, identifying cultivated and wild nature around the villages as important to them. Suvo in rural Bangladesh comments that “The land of Bangladesh is very fertile. Different types of fruits and crops such as rice, jute, wheat are produced in this land. Most of the people depend on this land for food.” Similarly, the adolescents in Nepal identify their connection with natural systems through the story of water in their lives. Pragya explains, “We use well water. We also get water from the stone tap in the rainy season. Well water is enough for us in summer but we face problem in winter. Then we buy water from the water supply agency but that water is expensive and it takes time to provide water.” Their most common source of water in the area is underground water from wells. Most families use well water for bathing, cooking, washing, and cleaning. Scarcity of water has necessitated the use of waste (gray) water. Bijay comments, “We use waste water for watering plants and flushing toilet.” Pragya demonstrates her prioritizing of family and community by commenting “First we should educate our family members and then the community people about the reuse of waste water.” Bangladeshi adolescents also recognize water recycling as an essential element of their socioecological systems through schematics such as in Fig. 3. Gustafson (2001) proposes that self-place-others factors interplay to determine meaning making in relation to place relationships. The “self” appears less visible in the adolescents’ narratives of nature in their lives in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. This reinforces for us the value of using a socioecological systems lens for framing our inquiry into adolescents’ nature connectedness. Informed by Bronfenbrenner’s socioecological framing (1977, 1979, 1993, 1995), we identify the overarching cultural context of the adolescents’ lives, that values family and community ahead of individuals, as a factor that shapes their perceptions of nature.

Nature as Spirituality There was also a spiritual dimension to the cultural positioning of nature in the Indian, Nepalese, and Bangladeshi adolescents’ lives. Small forest shrines (such as in Lungta’s photograph, Fig. 4), prayer flags disseminating prayers on the wind through the trees and via streams, and even ancestors’ graves dotted over the countryside depict an integration of the land with cultural spirituality. This visible interweaving of spirituality with nature has unique meanings specific to the adolescents’ cultures, while also analogous to traditional ways of being connected to the land recognized in other indigenous contexts (see, e.g., Arabena, 2015; Rose, 2013; Wheaton, 2000).

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Fig. 3 Rashed’s drawing about kitchen wastewater management practice in urban Bangladesh demonstrates “reuse” of wastewater. (Translation of Bangladeshi text: We use a lot of water for cooking such as washing rice, washing vegetables, washing utensils, etc. We can collect this wastewater after washing things, and we can use this water for irrigation later.)

Fig. 4 Indian adolescent Lungta’s photograph of a small forest shrine – “Here the travel people use to worship – fire gods, other gods so this is one place outside of their house to worship the nature”

Rashed from rural Bangladesh believes that if people plant trees and enjoy fruits from the trees, it will make Allah happy and that they will be rewarded. Rashed indicates that “In Islam, if we produce fruits and public eat that fruits without any cost then we will be rewarded.” He displays a photograph of a custard apple tree in

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Fig. 5 Dia’s drawing of “a polluted environment” that requires sweeping

his rural community where “people enjoy fruits from this tree without any cost.” Bangladeshi adolescents also talk about environmental cleanliness as an important aspect of Islam. Dia’s drawing (Fig. 5) shows what she considers “a polluted environment” that a woman is cleaning with a broom made from coconut leaves. Evernden’s (1989) early classification of nature connection relationships included “nature as miracle” for relationships not bounded by scientific/pragmatic views of the world. This categorization is in addition to the more standard object and relational views of nature (see, e.g., Fawcett, 2013; Loughland et al., 2002). For the Bangladeshi, Nepalese, and Indian adolescents, nature provides for their physical needs but also generates wonder, awe, and devotion, nurturing their spirituality and their well-being. For these Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists, “nature is a blessing” (Islam, 2006, p. 67). The comments about the grasshopper as a gift of nature by Laxmi from India at the beginning of this chapter echo this philosophy.

Ecological Literacy and Identity The adolescents in remote India, Nepal, and rural Bangladesh live immersed in the natural world with their lives constantly connected to their natural surroundings via their subsistence lifestyle and through their spiritual connections with nature. It is obvious they have an intimate knowledge of their local nature through their detailing of the nature nooks and crannies and their expert knowledge of elements of natural systems that is only possible through highly developed ecological literacy. This ecological literacy of the Indian adolescents was apparent through the variety and detail displays in their photographs of the sometimes astonishing natural elements of their area, for example, a huge butterfly (Fig. 6). This is just one of the many examples of ecosystem elements the adolescents in India photographed.

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Fig. 6 Pabitra’s photograph of a large, black butterfly in India

Bangladeshi adolescents similarly demonstrate expert ecological knowledge about the natural elements and system events of their area. Himu, who lives in a rural location, said “In Bangladesh, Sundarban Mangrove forest is different to me. Different types of trees are found in Sundarban such as sundari, shal, gewa, goran etc. We can find medicinal plants in the forest too. Royal Bengal Tiger and beautiful deer are seen in Sundarban.” And Bornali, also from a rural area, adds, “Seasonal variation of Bangladesh is very charming which is important to me. In summer we eat a lot of mangoes, jackfruits, berries and litchis (lychee). In the rainy season rain helps farmers and keeps cool the environment. In autumn we can see the beautiful white Kash flowers at the bank of the river. In the late-autumn we celebrate special festival with new rice.” While Dipa identifies sustainability actions with the comment, “Climate change can be solved partially by planting trees. For example, neem plants keep the environment healthy and works as pesticides.” Gold and Gujar (2007) and Tilbury, Stevenson, Fien, and Schreuder (2002) also note the highly developed ecological literacy of people in other remote areas of India, suggesting this is a widespread trait of the people in this region. The urban Bangladeshi adolescents’ daily lives are not as closely connected to nature through physical proximity, as has been observed with urban dwellers in other parts of the world (Orr, 2011), although the urban Bangladeshi do maintain their nature connectedness through their cultural philosophies and practices. Plants, particularly flowers, are symbolic of different cultural events and festivals. Photographs of flowers, such as the marigolds in Figs. 7 and 8, are a feature of all the adolescents’ photographs. The adolescents’ highly developed ecological literacy and connections with nature indicate an opposing positon to the generally accepted Minority conceptualization of adolescence as a time of disconnection from nature (see, e.g., Kaplan & Kaplan, 1995, 2002). The adolescents in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh demonstrate that a disinterest in nature is not an inherent characteristic of this lifestage.

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Fig. 7 One of the many images of marigold flowers taken by the adolescent in India of this medicinal and festival plant

Fig. 8 Rian’s photo of marigold flowers used to mark the Language Memorial in urban Bangladesh

In addition to their appreciation of nature as integrated with their lives, the adolescents exhibit pride and a sense of identity connected with the unique nature of their area, an ecological identity, as is exemplified by Indian adolescent Hima’s explanation of a particular spider that is “no ordinary spider you can’t find like this in the region.” Ecological or environmental identity is advanced as a self-identity variant that incorporates nature as an integral element of self-identification (Clayton & Opotow, 2003; Thomashow, 1995). Enhancing this ecological aspect of the adolescents’ identity construction is the sense of belonging to “country” that is recognized in indigenous people elsewhere, such as in Australia and Canada (Arabena, 2015; Parkes, 2010; Rose, 2013). As Santo comments, “Bangladesh is our motherland.” Santo makes reference to a song written by Dijendrolal Roy, “Emon deshti kothao khuje pabenako tumi, shokol desher ranee seje amar jonmovumi” (Translation: Created from dreams anchored by memories, nowhere else a place of such luminous glories). Santo continues with discussion of the

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geography of Bangladesh saying, “These (Bangladeshi) rivers carry silty soil which makes our land very fertile. Different types of crops are produced in Bangladeshi land. Cox’s Bazar sea beach is very large and Sundarban mangrove forest is biologically diverse. We have beautiful tourist places.”

Socioecological Systems Thinking and Entanglements with Neoliberal Realities The adolescents’ awareness of their lives as co-created by their entwined social and ecological systems is evident through their attention to the systems impacts of change: water scarcity in Nepal (as recounted earlier), earthquakes and landslides in India, and floods in Bangladesh, in addition to general change related to globalization and tourism. In the remote villages in Eastern Himalayan India, the regular natural occurrence of landslides associated with earthquakes has a big impact on the land and the people that all the adolescent researchers highlight. Landslide damage, such as that pictured in the background of Fig. 9, changes huge areas of the countryside and has ecological and social impacts. Pabitra explains that the landslide has cut them off from access to the food supply of the lower village “because they used to get food there – this land is not accepting them because of landslide.” Lungta also comments on the impact of the landslide that forced families to relocate after being segregated from the village community when the road (Fig. 9), the only road to the other side of the ridge, became blocked by the landslide: “That no longer this is our main way for walking, there’s no other route to come over here. So there is only a single way. There is no other optional way.” The regular flooding of the river delta system in Bangladesh maintains soil fertility as Santo noted earlier, but this also creates social impacts for coastal dwellers as graphically depicted in Fig. 10 of “homeless” flood victims. Living within constraints of natural systems is just part of life for the adolescents. Reciprocal caring is part of community life as urban Bangladeshi adolescent, Adronida, describes: “We can reuse our used things. For example, after washing vegetables we can use water for watering plants to keep them healthy. We can also make composts by using fruits and vegetables peels for applying to the plants. Thus, we can improve our environment.” The expanding social ecologies of modern life have resulted in some shifting within the adolescents’ socioecological systems under neoliberal pressures, with the press toward free-market tourism business practices. These “dissolving qualities of capitalism” (White et al., 2015, p. xvi) can be at odds with the Indian, Nepalese, and Bangladeshi traditional ways of interacting with nature. Tourism is now a key income source for these areas, but the presence of tourists has an impact on the very places of nature tourists come to visit. The tension between the traditional philosophies of environmental care and connectedness (e.g., Gandhi’s vision of ecological care as enshrined in the Indian constitution) and the newer neoliberal realities is evident in some of the adolescents’ stories. Both Indian and Bangladeshi

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Fig. 9 Lungta’s photo of the road and the landslide in the distance that now blocks access

Fig. 10 Durijoy’s drawing of homelessness of coastal people during floods in Bangladesh

adolescents identified the value of their unique natural environments as attractions for tourists for economic benefits to their community but also highlighted the impact of tourism activity on nature. The newer economic imperatives of the market economy experienced by the adolescents are out of alignment with their overarching traditional culture of valuing nature when mapping this to Bronfenbrenner’s

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Fig. 11 Liya’s photo of all the tourists at Cox’s Bazar beach in Bangladesh

Fig. 12 Pralay proudly displays the Himalayan mountains that surround his home

socioecological systems (1977, 1979, 1993, 1995). This discord is evident in the adolescents’ accounts that follow: Liya enjoys the sunset and the marine environment at the iconic Cox’s Bazar beach but also highlights all the tourist activity with her photograph (Fig. 11).

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Fig. 13 Litter in the Eastern Himalayan area that disturbs Pralay

In India, Pralay glories in the mountain views from his home (Fig. 12), proud that this majestic site is part of his heritage and brings many tourists to the area. He also demonstrates his concern about the modern-day litter (Fig. 13) that is unsightly and detracts from the beauty of his home, saying that “it is very dirty and when tourist come.” A number of the adolescents in Bangladesh, particularly from urban regions, indicate concerns about the deterioration of the natural environment due to human actions, highlighting problems of pollution, deforestation (Fig. 14), pesticide use, litter, and flooding. Rajon explains, “I do not feel good about the environment. Our environment is worsening day by day because of pollution. Our lifestyle is changing. Over population and industrialisation are the causes of environmental pollution.” An apprehension shared by many Bangladeshi about impacts of modernity (Islam, 2006).

Nature Knowing How did the adolescents of India, Bangladesh, and Nepal develop their nature knowing? The ecological literacy that enabled them to recognize the turbulence in their socioecological systems due to changes in nature relationship practices has not developed through formal school learning. Schools in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh are characterized as a formal, regimented echo of colonial British approaches (Gold & Gujar, 2007; Widdop Quinton, 2015). For example, in Bangladesh, Najura

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Fig. 14 Durjoy’s drawing of “a man is cutting down two trees” indicates “deforestation” (Bangladeshi text translation: A man is destroying the forest by cutting down trees. As a result the amount of oxygen is decreasing day by day. Cutting down trees imbalances the environment and contributes to greenhouse gases so flood, drought and heavy rainfall occur in the country. Here, the man is interrupting the beauty of nature by cutting down trees)

describes “I have participated in an environmental cleaning program and tree plantation program through our school Girl Guides,” and Adronida photographed the rose in the school garden (Fig. 15) – both are examples of nature relatedness through nonformal learning, albeit with echoes of colonial influences. Environmental and sustainability education is rare and at best marginalized in schooling in these countries (Almeida & Cutter-Mackenzie, 2011; Tilbury et al., 2002). In Bangladesh, for example, there is no environmental education as a separate subject; environmental and sustainability aspects are incorporated into other subjects (Haque, 2014). Schooling predominantly focuses on regimented, direct instruction toward high-stakes testing (Chowdhury, 2004; Hossain, 2015). Traditional or indigenous ways of learning and knowing, particularly relating to ways of knowing the land, are identified as different to formal education/school learning (Wheaton, 2000; Yunkaporta & Kirby, 2011). The adolescents develop high-level ecological literacy skills through lived experience, a socially, culturally, and family-mediated traditional way of learning and connecting with nature. Nature-knowing processes are embedded in their way of life with family, culture, and experience being the “teachers.” Rural Bangladeshi adolescent Sakib explains that “Many young people learn farming from elderly people. I think culture influence young people’s ecoliteracy.”

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Fig. 15 Adronida’s photo of the rose in the school garden

The adolescents’ nature connectedness through everyday experiences of nature is consistent with other context findings that proximity to nature (Cheng & Monroe, 2012), family as environmental teachers (Cheng & Monroe, 2012; Gold & Gujar, 2007; Payne, 2010), and supportive life experiences (see, e.g., Chawla, 2002a, 2007) are implicated in mediating deep connection with nature. The Indian, Nepalese, and Bangladeshi adolescents’ display of nature knowing grounded in social processes aligns with increasing recognition of social learning intertwined with ecological learning (Brody, 2005; Hart, 2007; Kyburz-Graber, 2013) and with traditional knowledge practices (Islam, 2006).The stories of nature connectedness from the adolescents in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal also illuminate the powerful influence of a collectivist, interdependent culture on enhancing child-nature relationships. Furthermore, the sacred relationship with nature through indigenous ways of knowing the land enfolds the adolescents into the weave of “country” (Griffiths, 2014). The sort of childhoodnature the adolescents describe is different to Minority-styled childhoodnature Louv (2005, 2009, 2011) and others describe. The Nepalese, Indian, and Bangladeshi adolescents’ childhoodnature supports their ecological and cultural understandings, nourishes their self-discovery, and provides strengthening solace through spiritual connections and restorative interactions with nature. Their nature connectedness is essential for their healthy development and wellbeing. Their childhoodnature is shaped by the inter- and intra-actions of their socioecological system elements. Considering the positioning of culture as the substrate of social ecologies, it is not surprising to discover the profound impact of the adolescents’ collectivist and traditional-caretaker cultural philosophies on their childhoodnature perceptions, values, and behaviors.

Child-Nature Relationship Reimagining Through Childhoodnature Alternatives Through the Nepalese, Bangladeshi, and Indian adolescents’ contextual childhoodnature described in this chapter, we are able to disrupt some of the current child-nature relationship thinking outlined in the introductory sections of this chapter and provide some Majority childhoodnature alternatives:

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1. Childhood and nature are not disconnected in the Majority world As Cutter-Mackenzie, Malone, and Barratt Hacking argue in the introduction to this handbook, children are nature, and suggesting a disconnect between children and nature, as Louv postulates (2005), is therefore problematic. The adolescents from Nepal, India, and Bangladesh demonstrate through their photographs and ideas that they are not disconnected from nature. Rather, nature is intrinsic to their functional, cultural, and spiritual way of being in the world. The dynamic interrelationships and interactions with the natures and cultures of their socioecological system shape their sense of belonging, their spirituality, and their identity. They are intimate with nature and literate in nature’s ways. These Majority children from three countries are not only connected with nature in a utilitarian and spiritual sense, but they also recognize their membership of ecological systems and their mutually defining relationship with nature. 2. Childhoodnature is not all romance Claiming a fundamental lack of a commodity in the lives of children certainly gains attention with the focus not on some abstract “other” but on our familiar and cherished vulnerable young. The language of “deficit” (Louv, 2005) and childhood as “imprisoned” (Griffiths, 2014) in relation to more than human nature experience has sparked a reaction. Interest groups and “movements” are prospering in mainly white, middle-class, affluent, Minority contexts. However, addressing the concern of nature deficit in modern childhood through a Disneystyle fantasy (Taylor, 2011) of nature (re)connections is limiting and exclusionary. A one-size-fits-all vision of nature connectedness devalues alternative realities. As the adolescents here have demonstrated, nature connectedness is not necessarily the romanticized idyll portrayed in the dominant childhoodnature discourse, of carefree, nature-savoring experiences in the wild, “about awakening to creation” (Louv, 2005, p. 333). The representations from adolescents of Bangladesh, Nepal, and India open the discourse to alternative possibilities. Yes their lives were closely connected with nature, but they were not necessarily living the “good life” of a bucolic childhood frolicking in nature. Their lives had to accommodate the often-harsh realities of Majority subsistence living. This is not to deny the call for re(connecting) children with nature; instead it serves as a reminder that childhood does not follow a universal pattern and conclusions drawn from an affluent Minority perspective are not necessarily generally applicable. For the adolescents here and other Majority contexts (Appuhamilage, 2017), childhoodnature is not always a utopian, positive product or process. Sometimes childhoodnature is uncomfortable and gritty. This is not to say that the adolescents in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh are necessarily living a repressed, downtrodden, and negative life. The adolescents’ relationship with nature is a positive and mutually supporting one, saturated with reverence and values of loyalty and care. Places that nurture young people, sometimes termed “holding environments” (Chawla, 2002b; Malone, 2004), are those that fulfill their needs and support their development. Such places do not have to be perfect, as Bannerjee and Driskell (in Chawla, 2002b) found when working with young people in a “slum” town in India; despite the material

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deprivations of their lives, the children from this slum were “confident, connected and happy” (p. 135) as a result of living in their socially and culturally supportive environment. Their natures and cultures were not privileged but nurturing and cohesive, sustaining their development and well-being, like those of our adolescents in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. 3. Adolescents relate to nature The adolescents of Nepal, Himalayan India, rural Bangladesh, and to a lesser extent urban Bangladesh demonstrate strong connections with nature. This is not just because they do not have the distractions of constant connectivity and shopping malls as do their counterparts in Minority contexts; their connections to nature are embedded in their culture and their self-sufficiency way of life. This adolescent nature connectedness is highly significant. The adolescents do not evidence a disinterest in nature, disconnecting in favor of interacting with peers, as has been advanced as a characteristic of adolescence by Kaplan and Kaplan (1995, 2002) and others, thus demonstrating that a disconnect from nature during adolescence is not an inherent characteristic of this lifestage. 4. Childhoodnature is a multiplicity There are versions of “truth” about child-/person-nature relationships that have become acceptable classifications. Cautionary awareness that these are constructed labels for convenience and not reality prevails, but by the power of their existence, these classifications shape thinking. The binary of an object view or a relational view of nature is a common example (see, e.g., Loughland et al., 2002). Anthropo-, eco-, and biocentric conceptions are another group of categorizations of people’s positioning of nature often found to be useful (see, e.g., Fawcett, 2013). Others from place psychology are also commonly used – place affordance, dependence, attachment, and identity (see, e.g., Gibson, 2000; Kudryavtsev, Stedman, & Krasny, 2011). Similarly the New Nature Movement’s (Louv, 2011) image of the return to the “nature child” of Romanticism has shaped views of possibilities and goals for nurturing child-nature interactions – another “centric,” affluent, Anglo-/Eurocentric view (Taylor, 2013a). Our use of Bronfenbrenner’s socioecological systems framing enables us to focus on the basics of child-nature interactions and embrace many possibilities. We follow Taylor’s (2013a) strategy of deconstructing with an eventual goal of identifying ways to reconstruct for beneficial alternative conceptualizations. Comparisons with other framings led to our position that child-nature relationships are more entangled and complex than commonly applied categorizations allow. The adolescents in Nepal, Bangladesh, and India simultaneously hold object and relational views of nature. Although more relationally slanted in their views, with recognition of humans as elements within the natural systems of their place, the perception of nature as a resource to support their lives and to be used for community advancement still permeates their ideas. Hegemonic neoliberal pressures for (industrialized) growth have been identified as a key contributor to the Anthropocene planetary changes (Steffen et al., 2011). The adolescents in both Bangladesh and India map tensions between their communities’ economic and nature-valuing imperatives. The adolescents’ research suggests they feel the

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seductive power of the global call for economic growth, but a harmonic incorporation of such modernity within their traditional philosophies is an unresolved issue for them. Some of the adolescents’ special places of nature attract tourists to their region, which they value for supporting local businesses and jobs. Such special places (e.g., Himalayan Mountains) are also significant within the adolescents’ culture and religion, so the impact of visiting tourists (e.g., increased litter) concerns them. The adolescents’ cultural influences for valuing and living with/in nature appear to prompt critical reflection on behaviors that negatively impact on nature. This suggests such socioecological influences warrant further investigation. Layered over the functional and cultural categories of nature interactions the adolescents describe is the spiritual dimension of their childhoodnature. This “lost” category of Evernden’s classification (Evernden, 1989; Fawcett, 2013), “nature as miracle,” is also a vibrant child-nature interaction in the adolescents’ lives. Their perspectives are simultaneously human-/social-centered and nature-/ ecological-centered, challenging classification boundaries and the normalizing portrayals of romanticized nature connectedness. The Indian, Nepalese, and Bangladeshi adolescents’ reality of childhoodnature is one of layers, complexity, and entanglements. The research suggests that, for these adolescents, nature is provider/carer/mother, a cultural symbol and guide, a story, identity, faith, hard work, kith and kin, a joy, and more. We do not advance the Bangladeshi, Nepalese, and Indian adolescents’ socioecological influences as the ideal to follow, not wishing to set up divisions into cultural binaries or stereotypes, as the limitations of such are clear (Appuhamilage, 2017; Smith, 2012). We also acknowledge there may be a performative aspect to the adolescents’ development of their Majority childhoodnature but contend that the adolescents were not passive recipients of their socialization. Their awareness of the impacts of new economic practices being in discord with their traditional nature-valuing ethos indicates they are active agents shaping their own childhoodnature. Our purpose then is to be guided by the adolescents’ voices to illuminate possibilities of alternative ways of being and becoming, a multiplicity of childhoodnatures. Such possibilities for multiple mind-body-spirit childhoodnature interactions, following traditional ways of engaging with nature (Arabena, 2006), disrupt and add richness and possibility to the “New Nature Movement” (Louv, 2011) discourse.

Conclusion: The So What: Childhoodnature as Assemblages of “Socioecologicalization” Interactions The alternatively constructed childhoodnatures of Majority adolescents in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh challenge the highly visible orthodoxies of the “New Nature Movement” (Louv, 2011). We present these Majority context versions of childhoodnature as assets to inform consideration of factors that enrich nature connectedness.

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We share a deep unease with many others that humanity’s damage to Earth’s ecological systems is linked to concerns that modern life separates people from their fundamental connection with nature. Perceptions of children’s “nature-deficit disorder” (Louv, 2005) and “disconnection disorder” (Arabena, 2006) such that there is a “soul sickness” (Griffiths, 2014) permeating modernity, weave people’s well-being with planetary well-being. Many scholars are calling for new imaginings of ways forward. The stories from the adolescents in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh enable us to consider alternative possibilities for thriving by being closely connected to nature. The adolescents’ childhood bonding with nature supports the notion that such experiences predispose adult pro-environmental approaches (Chawla, 2007; Leopold, 1966; Orr, 2011; Sobel, 2004). The multiplicity of their sociocultural, individual, and ecological agents of co-construction of their childhoodnature opens up possibilities to attend to. Deconstructing these alternative enactments of childhoodnature to the dominant Minority conceptualizations identifies key sociocultural influences shaping the adolescents’ development as well as their positioning of nature in their lives. Sociocultural influences are posed as shaping different expressions of childhoodnature in different contexts (Collado et al., 2016; Müller et al., 2009), strengthening our position that socialization in combination with bonding experiences of nature (“ecologization”) nurtures strong nature connectedness. That is, childhoodnature develops through “socioecologicalization.” The Bangladeshi, Indian, and Nepalese adolescents’ “socioecologicalization,” although varied locally, indicates commonalities of interdependence and traditional values shaping their childhoodnature. Their nature knowledge and relationship are not via formal learning but through an experienced, embodied, and socially mediated learning, a traditional or indigenous epistemology. The adolescents’ lifeworld experiences add support to calls for considering indigenous ways as valuable to invigorate sustainability thinking (Kahn, 2010; Somerville, 2007; Wheaton, 2000; Yunkaporta & Kirby, 2011). Concerns about applying indigenous ways out of context have been raised (Nakagawa & Payne, 2011; Nakata, 2002), but indigenous scholar Kerry Arabena sweeps aside these concerns by posing everyone as indigenous to the universe. She proposes we step outside current boundaries and be guided by indigenous ways to connect and unite in thought and action for plausible people and planet-sustaining “lifeways” (2015). This is not to suggest that the indigenous and collectivist culture framing of the Indian, Nepalese, and Bangladeshi adolescents’ childhoodnature is an imperative. Instead we draw attention to their ethos of collaboration and the high status of nature in their culture as potential pathways for broadening the conversation about child-nature relationships and pedagogies. The Bangladeshi, Indian, and Nepalese adolescents’ stories in this chapter add Majority context diversity to socioecological factors implicated in supporting children’s development of their nature connectedness. Such alternatives suggest possibilities for assemblages of situational and opportunistic experiences for nurturing nature connectedness in childhood, for including more collectivist and spiritual ontoepistemological negotiations of childhoodnature. The adolescents’ stories invite us to take advantage of the coalescences of any storied, embodied, scientific, cultured,

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spiritual, mindful, contemplative, collaborative, playful, practical, communitymediated, enchanted, traditional, technological, or elder-mediated ways of being and becoming nature as strategies for enhancing childhoodnature – not to just follow one defined pathway to childhoodnature. The Indian, Nepalese, and Bangladeshi adolescents’ versions of their childhoodnature recounted here open up possibilities to more “heterogeneous, thrown together and entangled naturecultures” (Taylor, 2013b, p. 16). The Anthropocene emergency necessitates shifts in the way humans think and act to rehabilitate our social and ecological systems in crisis. Resilient childhoodnature, and human nature, will be needed. Possibilities for strengthening child-nature relationships are indicated from the Bangladeshi, Nepalese, and Indian adolescents’ accounts of their childhoodnature in this chapter. The authors wish to acknowledge the work of our adolescent research colleagues in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal who have made essential contributions to our research. Note: Pseudonyms are used.

Cross-References ▶ Childhoodnature Significant Life Experience Overview ▶ Cultural, Political and Wild Perspectives of Childhoodnature ▶ Decolonizing Nature-Based Pedagogy: The Significance of History, Sociocultural Context, and Sociomateriality in Mediating Connectedness-with-Nature ▶ In Place(s): Dwelling on Culture, Materiality, and Affect

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Childhoodnature and the Anthropocene: An Epoch of “Cenes” Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, Karen Malone, and Hilary Whitehouse

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Child-Cene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Gyno-Cene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 City-Cene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Kin-Cene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Concluding Thoughts: Postanthropocene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Who Comes in My Dreams? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Abstract

Section Four troubles childhoodnature and the Anthropocene, a scientific and popular term used to described the present human-nature conditions on planet Earth. This section does this through eight contributions which broadly speak to four “cenes,” namely: children in the Anthropocene – child-cene; woman in the Anthropocene – gyno-cene; cities as sites of the Anthropocene, city-cene; and relations with the more than human – kin-cene. The lines though between/within/ through these identified cenes are porous and enmeshed as the nonliving, the A. Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles (*) School of Education, Sustainability, Environment and the Arts in Education (SEAE) Research Cluster, Southern Cross University, Gold Coast Campus, NSW, Australia e-mail: [email protected] K. Malone Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, VIC, Australia e-mail: [email protected] H. Whitehouse James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019 A. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, Springer International Handbooks of Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51949-4_35-1

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human, and nonhuman transition between two epochs – the Anthropocene and the Postanthropocene. Keywords

Anthropocene · Childhoodnature · Child-cene · Gyno-cene · City-cene · Kincene · Postathropocene

Introduction This section explores the interfaces between Childhoodnature, the Anthropocene, and the crisis of unsustainability. Here we reposition the latter constructs in the context of the social, environmental, political and economic challenges of global sustainability and the Anthropocene. The authors in this section were invited to interrogate the progress of education for sustainability (EfS), environmental education, and education for sustainable development (ESD) to date and identify ways to move forward. Potential authors were specifically asked to examine how childhoodnature was positioned within various internationally recognized educational approaches and policy developments, including the outcomes of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005–2014) (UNESCO, 2004). When expressions of interest came in, it was clear that there was a strong desire to write outside or beyond sustainability and sustainable development. In fact sustainable development hardly entered into the discourse. From these submissions alone, it could be surmised that the field has moved past sustainability with a renewed focus on the Anthropocene. Humans have now been recognized as a geophysical force who through altering the Earth’s geological systems has invited the renaming of the current epoch to the Anthropocene (Crutzen, 2006; Crutzen & Brauch, 2016). Baskin (2015) positions the Anthropocene as a radical re-conceptualization of the human-nature relationship. As Malone states “philosophically and theoretically, the Anthropocene is a concept that works both for us and on us (Chap. 25, ▶ “Children in the Anthropocene: How Are They Implicated?”).” The ways in which the Anthropocene is conceptualized in this section is complex, posttime and beyond the realms of a “human species” act. It is critical to caution that “an important contribution to the shortcomings of dominant Anthropocene discourses, is that much of the discourse on the Anthropocene has been dominated by Western scientific perspectives (Chap 26, ▶ “Situating Indigenous and Black Childhoods in the Anthropocene” by Nxumala).” The unsettling that the naming of the Anthropocene has administered – and will continue to administer – is a massive jolt to the human collective imagination of humans. Instone and Taylor (2015, p. 139) argue: “If viewed as a potentially transformative naming event with complex affordances, rather than as a scientific validation to scramble for yet another heroic techno fix, debates over the Anthropocene can open a space for constructive circumspection and thoughtful response.” In its unsettlement of the entrenched binaries of modernity (nature and culture; object and subject), and its provocative alienation of familiar anthropocentric scales and times, the Anthropocene will

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continue to open up a number of possibilities for exploring concepts such as entanglements and differences in children’s lives. Childhoodnature as an emerging concept has the ability to be central in identifying and illuminating these possibilities. Throughout this section, the authors shift the discussion on “sustainability” and “sustainable development” to lives led in the Anthropocene (and within its chaotic material impacts). Perhaps this is because the story of sustainability is written as “if humans were still alone on stage, the only being who out of its own free will is in charge of apportioning space, land, money and value to the old Mother Nature” (Latour, 2015, p. 6). The Anthropocene urgently requires new reconfigurations of knowing that actively acknowledge human and nonhuman relations as intra-active, agentic, and lively, for they are. The naming of the Anthropocene has become a way of re-making such relations between humans and nonhumans, demoting the old mantra of sustainability (Davies, 2016) and considering a life-focused, ecological collective concerned with difference and diversity instead of a presumed universality of sameness. The current environmental crises being faced by children, and caused by adults, and the devastating effects felt by all earthlings, have accentuated rather than diminished real and material differences between the privileged and the not so privileged, the human and not so human. Therefore, it is important not to universalize childhoodnature encounters in the Anthropocene for all relations are located within different places, with different seasons, temperatures, changes, loves, and terrors. There are eight chapters in this section which constitute a journey of “cenes” including a chapter from Malone on children in the Anthropocene; Nxumalo focusing on indigenous and black childhoods; Gray and Sosu on the re-naturing of science; Whitehouse, Evans, Jackson, and Thorne on children caring for Australian rainforest environments; Kopina, Sitka-Sage, Bienkinsop, and Piersol on educating children in a Post-nature world; Huang, Llu, Wamg, and Xie on urban wetlands and Chinese curriculum reform; Nelson on rats, death and relations in Canadian childhoods; and Worster and Whitten on responsive environmental education through a kaleidoscope of places in the Anthropocene. When undertaking a deep reading of the chapters in this section, a number of cenes or epochs (the beginning of a period in the history of someone or something) appear – namely, the child-cene, city-cene, gyno-cene, and kin-cene. The lines though between/within/ through these cenes are porous and enmeshed.

Child-Cene I became a UN member, [of a Model of the United Nations for Young People] where I debated for three years, two years for environmental subjects, and one year for human rights. (Chap. 27, ▶ “Renaturing Science: The Role of Childhoodnature in Science for the Anthropocene” by Grey and Sosu)

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Children as activists, demonstrators, and central figures in bringing attention to the Anthropocene are receiving more and more attention in mainstream media. Hundreds (approximately 1.4 million) of thousands of young people across Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, the UK, and Australia (123 countries in total or 62.43% of the world) went on strike from schools in late 2018 and early 2019 to protest against the lack of political action by politicians to the climate change crisis (Rousell & Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, 2019). In Australia “Strike 4 Climate Action” has brought thousands of young people together in defiance of the Australian Prime Minister’s tone deaf warning to be “less activist” (Baker, 2018). The “Strike 4 Climate Action,” has been inspired by 15-year old Swedish student Greta Thunberg. The youth climate change movement is consequently growing rapidly due to the connecting benefits of a globalized social media. In Sweden, Greta sat outside her Country’s parliament insisting the leaders come into line with the Paris Climate Change agreements (see Fig. 1). In an interview in The Guardian newspaper on 27th November 2018 Greta states: If burning fossil fuels threatened our very existence, then how could we continue to burn them? Why were there no restrictions? Why wasn’t it illegal to do this? Why wasn’t anyone talking about the dangerous climate change we have already locked in? And what about the fact that up to 200 species are going extinct every single day? I look at the people in power and wonder how they have made things so complicated. I hear people saying that climate change is an existential threat, yet I watch as people carry on like nothing is happening. We can no longer save the world by playing by the rules because the rules have to be changed. I urge other students to join me: Sit outside your parliament or local government wherever you are and demand that they get on track to keep the world below 1.5 degrees. (Thunberg, 2018, p. np)

Fig. 1 Greta Thunberg https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/26/im-strikingfrom-school-for-climate-change-too-save-the-world-australians-students-should-too#img-1. (Photograph: Michael Campanella for the Guardian)

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The children and young people in Whitehouse et al.’s chapter “illuminate in their own words their senses of care and connection to the Wet Tropics. Barriers and enablers to restorative practice are discussed in relation to dominant schooling practices, which continue to marginalize the work of caring, even though caring is a logical and necessary response to the Anthropocene.” Notwithstanding, Whitehouse et al. (Chap. 28, ▶ “Children Caring for the Australian Wet Tropics as a Response to the Anthropocene”) study exposed, “many aspects of the formal, public school system in Queensland are not yet fully enabling of caring practice.” This is substantiated where educators in the study said: “I’d probably be lynched by certain people for certain views...”; and “I’ve experienced nature but I can’t care less about it [laughing].” Gray and Sosu (Chap. 27, ▶ “Renaturing Science: The Role of Childhoodnature in Science for the Anthropocene”) also introduce a different view of the role of children in the critical debates of childhoodnature. They believe as still fairly natural environments speak back to children we must enable children to be able to encounter those moments, especially in the early years: “There may be a critical period of time when nature experience is important in establishing or nurturing this ecological identity, and there are some indications that this is in the earlier stages of childhood.” (Chap. 27, ▶ “Renaturing Science: The Role of Childhoodnature in Science for the Anthropocene” by Gray and Sosu). Huang et al. drawing on Chinese culture also bring the value and importance of childhood encounters into their chapter when they write: “Cultivating children’s sense of loving and protecting their environment from an early age is a basic principle for implementing environmental education in China, as an old proverb says ‘Habit is a second nature’ (DU Guang Qiang, 2011)” (Chap. 30, ▶ “How Urban Wetland-Based Environmental Education Activate School Children’s Childhoodnature in Anthropocene Times: Experience from Chinese Curriculum Reform” by Huang et al.). Insights from preservice teachers and their childhoodnature encounters (Chap. 27, ▶ “Renaturing Science: The Role of Childhoodnature in Science for the Anthropocene” by Grey and Sosu) reveal the starting points for delving into the spaces for unpacking the delicate relations between children’s agency in terms of child-nature relations: Me and my brother played a lot of computer games, so we kind of would stay inside and do that rather than going outside. My mum really doesn’t like animals. I have lots of siblings, so, of course, you have to have a pet. . .at one time or another, but it’s never been the same pet for more than two months. . . . . .these sheep I grew very attached to. I did generally know... out into the field when it was old enough and then off chops sometimes . . . I was very fond of a cow we had. . .I was very fond of her and granddad took her off and he came back and said, ah, well, I sold her...I sold her to a butcher who liked her so much that, eh, that he wants to keep her as a pet...even as a primary school child I didn’t buy that for a second. . .I knew exactly where she had gone to...

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Gyno-Cene Black feminist theories are invaluable in making sense of the persistence of these discourses in academia, in schooling contexts and more broadly in society and as modes of resisting absence and deficit in thinking with Black childhoods and education in the Anthropocene. Black feminisms bring much needed attention to the limits of engagements with the Anthropocene that do not also consider blackness and anti-blackness as necessary parts of the ontological and epistemological constellations that disrupt Eurowestern humanism (Frazier, 2016; King, 2017; Rusert, 2010). (Chap. 26, ▶ “Situating Indigenous and Black Childhoods in the Anthropocene” by Nxumalo)

Nxumalo (Chap. 26, ▶ “Situating Indigenous and Black Childhoods in the Anthropocene”) accentuates feminism and black feminist theories as agentic in disrupting minority (Western) humanism. Analogous to White’s (1967) seminal article “The Historical Roots of the Ecological Crisis,” Worster and Whitten (Chap. 32, ▶ “Responsive Environmental Education: Kaleidoscope of Places in the Anthropocene”) trace the plight of the Anthcopocene to religious documents such as Genesis 1: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1, 26) (Worster & Whitten, this Section)

Gray and Sosu (Chap. 27, ▶ “Renaturing Science: The Role of Childhoodnature in Science for the Anthropocene”) explore the idea of women as childhoodnature in the Anthropocene, where they claim that female children and their female adults, “may have a stronger biophilic predisposition brought about through childhoodnature experiences” (Chap. 27, ▶ “Renaturing Science: The Role of Childhoodnature in Science for the Anthropocene” by Gray and Sosu). Whether the strength and meaning of these necessary biophilic perceptions can be recognized and drawn upon to material advantage of the many rather than the few becomes a question of culture and politics. Merchant (1981) illuminated connections between the binary categories Nature and Women as a means for understanding the persisting inequalities of dominance and submission/destruction, a diversity of different kinds of environmentalism are increasingly becoming present in the Anthropocene (Zelezny & Bailey, 2006).

City-Cene . . .the lure of sustainability, the city and the call of the Anthropocene, hasn’t always delivered its promises. (Chap. 25, ▶ “Children in the Anthropocene: How Are They Implicated?” by Malone)

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More people live in cities than rural areas. In fact, by 2050 “over two thirds of the global population will call these places [cities] home” (UNICEF, 2012, p. 1). The city is readily seen as a magnet for those looking to improve their life prospects. With cities growing globally at an estimated 1 million new inhabitants each week or around 60 million people in majority nations leaving the countryside every year, it is a challenge to comprehend the impact of this for those arriving for the first time and those already adrift in the city. Devastatingly, one third of all these city dwellers especially those newly arrived will live on the streets, in makeshift housing or slums in order to make a start to city life. The impact of this shift to urban life on children can be exceptionally grim. Children in the majority world now make up 60% of the total population with 600 million children worldwide living in poverty in streets, slums, or transitional housing in cities. Children will face significant dangers in these situations and along with the elderly will be the most vulnerable. Globally 8 million urban children died in 2010 before reaching the age of 5, largely due to pneumonia, diarrhea, and birth complications (UNICEF, 2012), most of these lives could have been saved by simple services and facilities being made available within communities. But city officials even with the best intentions find themselves burgeoning under the strain of responding to the needs for infrastructure development at the current rates of city expansion. Cities are not homogeneous. Within them, and particularly within the rapidly growing cities of low and middle-income countries, reside millions of children who face similar, and sometimes worse, exclusion and deprivation than children living in rural areas. (UNICEF, 2012, p. 8)

Huang (Chap. 30, ▶ “How Urban Wetland-Based Environmental Education Activate School Children’s Childhoodnature in Anthropocene Times: Experience from Chinese Curriculum Reform”) echoes these realities (Chapter 30) with China’s rapid expansion of cities. Through unrelenting development Huang (Chap. 30, ▶ “How Urban Wetland-Based Environmental Education Activate School Children’s Childhoodnature in Anthropocene Times: Experience from Chinese Curriculum Reform”) divulge the collision of cities-nature as urban wetlands where urban dwellers find refuge from the hard lines of city streets: Urban wetlands with its unique characteristics meets city residents’ psychological need to return back to nature, and it serves as a leisure area for local residents and tourists to learn history and conduct research. (Chap. 30, ▶ “How Urban Wetland-Based Environmental Education Activate School Children’s Childhoodnature in Anthropocene Times: Experience from Chinese Curriculum Reform” by Huang et al.)

Cities are difficult gritty places for humans and nonhumans, a world designed by humans for humans, others infiltrate seeking to belong and become urban adapters. For many children survival in cities can be wrought with dangers, the universal romantic urban childhood exists in the imagination of the white middle class privileged few. The Anthropocene has revealed the reality that a dream of a clean,

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educated healthy civilized life in cities was a capitalist speculation, a human fiction, the illusion of which has left in its capitalist wake a trail of damaged lives.

Kin-Cene What would it mean, in a multispecies context to really share city places? (p. 18) (Chap. 31, ▶ “Rats, Death, and Anthropocene Relations in Urban Canadian Childhoods” by Nelson)

Malone (Chap. 25, ▶ “Children in the Anthropocene: How Are They Implicated?”) writes about her experiences in La Paz where she comes to know a different set of kin relations, a common worldling of child dog. The child-dog body becomes more than a metaphor of how a child and a dog come to be thrown together on a hilly ravine in La Paz but it opens up spaces to speak of relations across histories, cultural nuances, and kin-cene possibilities. In her chapter she writes: The city of La Paz has 500 thousand dogs and 1 million children. Every year in La Paz there is a day devoted to caring for dogs, offerings of food, bathes and immunisations. A bow is tied around their neck. During the project the team collected around 2000 photographs taken by children while they moved around the valley. From these images over 200 of the photographs included dogs. (see Fig. 2). (Chap. 25, ▶ “Children in the Anthropocene: How Are They Implicated?” by Malone)

Fig. 2 200 dogs (Chap. 25, ▶ “Children in the Anthropocene: How Are They Implicated?” by Malone)

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Fig. 3 Child-monkey worlding, Iwatayama Monkey Park, Kyoto, Japan. (Photographer, Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles)

The world of child-dog relations follows the story of colonialization, the peopling of the world spirted through the DNA of dogs as they travelled as worldly kin with humans. The kin-cene reminds us we are not in the Anthropocene alone. A host of nonhumans (and not so humans) share our houses, beds, fridges, and families. The urban spaces where humans have attempted to denature their lives find urban adapters, the creative animals, plants, bacteria and fungi, that survive with and (sometimes) despite humans attempting to eradicate them. Kopina et al. (Chap. 29, ▶ “Moving Beyond Innocence: Educating Children in a Post-nature World”) “critically examines what it means to educate children as (part of) nature. . .” For instance, one might reasonably propose Ebola viruses are also part of nature (Kopnina, 2016). Here the trouble (from a humanist perspective) is how to appropriately respond to the expansionist human actions of one part of a planetary nature given the health, well-being, and flourishing of one’s own body, species and the ecological community as a whole? Does/ought the same logic hold for all species? What about issues of animal personhood? Are we ready to weigh the life of a gorilla against that of a human toddler fallen into his cage? (Phippen, 2016) Are we ready to seriously consider why one primate should even be in a cage for the sake of another primate’s entertainment? (Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles et al., 2019). Figure 3, the photograph of the young child in a cage, was taken at the Iwatayama Monkey Park where human animals are placed in a cage and the Japanese macaque monkeys dwell freely in the landscapes beyond. The human-monkey reaches to become acquainted in the in-between – the intra-active spaces where the possibilities for seeking a post-Anthropocene world may exist. The imaginary for something

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different where other worldings, human/nonhuman kin relations can be disrupted reimagined and reconfigured. More to the point, if we begin to argue that children are nature and nature is natural: are we not moving towards dangerous appeals to nature whereby whatever children do – be it killing small animals or pouring motor oil down the sink – is rendered natural? McClaren (2009) speaks to the complicated conversations and problematic logics that emerge from this kind of oversimplification applied to urban centers as natural. The logic goes something like this: “Humans construct cities. If human constructions are not natural, then what does that make humans? Stated differently, how should humans behave naturally?” (p. 303). The question asked by Nelson in her Chapter (Chap. 31, ▶ “Rats, Death, and Anthropocene Relations in Urban Canadian Childhoods” by Nelson) brings us to a useful starting point to venture forward: “What would it mean, in a multispecies context to really share city places?” (Nelson). These questions [or cenes] follow in the shadow of thousands of years of Indigenous peoples seeing plants, animals and landscape forms as kin, wherein they are already taken seriously as co-constructing beings who impact everyday, culturally specific, place relations (Watts, 2013). (Chap. 31, ▶ “Rats, Death, and Anthropocene Relations in Urban Canadian Childhoods” by Nelson)

Concluding Thoughts: Postanthropocene The muteness for discussing the ESD agenda by the authors illustrates there are real limits to the deliberative devastation of the thin skin of the earth we call our collective home and children can no longer wait for the greening of corporate vandals. The work of reconfiguring sustainability in the face of global consequences of Anthropocentric practices means radically moving beyond a view of the political as confined to “humans.” Instead geophysical forces, the nonliving, the human, and nonhuman are all actors contributing to a transition between two epochs (the Anthropocene and the Postanthropocene). In this transition, “sustainability” might begin to look like a “time-bound and contingent goal at best, not an absolute one, so environmentalists will need to construct some other normative standard of value” (Davies, 2016, p. 200). For what can be sustained in a time of accelerating and unprecedented environmental change (what adult people have done to the fabric of life on this planet)? We don’t as yet know. Living in the Anthropocene means something quite different. It means love, activism, care, diversity, making space and place for all our kin, and recognizing a differentiated epoch of “cenes” as explored in this Section of the Handbook.

Childhoodnature and the Anthropocene: An Epoch of “Cenes”

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Who Comes in My Dreams? You come in my dreams While I sleep and nap You have the perfect smile and, Laughing eyes, beautiful hair and, Naturally Varnished lips, That figure is simple, yet attractive, That figure has no well, Still spends the thought, That figure has no spring, Still I can swing and have fun, You have come in my dreams, You spoke the lovely words, As the new snow in the old world, We can drench, once the snowflakes melt, You are too lovely and smart to secure my heart Who comes in my dreams? Climate change does —Kiara, 10, NSW Australia (Climate Change and Me Research Project) (Rousell & CutterMackenzie, 2015)

References Baker, N. (2018, 27 November). Students hit back at PM after ‘less activism in schools’ climate change comment. SBS News. Retrieved from https://www.sbs.com.au/news/students-hit-backat-pm-after-less-activism-in-schools-climate-change-comment. Baskin, J. (2015). Paradigm dressed as epoch: The ideology of the Anthropocene. Environmental Values, 24(1), 9–29. https://doi.org/10.3197/096327115X14183182353746 Crutzen, P. (2006). The “Anthropocene”. In E. Ehlers & T. Krafft (Eds.), Earth system science in the Anthropocene (pp. 13–18). Berlin, Germany: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Crutzen, P., & Brauch, H. (2016). Paul J. Crutzen: A pioneer on atmospheric chemistry and climate change in the Anthropocene. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, A., Lasczik, A., Wilks, J., Logan, M., Turner, A., & Boyd, W. (2019). Touchstones for deterritorialising socioecological learning: The Anthropocene, posthumanism and common worlds as creative Milieux. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Davies, J. (2016). The birth of the Anthropocene. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. Du, G.Q. (2011). The enlightenment of Humanistic educational idea to contemporary education. Journal of Inner Mongolia Normal University (Educational Science), 24(01), 1–4. 杜光强. (2011). 人本主义教育理念对代教育的启示[J]. 内蒙古师范大学学报(教育科学版). 24(01), 1–4. Instone, L., & Taylor, A. (2015). Thinking about inheritance through the figure of the Anthropocene, from the antipodes and in the presence of others. Environmental Humanities, 7, 133–150. https://doi.org/10.1215/22011919-3616371 Kopnina, H. (2016). Rejoinder: Discussing dichotomies with colleagues. Anthropological Forum, 26(4), 445–449. Latour, B. (2015). Fifty shades of green. Environmental Humanities, 7, 219–225. McClaren, M. (2009). The place of the city in environmental education. (Chapter 17, pp. 301–306). In: Marcia McKenzie, Paul Hart, Heesoon Bai & Bob Jickling (Eds.) Fields of green: Restorying culture, environment and education. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

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Merchant, C. (1981). Earthcare: Women and the environment. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 23(5), 6–40. https://doi.org/10.1080/00139157.1981.9933143 Phippen, J. W. (2016). Do we need zoos? The killing of Harambe, the silverback gorilla, at the Cincinnati Zoo has sparked a massive debate. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/ news/archive/2016/06/harambe-zoo/485084/ Rousell, D., & Cutter-Mackenzie, A. (2015). The changes – art, writing and research by student researchers in the climate change and me project. Gold Coast, Australia: NSW Environmental Trust. Rousell, D., & Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, A. (2019, 14 February). Climate change: Young people striking from school see it for the life-threatening issue it is. The Conversation. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/climate-change-young-people-striking-from-school-see-it-for-the-lifethreatening-issue-it-is-111159 Thunberg, G. (2018, 27 November). I’m striking from school to protest inaction on climate change – you should too. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/ 2018/nov/26/im-striking-from-school-for-climate-change-too-save-the-world-australians-studentsshould-too UNESCO. (2004). United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005–2014. Retrieved from Paris: https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-sustainable-development/what-isesd/un-decade-of-esd UNICEF. (2012). The state of the world’s children: Children in an urban world. New York, NY: United Nations. White, L. (1967). The historical roots of our ecological crisis. Science, 155(3767), 1203–1207. Zelezny, L., & Bailey, M. (2006). A call for women to lead a different environmental movement. Organization & Environment, 19(1), 103–109. https://doi.org/10.1177/1086026605285588

Childhoodnature Animal Relations: Section Overview Tracy Young and Pauliina Rautio

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roadmap of Section Chapters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Theoretical Reviews, Mappings, and Conceptualizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cultural Constructs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lived and Fabricated Lives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pedagogical Potentialities and Conceptualizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Abstract

The “animal turn” in academia has been described by researchers like Weil (J Fem Cult Stud 21(2):1–23, 2010) as an increasing scholarly interest in the status of animals beyond that of the utilitarian or agricultural scientific study of animals

In the wake of poststructuralist and postmodern decenterings that have displaced the human as a standard for knowledge, theory finds itself in a similar predicament. It cannot avoid seeing the animal suffering around us, but has contradictory foundations on which to judge the good or the right thing to do about it. Responding to an urgent call for concern, those of us working on “the animal question” may only be able, like Red Peter, to make a report, but hopefully such reports will enable us to make decisions (for that is our human prerogative and responsibility) that will, to the best of our imperfect and partial knowledge, enhance the lives of all animals, ourselves included (Weil, 2010, p. 20). T. Young Swinbourne University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia e-mail: [email protected] P. Rautio (*) Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland e-mail: [email protected]fi # Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018 A. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, Springer International Handbooks of Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51949-4_62-1

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and the larger-than-human degraded ecological times we are living in. The human condition has always been defined and studied in relation to the animal, from ancient to contemporary posthuman thinkers, where the study of animal relations forms a large component of this ontological turn, with shifting aspirations to decenter anthropocentric interactions and challenge human assumptions of morethan-human lives. Human-animal studies, while still firmly planted within disciplinary margins, “have been edging towards the mainstream” (Ritvo, Environ Hist 9(2):204–220, 2004, p. 205), becoming increasingly popular, respected topics of inquiry (Ritvo, Daedalus 136(4):118–122, 2007). Creative opportunities for experimentation therefore exist where new terms, becomings, and conceptualizations are underway. The chapters in this section provoke a diversity of such (re)thinking of childanimal relations within Western families, communities, and education where the complex relationships with children, animals, and environments provide a space for ethical considerations to the social positioning of animals in education and society. The chapters address ideas, conceptualizations, and possibilities of alternative ontologies with some authors venturing into pedagogical territory that attempts to reshape pedagogy and practice. Authors grapple with the taken-forgranted interspecies relationships in their messy, complex, and multiple forms, to look beyond to see the hidden, the marginalized, the unexplained, and the ill-considered. This questioning of multiple relatings has the potential to (re) imagine new models, theories, and ways of crossing boundaries that blur the illusion of separation between children, nature, and animals, where animals can be elevated as crucial components of living together in perilous times. As section editors who engage with human-animal research, ethics of concern, and activism in our work and everyday lives, we acknowledge the “contradictory foundations” of the animal question, and this is reflected in the diverse and sometimes opposing contributions of the chapters in this section. Readers will find a choice of theoretical, educational, and sociocultural representation and discussion in these writings, and this introduction offers signposts to guide the reader through the twists and turns. The authors enhance the explosive range of human-animal studies now underway in diverse disciplines, including arts, humanities, media studies, science, and social geographies, drawing attention to the question of the animal that is under-researched and underrepresented in education. The chapters in this section of the handbook offer alternatives to humanistic thought and actions, and our hope is that these contributions will legitimize the study of human-animal relations, prompting others to join us in research and practice that embraces ethical multispecies futures. Keywords

Human-animal · More-than-human · Human-animal relations · Child-animal relations · Multispecies ethnography · Animal death · Interspecies education and early childhood education

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Introduction Red Peter, the fictional chimpanzee referred to in the quote above, gives a report to the academy about what he is learning through his transformation to becoming human. Kafka (1917) positions Red Peter in the short story Letter to the Academy within liminal spaces of human and animal becomings. He has a foot in both camps where being ape and becoming human means never belonging to either world. Red Peter has learned to speak, stand, and dress as a human but will always be betrayed by his animality, and this animality in turn has been disrupted leaving him stateless, world-less, and species-less as a human-animal representation that is neither human nor animal. Kafka’s story is an important fable for human-animal studies, as it characterizes the challenges of animal representation and co-species entanglements. Writing about these entanglements has become a popular aspect of human-animal studies, as scholars draw upon flat ontologies like those of philosophers Spinoza, Whitehead, Latour, Deleuze and Guattari, and Stengers. The complex variations of these worldviews offer thought-provoking ways to position (or not position) the detailed richness of the immanent world of things (human, more-than-human, objects), taking us out of our anthropocentric impasse and enabling multiple pathways to appear. The blurring and entanglement of hierarchical categories of human and more-than-human is a key feature of this handbook; however, where “the animal” is integrated within muddled hybrid terms and flattened ontologies, there is a danger that power relations can become silenced and overlooked, resorting to the privileging of human knowledge over the lived realties of other beings. After all, the fictional Red Peter who is stolen from his family in West Africa, as a young chimpanzee, robbed of his childhood, and trained through violence to perform for and as human is based on countless acts of violence, where this was (and still is) a reality (Gray, 2004). The animal turn therefore brings into question the scale of the “animal question,” as we face the perilous environmentally vulnerabilities of current earthly life. The animal turn demands our attention, to (re)learn the art of paying attention to new modes of resistance that requires “new powers of acting, feeling, imagining and thinking” (Stengers, 2015, p. 24). In our search for alternative ecological lifeworlds, we acknowledge the importance of multispecies relationships and ecological aesthetics that attune with ethics of concern. Until recent times human-animal relations have received minimal attention from social science research, have been a blind spot in philosophy (Derrida, 2008), and have rarely focused on how children learn about and experience animals. Environmental education research has also minimized the question of the nonhuman animal (Oakley et al., 2010), failing “to integrate nonhuman animal advocacy as a serious educational issue” (Kahn & Humes, 2009, p. 179), where we know that animals matter in the lives of children (Melson, 2001; Myers, 2007; Tipper, 2011). We are grateful to the editors of this International Handbook who have chosen to privilege the study of these human-animal relations within a separate section, in recognition of this research gap. This could be seen as a point of contention. Indeed,

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many could argue why a separate section for animals in a handbook about how childhoodnatures co-constitute the world and why not plants, rocks, and oceans? We maintain that as we are now ensconced in the epoch of the Anthropocene where humans are described as a geological force (Crutzen & Stoermer, 2000), there is a crucial need to comprehend how humans are enmeshed in cultural, political, and environmental relations with (and as) animals. The animal turn in academia has enlivened recent discussion, sparking hopeful elevation of animals as subjects with shared vulnerabilities, where previously they were relegated to the sidelines as objects of study. Human relationships with animals have always been ambivalent and ambiguous, as pests, pets, and products, where we remove, revere, exploit, and overlook them. This exclusion is a focal point of this section where the authors work in ways to question and challenge human-centric assumptions that acknowledge the importance and benefits of animals in children’s lives and children in animal lives. Many of the chapters including Harwood, Rose, Whitty and Elliot, and Boileau and Russell from Canada; Tammi, Rautio, Leinonen, and Hohti from Finland; Myers and Russell and Fawcett from the USA; and Young and Bone from Australia adopt multispecies ethnography as a way to integrate animals into the inquiry process. Fieldwork with children and animals in education reveals shared threads of understanding and experience where human children, dogs, insects, and worms cross geographical boundaries. Animal relation ethnographic studies require sophisticated techniques and creative approaches that challenge speciesism and the epistemologies that pit the all-knowing human against the passive, dumb, and insentient animal. This is no easy task, for documented research pathways, methodology texts, and studies are still being made and unmade in these early stages of the animal turn. Finding methods and practices that embrace animality demands less-linear and lessobvious approaches, hence the popularity of affective ontologies in this research space. How do you write, for example, a methods chapter in a doctoral study with an animal as a participant? How can researchers include the perspective of a dog or the species-specific worlds of a stick insect? How can we also acclimatize to animal resistance that might be more obvious when listening to the grieving wails of a mother cow whose calf has been taken away hours after birth, but far more difficult when observing the frenetic activity of ants whose nest has been disturbed? While this section does not have the scope to answer these questions, it does provide examples of multispecies, posthuman attunement, widening the inclusive approach that ethnography offers to the study of human-animal relations: This is because, with its ability to pay close attention to the symbolic forms, practices, objects and discourses of everyday life, it is a technique that creates a multi-dimensional picture of interactions in their subtle, nuanced and often contradictory cultural context. It does this by encouraging the researcher to engage physically, discursively and emotionally with those under investigation. In other words, it moves us from seeing research “objects” to seeing— and often working alongside—research “subjects” and places these roles as complementary rather than separate or oppositional. This lends itself to regarding humans and other animals in relations and entanglements not as so very different that they cannot be researched together. (Hamilton & Taylor, 2017, p. 9)

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Roadmap of Section Chapters This animal relations section of the handbook has been loosely designed with the intention of ordering the chapters within four parts: (1) theoretical reviews, mappings, and conceptualizations, (2) cultural constructs, (3) lived and fabricated lives, and (4) pedagogical potentialities and conceptualizations. We embrace the disorderly spillage of content and ideas that fall across chapters, for neat ideas are not part of the messy contradictions of the topic under study.

Theoretical Reviews, Mappings, and Conceptualizations Theoretical mappings and contextual analysis assemble in the first part of this section in diverse and contradictory ways. Children and animals form common and connecting threads between distinct disciplinary methods, theoretical approaches, and familiar concepts of developmental psychology, sociology, media studies, and humane education. The concept of childhoodnature weaves through childhood development, film culture, and pedagogy attempting a renewal and awakening of these onto-epistemologies, endeavoring to embrace the various creaturely others, who are always, already there. The opening chapter is a contribution from Gail Melson, arguably one the first scholars to address the question of what animals mean to children, resulting in the much-cited book Why the Wild Things Are (2001). In this handbook Melson’s chapter entitled “Rethinking childrens’ connections with other animals: A childhoodnature” offers an overview of child-animal relations through the domains of developmental psychology. The concluding discussion offers a helpful summary of ideas and a challenge to acknowledge animals in the lives of children through existing developmental paradigms, where they are currently overlooked. Are there possibilities, we wonder for developmental paradigms to blur the boundaries of childhoodnature by thinking through how animals experience concepts like attachment, schemas, or moral reasoning?Following Melson are two prominent scholars of Critical Animal Studies, Matthew Cole and Kate Stewart, who approach and address the question of child-animal relations as that of socializing superiority: the cultural denaturalization of children’s relations with other animals. This chapter builds on their existing research of popular culture and cultural representations of nonhuman animals, targeted to children and with the aim of socializing children into simultaneously affective and exploitative relations toward nonhuman animals. An intriguing focus of this chapter is the critical analysis of four mainstream animated movies: Zootropolis (Spencer, Howard, & Moore, 2016), The Secret Life of Pets (Meledandri, Healy, & Renaud, 2016), Finding Dory (Collins & Stanton, 2016), and The Jungle Book (Favreau & Taylor, 2016). Through discursive analysis of the movies, the authors show how exploitative relations are (still) variously reproduced

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and how critical awareness is needed to disrupt the cultural modelling of loving and using animals. In the third chapter, Maria Saari presents a non-speciesist framework as the potential of humane education with the reexamining of the human-nonhuman animal relationship through humane education. She suggests that assessing the interconnected forms of social justice and oppressive systems, humane education can instigate initial moves away from dominant beliefs of society. Saari discusses how nonhuman animal issues are widely neglected in research and practices of education – even in environmental or sustainability education. She then proposes that humane education takes environmental education further, reflecting the desired curricula of interspecies education, an approach based on compassion and justice focusing on the interconnectedness and interdependence of all life.

Cultural Constructs The second part of the section engages the cultural situatedness of child-animal relations in recognition of the importance of understanding geographical and cultural contexts. Both chapters explore social, cultural, and political norms and practices through animal death, identifying death as highlighting the conceptual boundary between humans and animals in a given context. Debra Harwood, Pam Whitty, Enid Elliot, and Sherry Rose present storied encounters between children, educators, animals and the more-than-human, as located within specific social-cultural-political contexts entitled: “The flat weasel: Children and adults experiencing death through nature-culture encounters.” This fourth chapter centers on ideologies and practices of and around animal death that occupy spaces of early childhood. The authors discuss encounters with a weasel, an owl, and a raccoon as fostering a practice of becoming witness, of being and learning together with children and animals, and of making meaning with animals and their deaths. The authors present a situated lens of co-mattering in relieving the tensions of childhoodnature–animal-matter relations. Experiences of animal death in childhood memories are the topic of the fifth chapter by Nora Schuurman. Scrutinizing memories of animal death in childhood, based on narratives on human-pet relations, Schuurman pays special attention to the ways in which cultural conceptions, norms, and practices define the appropriate ways of relating to and grieving the death of an animal. Animal death is frequently contextualized in the experiences of growing up, and both children and adults are reflected on in the narratives. Schuurman finds that special meanings involved in relationships with animals in childhood are epitomized in the experiences of animal death. The historical perspective accessible through the data analyzed for this chapter allows Schuurman to present a long-term overview: the memories analyzed illustrate the position of animals as friends and family members already in agrarian times, before pet-keeping became a central part of home and family.

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Lived and Fabricated Lives A pedagogisized mass incarceration of certain animal species is what the third part of this section provocatively brings to the fore. The case of earthworms dangling in tweezers and being washed “clean” for inspection, or the case of “creepy crawlies” or insects being crushed to death when children learn to take care of them. Keeping and caring for other animals for the sake of human education – even worms or insects – is questioned, and grounding questions remain. What is, in fact, being taught? Who is, in fact, a subject of concern, requiring care, as a subject of their own life? Tuure Tammi, Pauliina Rautio, Riitta-Marja Leinonen, and Riikka Hohti are the authors of the sixth chapter, “Unearthing Withlings: Negotiating everyday life child-animal relations in an early education context,” in which children and the nonhuman animals that cohabit a kindergarten yard are conceptualized as “withlings” and the processes they engage in as “withling” (verb). Focusing on one event in which children unearth, carry, and inspect earthworms, the authors discuss how different versions of human (child) and animal (earthworm) emerge, or, indeed, don’t emerge, as part of practices including participation of different technologies (such as tweezers). While the worm rally made possible the meaningful participation of pupils in the practice of science education and evoked emotions on this regard, it seemed to suppress the compassionate affectivity in human-nonhuman bodily encounters and end up lethal for the particular worm withlings. The burning question remains for educational professionals: “What is being taught when nonhuman animals are removed from their assemblages and relocated within new ones?” As if continuing where the previous chapter left off, the seventh chapter by Elizabeth Y.S. Boileau and Constance Russell discusses the pedagogical and ethical implications of various ways of encountering and using insects in education. In learning with and from creepy crawlies, Early childhood interspecies education for human and insect flourishing, they raise the question of who benefits and who is cared for – as a subject of their own life. The discussion of insect-human relations – which are often also unpleasant and troublesome – evokes powerfully what being ethical really is. The authors present a comprehensive review of research on insecthuman relations, also with children, and point out that children receive ambiguous and conflicting messages of what “appropriate” or ethical relationships with insects might be like. And so, a particularly valuable contribution of the chapter is the portrayal of the role educators can play in helping children (re)interpret their experiences with insects.

Pedagogical Potentialities and Conceptualizations Education in the broadest sense of the word can be defied as encompassing complex, dynamic ways that human beings live, work, consume, play, feel, construct, and share knowledge and learn to be in the world (Rowe, 2012). The following chapters in this section highlight the promise and potential of interspecies exchange and the

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mutual provocation of learning to live together. The authors have been compelled to think with praxis, exploring pedagogies, educational activities, and the role of the teacher. Joshua Russell and Leesa Fawcett ponder conviviality – the shared joys, pleasure, and problems of multispecies living in the eight chapter of the section: “On Child/ Animal vulnerability and an embodied pedagogy of conviviality.” Highlighting bodily experiences of child-animal relations, they proceed to decenter the anthropocentric visions of individual development and to build a pedagogical vision of conviviality. The authors review pioneering research by Gene Myers, especially focusing on children’s “theory of mind” and their experiences of intersubjectivity. They argue that children often recognize vulnerability in their relationships with animals and that a shift in developmental focus on child-animal relationships, one that takes animal agency and children’s animality as a starting point, is due. Chapter nine with the intriguing title, “I don’t know what’s gotten into me, but I’m guessing it’s snake germs: Becoming beasts in the early years classroom,” outlines how Casey Myers follows children’s animal play in an early years classroom by collapsing the human/nonhuman animal binary through attunement to animals. She maintains a loyal viewpoint of how the children themselves articulate the material-discursive particulars of becoming (with) animals within everyday acts of classroom living. This leads her to discuss the (im)proper animals – the beings between the adult-sanctioned animal presences and the children themselves, kinds of more-than-human beasts. Myers presents four cartographies of these beasts, complex, real-life events for young children, and suggests that they might allow us to consider alternatives to the traditional roles allocated for animals within early years education. Tracy Young and Jane Bone complete the final chapter in the animal relations section of the handbook with “Troubling intersections of childhood/animal/education: narratives of love, life and death.” They adopt a critical posthuman stance to mobilize attention toward the detrimental effects of violence concerning animals that takes place during childhood and within early childhood education settings that is not conducive to the shared lifeworlds required for ecological futures. They share this chapter with Kosi, a “pedadog” who helps them contemplate a framework of “roaming pedagogies” offering possibilities for teaching and learning about, for, and with these vital human-animal relationships. The oppression and commodification of animal species in early childhood compels them to not just to (re)imagine common worlds pedagogy or to rethink the basic tenets of their interactions but to take steps to (re)imagine relational ecologies of education by (re)making ways of living together with ecological justice in both thought and action.

Conclusion Casey Myers poses a question in her chapter that sums up a key part of this section of the handbook. “Does the notion of ‘child-animal relations’ itself need rethinking, as the beasts that emerged through these research assemblages suggest a hybridity that

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overruns the stable categories of ‘child’ and ‘animal’?” By beasts she is referring to how the children in her research named a process of becoming-animal (but not quite, and much more) consisting of physical transformations, environmental limitations, adult expectations, material affordances, and children’s conceptions of and relationships to various animal actors. There is much to unpack in what is meant and actually researched under “child-animal relations,” and many chapters in this section engage in this conceptual and onto-epistemological groundwork. The work compiled in this collection steers clear of the simple conception of child as the savior of animal and steward of nature, with the framing of childhood as the pivotal time to set their paths straight – for two reasons well accounted for: firstly, not to colonize and reduce the lived lives of younger people into stages and phases engineered and defined by those beyond it and, secondly, in realization that ethical acts and a more just world for all animals are always issues including but essentially beyond the individual requiring complex conglomerates of social, cultural, political, historical, material (and more) interdependencies. Having said this, however, does not release humans of any age, of the responsibility to act with concern in mind and try to “acknowledge what may not be possible to say” (Weil, 2010, p. 4). In this summary of the animal relations section, we report like Red Peter to the academy about our collaborative foray into childhoodnature with animals as our thinking, acting and living companions. We question how we can honor these companions in ways that do not distort or appropriate animal lifeworlds. Our shared aspiration is “to the best of our imperfect and partial knowledge to enhance the lives of all animals, ourselves included” (Weil, 2010, p. 20).

References Collins, L. (Producer), & Stanton, A. (Director). (2016). Finding dory [DVD]. Burbank, CA: Walt Disney Pictures & Pixar Animation Studios. Crutzen, P. J., & Stoermer, E. F. (2000). The Anthropocene. Global Change Newsletter, 41, 17–18. Derrida, J. (2008). The animal that therefore I am (D. Wills, Trans.). New York, NY: Fordham University Press. Favreau, J., & Taylor, B. (Producers), & Favreau, J. (Director). (2016). The jungle book. [DVD]. Walt Disney Pictures. Gray, J. (2004, February, 9). A report to the academy, New Statesman. Retrieved from http://www. animal-rights-library.com/texts-m/gray01.htm Hamilton, L., & Taylor, N. (2017). Ethnography after humanism: Power, politics and method in multi-species research. London, England: Palgrave Macmillan. Kafka, F. (1917). Letter to the academy. In M. Brod (Ed.), The diaries of Franz Kafka (pp. 1914–1923). New York, NY: Schocken Books. Kahn, R., & Humes, B. (2009). Marching out from Ultima Thule: Critical counterstories of emancipatory educators working at the intersection of human rights, animal rights, and planetary sustainability. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 14, 179–195. Meledandri, C., & Healy, J. (Producers), & Renaud, C. (Director). (2016). The secret life of pets [DVD]. Universal City, CA: Illumination Entertainment. Melson, G. (2001). Why the wild things are: Animals in the lives of children. Cambridge, MA: University Press.

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Myers, G. (2007). The significance of children and animals: Social development and our connections to other species (2nd ed.). West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press. Oakley, J., Watson, G., Russell, C., Cutter-Mackenzie, A., Fawcett, L., Kuhl, G., . . . Warkentin, T. (2010). Animal encounters in environmental education research: Responding to the “Question of the animal”. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 15, 11–27. Ritvo, H. (2004). Animal planet. Environmental Histories, 9(2), 204–220. Ritvo, H. (2007). On the animal turn. Daedalus, 136(4), 118–122. Rowe, B. (2012). Consuming animals as an education act. (PhD). Ohio State University. Spencer, C. (Producer), & Howard, B., & Moore, R. (Directors). (2016). Zootropolis [DVD]. Walt Disney Animation Studios. Stengers, I. (2015). In catastrophic times: Resisting the coming barbarism. (A. Goffrey, Trans.). Open Universities Press in collaboration with Meson Press, Hybrid Publishing Lab, Leuphana University of Lüneburg Tipper, B. (2011). ‘A dog who I know quite well’: Everyday relationships between children and animals. Children’s Geographies, 9(2), 145–165. https://doi.org/10.1080/ 14733285.2011.562378 Weil, K. (2010). A report on the animal turn. Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, 21(2), 1–23.

Childhoodnature Ecological Systems and Realities: An Outline Marianne Logan and Helen Widdop Quinton

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Systems Thinking and Ecological Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Humans in the System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 A Posthuman Turn for New Thinking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Ecological Systems and Childhoodnature Realities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Conclusion: New (Posthuman) Ecological Systems Thinking in Childhoodnature . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Cross-References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Abstract

Ecological systems thinking is an attractive conceptual tool for understanding the complexity of the entanglement of the biological environment (ecological systems including human social systems) with the physical environment. Attention to such interactions in light of Anthropocentric system changes, and the focus of this handbook urges (re)exploration of ecological systems within childhoodnature. Accordingly, in this introduction to childhoodnature ecological systems and realities, we explore systems thinking and ecological systems, the interaction of humans within the systems and consider a posthuman turn for reconceptualising ecological systems thinking in childhoodnature.

M. Logan (*) Southern Cross University, Gold Coast, Australia e-mail: [email protected] H. Widdop Quinton (*) Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia e-mail: [email protected] # Springer International Publishing AG 2018 A. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, Springer International Handbooks of Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51949-4_54-1

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Keywords

Systems thinking · Ecological systems · Socioecological

Introduction Implicit in the childhoodnature theorizing that underpins this handbook is the framing of children and nature as inseparable concepts (see Childhoodnature: Introduction). Accordingly, explorations of childhoodnature indicate inquiry into childhood and children with/in nature through the lens of an ecological systems conceptual framework. Our interpretation of the Earth’s ecological systems is the integrated hydrological, geological, atmospheric, and biological systems that make up the entangled, dynamic, connected ecosystems of the Earth. Consideration of children and childhood as embedded within these complex ecological systems also aligns with global attention on impacts of increasing ecological disasters – environmental catastrophes due to human actions that are changing planetary systems. These widespread changes have prompted many scientists to signal a new period in the Earth’s history, the Anthropocene, as a new era of lasting human impacts on a global scale (Crutzen, 2002), recognizing that human activity has changed the Earth “substantially and irreversibly” (Zalasiewicz, Williams, Steffen, & Crutzen, 2010, p. 2231). Framing childhoodnature theorizing, research, and practice through an ecological systems lens in this section of the handbook is therefore both timely and pragmatic. Traditionally the domain of the sciences ecological systems conceptualizing applies a systems thinking architecture to scaffold understanding about the complex interrelations between the living and nonliving elements that constitute the dynamic, emplaced, purposeful assemblage of an ecosystem. The ecosystem is the “unit” of natural planetary systems – the bounded, yet porous, collection of physical affordances of a space and the living things that thrive through interactions within this space (Capra & Luisi, 2014). Humans are one element of the many in natural ecological systems, but the view in society is predominantly one of humans as separate from natural ecosystems, highlighted in the English Oxford Living Dictionary’s definition of nature: “The phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations” (Oxford University Press, 2018). Haraway’s quote highlights the absurdity of this notion of the human/nature separation and the masking of our impact on Earth’s ecological systems: No species, not even our own arrogant one pretending to be good individuals in so-called modern Western scripts, acts alone; assemblages of organic species and of abiotic actors make history, the evolutionary kind and the other kinds too. Just as other biotic and abiotic elements impact us, our actions impact Earth’s biological systems (Haraway, 2015, p. 159).

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Such posthuman and new materialist theorizing, which problematize humancentered perspectives, uncouples systems ecology framing from the traditional scientific and often more anthropocentric approaches. Attending to posthuman conceptualizing in combination with ecosystem thinking opens up spaces for new ways of understanding humans with/in nature. An example of this is the transdisciplinary ecohealth theorizing and research by scholars such Parkes (2010) and Panelli (2010). Ecological systems thinking to identify interconnected elements and influences in complex, active systems provides an attractive conceptual tool, not just in the sciences. Such thinking permeates the social sciences with human social systems as the primary focus in diverse fields such as education, business, health, and human development (e.g., “ecologies of human flourishing,” Swearer & McGarry, 2011; “political ecologies,” Mauro, 2009). Ecological systems framing is integrative, relational, and generative – a useful guide for theorizing our interconnected social and ecological worlds. The term socioecological has emerged in recent times to highlight this complex entwining of our natural and social worlds (Kyburz-Graber, 2013). Such socioecological systems thinking is essential in our modernity of a complex and rapidly changing world. To be able to understand our human impact on the Earth, it is important to consider the Earth as a global ecosystem but also appreciate the local “biological, physical, and social systems” and how we interrelate with, and impact these systems (Berkowitz, Ford, & Brewer, 2005, p. 236). Thus, taking a holistic “systemicity” (Wadsworth, 2010) viewpoint, where we think in terms of “relationships, connectedness and context” (Capra, 2007), is essential in conceptualizing children and childhood as nature.

Systems Thinking and Ecological Systems The two main fields where system thinking originated were biology and engineering. The biological field goes back to early in the 1920s with Bertalanffy’s “general systems theory” and Weiner’s work in engineering in the 1940s relating to cybernetics (Sterling, 2003). Since these early works, systems thinking has moved to a holistic approach particularly in living systems which has resulted in a more participatory worldview where human impact on the Earth’s ecological systems is debated and addressed (Sterling, 2003). Systems thinking requires a different way of thinking from thinking in parts to a holistic (Capra, 2007) “relational, . . .. systemic. . ..and. . ...connective way of thinking which is more concerned with process rather than substance, with complex dynamics rather than limited causeeffect, with pattern rather than detail” (Sterling, 2003, p. 102). A systems architecture in ecology includes all living elements – every animal (including humans) and other organisms interrelating to create a living system. These biological systems interact with the physical systems (atmospheric, geological, and hydrological systems). These living systems are steeped in “renewal, change and transformation” (Capra, 2007, p. 12). Therefore, systems thinking requires us to

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think “from static state to a dynamic state, from parts to wholes” which brings different ideas, tools, and values (Sterling, 2003, p. 41). Systems thinking has an influential ancestry in ecological science and environmental education fields. Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis (first introduced in the 1960s) poses the Earth as a living system which is capable of self-maintenance by keeping all systems in balance. Lovelock defines Gaia as: a complex entity involving the Earth’s biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil; the totality constituting a feedback or cybernetic system which seeks an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet. The maintenance of relatively constant conditions by active control may be conveniently described by the term ‘homoeostasis’ (Lovelock, 2000).

Lovelock asked questions about how the relationship between Gaia and humans, who are part of the Gaian entity, has led to changes in the balance of this complex planetary system. Questions still pertinent decades later in our ecological systems querying of childhoodnature. The deep ecology movement, which also arose in the 1960s, takes a radical form of environmentalism that challenges the predominant anthropocentric paradigm of economic growth at all costs and the subsequent threat to ecological systems (Zimmerman, 2014). Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring (Carson, 1962), was a catalyst for the deep ecology movement, through highlighting the long-lasting effects of human generated toxins added to the environment (e.g., Strontium 90 and DDT) – impacts that spread throughout ecosystems, including human health effects. Decades later, as we move well into the twenty-first century, and despite the identification of the human-impact geological era, the Anthropocene, humans continue to contaminate Earth’s systems (Gaffey & Steffen, 2017). The mindset of humans as separated from natural systems prevails, with the Earth predominantly viewed as a resource for the benefit of humans (White, Rudy, & Gareau, 2016). The value of systems thinking in ecological science and environmental education is not without dissent. Gough describes systems thinking as “reproducing a metaphorical treatment of nature that was initiated in the 17th Century and is reinforced by modern science and industrialisation” (Gough, 1991, p. 36). Gough criticizes systems thinking as an “unsustainable fiction” as it uses terms from mechanical or cybernetic systems such as “positive feedback versus negative feedback” (p. 37) that he warns can result in people thinking that nature can be fixed, just like a machine can be manipulated and fixed. Wolfe reflects on how some environmental researchers see systems thinking as a “post-World War II society’s obsession with management, command and control apparatus, informatics reproduction, homeostasis, and the like” (Wolfe, 2010, p. 3). We recognize that there are also inherent concerns with ecological systems theorizing based on a traditional scientific paradigm that is essentially patriarchal and structurally based (Kahn, 2010). More contemporary feminist, posthuman and indigenous ways of theorizing are in tension with traditional scientific thinking that tends to be linear, analytical, measured, quantified (Capra, 2007), and human-centric. By marrying the more fluid and networked posthuman perspectives with traditional ecological systems framing of

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childhoodnature, our aim is to broaden the scope for exploring childhoodnature and ecological systems realities in this Handbook section. As Stirling (Sterling, 2003) highlights, mechanical systems are very different to complex living systems and so require a different approach. He advocates that despite the criticism of systems approaches by some environmental educators, systems thinking is still a powerful way of thinking that can lead to greater understanding, particularly with regard to the underlying systemic issues that concern researchers. In considering ecological systems, it is important to be clear what we mean by “ecological” through a focus on “ecology” and “ecosystem,” despite the social sciences adoption of the term ecological to apply to human systems. Capra and Luisi’s definition of ecology and ecosystem clarifies the key ideas behind the ecological systems approach that underpins the ecological systems framing of childhoodnature in this section of the Handbook: from the Greek oikos (“household”) is the study of the “Earth household”. More precisely it is the scientific study of the relationships between the members of the Earth Household – plants, animals, and microorganisms – and their natural environment, living and nonliving. The basic ecological unit is the ecosystem, defined as a community of different species in a particular area, interacting with its nonliving, or abiotic, environment (air, minerals, water, sunlight, etc.) and with its living, or biotic, environment (i.e., with other members of the community). The ecosystem, then, consists of a biotic community and its physical environment (Capra & Luisi, 2014, pp. 341, 342).

These definitions resonate with both the Gaia hypothesis and deep ecology discussed previously. There are also synergies with the concept of childhoodnature posed through this handbook as children’s everyday way of being and doing as/with/in nature and their “household” experiences of kith and kin. Navigating this “Earth household” necessitates ecological understandings that underpin holistic ecological systems thinking. Orr identifies the essence of this ecological literacy as “driven by the sense of wonder” and the “sheer delight in a beautiful, mysterious bountiful world” (Orr, 1992, p. 84). True ecological literacy is seen by Orr as being “radicalizing” as it makes us look at the causes of the detrimental impacts on the Earth’s ecological systems not just focusing on the symptoms (p. 86). To be ecologically literate, humans/children must be aware of the organizational principles behind ecology and use these principles to guide everyday lives (Capra, 2007), in other words, use ecological systems thinking. Therefore, ecological literacy involves being able to interpret and understand the dynamic potential of ecological systems and use this knowledge to take action in our (human) lives to “maintain, restore, or improve” the state of such systems (Scholz, 2011, p. 18) and live in “partnership” with nature (Merchant, 2016). Since the issues central to the Anthropocene are “fundamentally systemic” (Sterling, 2003, p. 40), thinking in terms of systems is essential to gain a deep understanding of ourselves as nature and how the ecological emergencies of the Anthropocene are entangled with our/children’s lives.

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Humans in the System The foundation of systems thinking is a holistic perspective, not just considering component parts in isolation without the fundamental interactions and process. Such thinking is deeply complicated but, as discussed earlier, essential to gain a more realistic perspective of the workings of multifactorial, intricate systems, such as ecosystems. However, such systems conceptualizations are our constructions – conceptual tools for understanding – and as such open to interpretation (Wadsworth, 2010). As we highlighted earlier, an ecological systems lens weaves biological and social systems together. We recognize that there has been much debate about a nature-culture divide in our human mindset (see for example the mapping in White et al., 2016), with increasing interest in shifting worldviews to humans as nature and social. Taking an ecological systems approach identifies the mutual shaping influences of both natural and social factors. But the very complexity of our socioecological systems has meant that ecological systems scholarship can be slanted towards different interests. Ecological systems thinking as we have described earlier is defined by researchers in the full ecological sense as the interrelationship of living things with their physical environment. A popular alternative application of the ecological systems concept is Bronfenbrenner’s influential social systems focused model for understanding human ways of being in the world. Originally termed an “ecology of human development” in 1979, later Bronfenbrenner referred to this as an integrated bioecological systems model (Bronfenbrenner, 1994). Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems model has been used widely since 1979 in the fields of human development and education, particularly in the early childhood fields, and was innovative at the time in terms of encouraging respect and valuing children’s perspectives. Despite the use of the term “ecological,” in this systems model Bronfenbrenner’s model does little to reflect children’s interaction with, and interdependence on, other living or nonliving elements, which is at the heart of ecological systems. Instead this model relates to human-centered social systems (Davis & Elliott, this Handbook). Bronfenbrenner (1979, p. 3) describes the model as about “the evolving interaction” between the “developing person” and their external influences. Predominantly the social environment is evidenced with interaction between humans and human organizations, and the true “ecological” position of children interacting with the more-than-human world is largely missing. Bronfenbrenner’s, 1979 model proposes a series of “nested structures, each inside the next, like a set of Russian dolls” (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, p. 3). The child is at the heart of this model surrounded by the microsystem which is the immediate influences on the child of parents, friends, schools, and neighbors. Surrounding the microsystem and interconnected to it are the mesosystem and exosystem. These systems may or may not include first-hand involvement by the child, but they influence the child’s social development, such as relationships between friends and family, and the school and home, or the relationship between family members and the work place. Finally the macrosystem on the outside of these nested systems is the influence of culture, politics, and public policy. There is much interrelationship between and within these nested structures, and changes in any of these settings in society can

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result in changes in behavior and development of the child (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Bronfenbrenner highlighted how comparison and analysis of his model’s micro-, meso-, and exo-systems within and between different social, ethnic, or religious groups could allow researchers to systematically describe and identify the environmental properties “of these larger social contexts” as settings for human development (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, p. 8). It is important to note that these systems were modified frequently by Bronfenbrenner throughout his life and later he added an additional system, the chronosystem. The chronosystem was to represent “change or consistency” in the life of a person (i.e., over time), which includes change in the “characteristics” of a person or the “environment” where a “person lives” (Bronfenbrenner, 1994, p. 40). An example of this change could be a change in “family structure or socio-economic status” (p. 40). Now in the context of the Anthropocene and childhoodnature, where we acknowledge the interrelationship with the more-than-human world and how human actions have seriously impacted on all natural systems, Bronfenbrenner’s model is problematic in privileging the social of our entangled socioecological systems. The lack of critical epistemologies in Bronfenbrenner’s model is also problematic. Power and privilege of humans is implied through Bronfenbrenner’s dominance of the social in his ecological model. Experiences of both society and ecology are not the same for all humans however – minority (western) privilege influences how our socioecological living systems are experienced; inequities and injustices are evident within the human experiences of the world (White et al., 2016). When extending to experiences of all the entities of our planetary ecosystems, inequalities are very evident for the more-than-human individuals.

A Posthuman Turn for New Thinking Emergent posthuman theorizing provides a fitting landscape for reconsidering ecological systems thinking in this childhoodnature space (Chapter 1). There are numerous interpretations of posthumanism. Wolfe (2010) suggests that posthumanism can be traced to cybernetics and systems theory from the 1940s to 1950s – the early influencers of contemporary systems thinking as discussed earlier – demonstrating the synergies between posthumanism and systems modeling. Murris (2016) describes a posthuman child as existing in “a complex (always) already entangled network of human and nonhuman forces” (p. 111). The posthuman approach problematizes human dominance over the more-than-human world and reconsiders our relationship with nonhuman others (Malone, 2018). Malone combines posthumanist and vital materialist thinking (including all matter as potential actors in the world), and this has encouraged her in her research to notice “other objects” that may be considered as “aesthetics” such as “animals, plants, buildings, earth and air” that are in fact significant components in a child’s life (Malone, 2018, p. 20). The combination of posthumanist and new materialist thinking has led Malone to move away from identifying human and nonhuman bodies “as separate entities with distinct borders” to thinking of these bodies as “assemblages and

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interdependences” (2017, p. 21). A posthuman position disrupts our perception of humans as an individual dominant species, and it challenges the dominant paradigm of our bodies being isolated and “fully autonomous” (Neimanis, 2017, p. 33). Neimanis uses the medium of water to illustrate human entanglement with natural ecological systems by reminding us that our bodies are two-thirds water, and this water is constantly being replaced by sweating, breathing, urinating, crying, and drinking. Water condenses, precipitates, and evaporates not only from bodies of water, but from the bodies of multiple organisms. This same water that maintains our bodies and that supports our early beginnings in the uterus connects us to these more-than-human others. Substances we ingest, for example estrogens, are eventually carried into waterways where they can have a detrimental impact on more-thanhuman others such as fish (Nikoleris, 2016). Just as our bodies interact via watery systems, other ecological system components such as microorganisms, air, metals, plastics, and other toxins flow through our bodies within ecological processes (Malone, 2018; Neimanis, 2017). Our organs, tissues, and cells are composed of elements from nature; essentially we are nature. Therefore, the view of nature as somewhere “out there” that children view from afar, or where, if permitted, attempt to venture into is problematic. A posthuman position opens up thinking to include humans’ intimate relation to all nonhuman others (Wolfe, 2010) and compliments ecological systems thinking by acknowledging the interdependence of humans with the more-than-human in the Earth’s dynamic systems. A posthuman framing of ecological systems thinking is valuable thinking in times of the Anthropocene to position children within the reality of the entangled interactions of human biology, natural, and social systems.

Ecological Systems and Childhoodnature Realities In this section of the Childhoodnature Handbook, we foreground a posthuman ecological systems lens as a powerful tool for exploring childhoodnature and enhancing children’s nature interconnection research and practice. This approach is taken to disrupt the anthropocentric underpinning of socioecological systems perspectives that dominate much of the childhood development and education discourses. Recent popularity of (re)connecting children with the natural world through immersion in nature and nature pedagogies (see for example Louv, 2005, 2011) resonates more with developmental perspectives than weaving children – mind, body, and heart – into ecological systems. Therefore, this ecological systems section of the handbook explores the realities of childhoodnature embedded within complex planetary ecological systems; problematizes ecological systems thinking in relation to children and nature; and contributes new theoretical perspectives, methodologies, and pedagogies to strengthen childhoodnature and/with/in ecological systems. Our call for chapter submissions sought to draw from a range of theorizing, research, and practices of childhoodnature framed through ecological systems from different fields, methodologies, contexts, and perspectives (including those of

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children and young people). We invited authors to advance understanding of the complexity of childhoodnature within an ecological systems framing, in the light of the magnitude of environmental change as a result of human activity. The handbook called for inclusion of posthuman, nonwestern (majority), and cross-cultural perspectives, focusing on the view that children are nature as an integrating concept. Our hope for this section of the handbook on childhoodnature and ecological systems was for authors to unpack some of the nuances of childhoodnature in terms of ecological thinking, ecological literacy, and ecological identification of children and young people from a range of contexts, particularly through a relational position that troubles the thinking where nature is out there and an object to be tamed rather than embracing the child’s relationship with “nonhuman other” (Murris, 2016, p. 51). We anticipated authors problematizing existing ecological systems theorizing and binaries such as nature-culture, mind-body, minority/center/western-majority/ periphery/nonwestern and rural-urban dichotomies. Collisions and tensions with other philosophies such as critical theory and ecofeminism, inquiry into methodologies and pedagogies related to science, nature and outdoor education, and inter/ cross/transdisciplinary relationships were more possibilities for the section to generate new understandings of childhoodnature and ecological systems. We recognize that the scope of this section of the handbook is broad with multiple interpretations, subjectivities, entry points, and pathways in an ecological systems approach, particularly considering our foundation concepts – childhood, nature, and ecological systems – are all constructs (refer to Bryan Wee’s chapter in this section for an exploration of childhood and nature constructs). Author contributions to this section apply an ecological systems perspective in different ways, attending to different dimensions of ecological systems childhoodnature framing including theory-reality gaps, new imaginings of theories and practices, and narratives from across cultures and countries, including indigenous perspectives. Each chapter in this section challenges the status quo, focusing predominantly on the influences of culture, education, lived experiences, and adult determinations that shape children’s development and learning of their childhoodnature. The chapter authors in this section explore ways of escaping from assumptions and entrenched ways of thinking in childhood development, nature experiences, education, health promotion, science, and outdoor education. The chapters consider the morphology of childhoodnature through an ecological systems framing in a range of global contexts, with different age foci (young children to adolescents), from historical to present influences, and with many focusing on practical dimensions such as pedagogical approaches, managing children’s nature interactions and connecting to lived experiences of being and knowing nature. All use an ecological systems framing of childhoodnature to re-read and re-conceptualize ways of embedding children with/in natural ecological systems. There is a convergence in many of the chapters in this section around Bronfenbrenner-influenced theorizing, research, and practices. This focus gives an indication of the deep entanglement of the human social systems with nature and how difficult it is to disengage from our human perspective. The reality is that we cannot truly divorce ourselves from our human perspective so this inevitably must

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influence our inquiries, but the authors in this section of the handbook direct attention to the tensions between the social and ecological in a systems framing of childhoodnature. Sue Elliott with Julie Davis and Bryan Wee in particular challenge assumptions about human centricity and social hegemony – Sue Elliott and Julie Davis critique and re-conceptualize Bronfenbrenner’s model, while Bryan Wee includes exploration of cultural and language influences beyond central (western) perspectives. Broadening ecological systems framing of childhoodnature to diverse cultural contexts also extends to: Aotearoa New Zealand Māori knowledge systems in Mere Skerrett and Jennie Ritchie’s chapter; Michiko Inoue’s exploration of ecological systems learning in Japanese early childhood education; and Helen Widdop Quinton and Ferdousi Khatun’s research with adolescent ecological literacy and ecological identity in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. Cross- and transdisciplinary considerations and practicalities extend the ecological systems thinking about childhoodnature in this section with Shelby Laird and Laura McFarland’s chapter connecting nature play, outdoor learning, and risk management; Janet Dyment and Monica Green’s ecopedagogical framing of children’s health and wellbeing; and Marianne Logan’s challenge to science and STEM curricula approaches through posthuman and sustainability lenses. Each of the chapters in this section uses an ecological systems perspective in a different way. This is both the value and the danger of using a systems framing – systems conceptualizing is a tool, a device, that assists in organizing thinking and developing understanding, but as a construct it is open to interpretation. There is a survive and thrive, self-sustaining “intentionality” associated with living systems (Wadsworth, 2010) that contrasts with a purely posthuman notion of assemblages of elements, so it is not surprising that the chapter authors take a purposeful focus (e.g., early childhood education, health and wellbeing promotion, risk management, science education) for their explorations of childhoodnature through an ecological systems framing. Holistic systems thinking is challenging. There is a danger of collapsing into perpetuating fragmented and separatist human-nature thinking with single-focus systems explorations, but all chapter authors have resisted such narrowing with throughlines of posthuman and childhoodnature perspectives woven through their inquiries. This “level jumping” between focused perspectives and the whole systems perspective means the chapters in this section have opened up spaces for (re)discovering, (re)considering, and (re)imagining childhoodnature.

Conclusion: New (Posthuman) Ecological Systems Thinking in Childhoodnature The chapters in this section illuminate possibilities and potentials for considering childhoodnature through a posthuman ecological systems framing. However, these chapters do not represent the full scope of such possibilities, rather a start in this work. Adult translations of an ecological systems approach to childhoodnature dominated this handbook section. The agency of children and young people (adolescents) was only connected through Helen Widdop Quinton with Ferdousi Khatun

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and Marianne Logan’s chapters that incorporate children’s voices. Expansion of a posthuman ecological systems consideration of childhoodnature in the future could include children and young people’s agency and activism. Other areas for expansion of the discussion we hope for in the future are building on Bryan Wee’s consideration of power and privilege in the research, pedagogy, and language of nature, through explorations of other aspects of power and privilege such as colonialism, social and ecological justice, and gendered critiques. Inclusion of virtual and augmented realities and hybrid thinking could also advance discussion of posthuman ecological systems thinking about childhoodnature in a world of “new nature,” that is, nature that has changed through human influence (Braidotti, 2013; White et al., 2016). Coupling the established history and familiarity of ecological systems approaches with childhoodnature conceptualizing and a posthuman turn opens up ecological systems into new productive spaces for thinking and enacting different childhoodnatures suited to the Anthropocene. The multiple ecological systems subjectivities explored through the chapters in this section signal future directions in research and pedagogy for enabling vibrant childhoods as nature. Membership of Earth ecological systems is at the heart of childhoodnature. Privileging a posthuman perspective through new theorizing in educational approaches and attention to cultural and educational practices that establish childhoodnature revives ecological systems thinking as essential for enabling children and young people to become integral with the life sustaining living systems of the world.

Cross-References ▶ Ara Mai He Tetekura: Māori Knowledge Systems That Enable Ecological and Sociolinguistic Survival in Aotearoa ▶ Challenging Taken-for-Granted Ideas in Early Childhood Education: A Critique of Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory in the Age of Post-humanism ▶ Challenging the Anthropocentric Approach of Science Curricula: Ecological Systems Approaches to Enabling the Convergence of Sustainability, Science, and STEM Education ▶ Childhoodnature: Introduction to Handbook ▶ Childhoodnature Alternatives: Adolescents in India, Nepal and Bangladesh Explore their Nature Connectedness ▶ Every Day, Local, Nearby, Healthy Childhoodnature Settings as Sites for Promoting Children’s Health and Well-being ▶ Fostering an Ecological World View in Children: Rethinking Children and Nature in Early Childhood Education from a Japanese Perspective ▶ “She’s only two”: Parents and Educators as Gatekeepers of Children’s Opportunities for Nature-based Risky Play ▶ The Nature of Childhood in Childhoodnature

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References Braidotti, R. (2013). The posthuman. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. Berkowitz, A. R., Ford, M. E., & Brewer, C. A. (2005). A framework for integrating ecological literacy, civics literacy, and environmental citizenship in environmental education. In E. Johnson & M. Mappin (Eds.), Environmental education and advocacy: Changing perspectives of ecology and education (pp. 227–266). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1994). Ecological models of human development. In International encyclopedia of education (Vol. 3, 2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Elsevier. Reprinted in Gauvain, M., & Cole, M. (Eds.). (1993). Readings on the development of children (2nd ed., pp. 37–43). New York: Freeman. Capra, F. (2007). Sustainable living, ecological literacy, and the breath of life. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 12(1), 9–18. Capra, F., & Luisi, P. L. (2014). The systems view of life: A unifying vision. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. Carson, R. (1962). Silent spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Gaffey, O., & Steffen, W. (2017). The anthropocene equation. The Anthropocene Review, 4(1), 53–61. Gough, N. (1991). Narrative and nature: Unsustainable fictions in environmental education. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 7, 31–42. Crutzen, P. J. (2002). Geology of mankind. Nature, 415(6867), 23–23. Haraway, D. (2015). Anthropocene, capitalocene, plantationocene, chthulucene: Making kin. Environmental Humanities, 6, 159–165. Kahn, R. (2010). Critical pedagogy, ecoliteracy, & planetary crisis. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing. Kyburz-Graber, R. (2013). Socioecological approaches to environmental education and research. In R. B. Stevenson, M. Brody, J. Dillon, & A. Wals (Eds.), International handbook of research on environmental education (pp. 23–32). New York, NY: Routledge. Lovelock, J. (2000). Gaia: A new look at life on earth. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Louv, R. (2005). Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature deficit disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books. Louv, R. (2011). The nature principle: Human restoration and the end of nature-deficit disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books. Mauro, S. E.-D. (2009). Seeing the local in the global: Political ecologies, world-systems, and the question of scale. Geoforum, 40(1), 116–125. Merchant, C. (2016). Autonomous nature: Problems of prediction and control from ancient times to the scientific revolution. New York, NY: Routledge. Malone, K. (2018). Children in the Anthropocene rethinking sustainability and child friendliness in cities. London, England: Palgrave Macmillan. Murris, K. (2016). The posthuman child: Educational transformation through philosophy with picturebooks. London, England: Routledge. Neimanis, A. (2017). Bodies of water: Posthuman feminist phenomenology. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. Nikoleris, L. (2016). The estrogen receptor in fish and effects of synthetic estrogens in the environment-Ecological and evolutionary perspectives and societal awareness. Lund, Sweden: Lund University Publications. Scholz, R. W. (2011). Environmental literacy in science and society: From knowledge to decisions. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Swearer, D. K., & McGarry, S. L. (2011). Ecologies of human flourishing. Cambridge, MA: Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School.

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Orr, D. W. (1992). Ecological literacy: Education and the transition to a postmodern world. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. Oxford University Press. (2018). English oxford living dictionaries. Retrieved from https://en. oxforddictionaries.com/definition/nature Panelli, R. (2010). More-than-human social geographies: Posthuman and other possibilities. Progress in Human Geography, 34(1), 79–87. Parkes, M. (2010). Ecohealth and aboriginal health: A review of common ground. Prince George, BC: National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. Sterling, S. (2003). Whole systems thinking as a basis for paradigm change in education: Explorations in the context of sustainability. (Thesis submitted by David Sterling for the Degree of PhD. University of Bath). Wadsworth, Y. (2010). Building in research and evaluation: Human inquiry for living systems. Crows Nest, Australia: Allen & Unwin. White, D., Rudy, A., & Gareau, B. (2016). Environments, natures and social theory: Towards a critical hybridity. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. Wolfe, C. (2010). What is posthumanism? (Vol. 8). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Zalasiewicz, J., Williams, M., Steffen, W., & Crutzen, P. (2010). The new world of the Anthropocene. Environmental Science & Technology, 44(7), 2228–2231. Zimmerman, M. E. (2014). From deep ecology to integral ecology: A retrospective study. Trumpeter: Journal of Ecosophy, 30(2), 247–268.

Childhoodnature in Motion: The Ground for Learning Martha Hart Eddy and Ann Lenore Moradian

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Double Bind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vignette 1: Dancing our Lives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vignette 2: The Importance of Movement for Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vignette 3: Movement, Creativity, and Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vignette 4: Neurodevelopmental Movement Inroads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vignette 5: Sensory Awareness Includes Awareness of Self . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vignette 6: The Rhythms of Nature: Racing with Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vignette 7: Cultivating Space for Embodied Learning through Movement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vignette 8: The Lure of Detachment: Overcoming Violence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vignette 9: Combining Indigenous and Somatic Approaches for Well-Being . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vignette 10: Movement: The Ground for Learning in Educational Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2 3 5 6 7 9 11 12 14 15 17 18 20 21

Abstract

This chapter aims to establish embodied movement as both the physical and metaphysical ground for learning, including aesthetic learning in an ecological context. We advocate the moving body as critical to celebrating and deepening childhoodnature. The disconnections from embodiment that have occurred within western cultures and the implications of educational settings that lack an acceptance of natural movement expression and experiential “whole body” learning M. H. Eddy (*) Center for Kinesthetic Education, NY, New York, USA e-mail: [email protected] A. L. Moradian (*) Perspectives In Motion, Paris, France e-mail: [email protected] # Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018 A. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, Springer International Handbooks of Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51949-4_97-2

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methodologies are discussed. A double bind arises from the split between mind and body, humanity and nature, and scientific materialism and broader holistic views of science (Moradian, Double Bind: Finding our way back home (manuscript in preparation), 2017). Examples of problems, solutions, and research suggestions are provided through a series of vignettes that offer an analysis of bodily disassociation, or disembodiment, and propose a revitalization of thinking, feeling, and living childhoodnature through the body in and as movement. We suggest that developing a lifelong somatic relationship with our bodies in motion, a relationship in which we bring our attention to our lived (psychosensory-motor) experience, is a powerful way to reclaim that wholeness which allows us to care and connect for self and others, to feel a sense of place and belonging, and to selfregulate our behavior for optimal interaction with our world.

Keywords

Body · Child Development · Dance · Eco-somatics · Embodiment · Experiential Learning · Kinesthetic Learning · Movement · Neuro-Motor · Somatics · Systems Thinking

Introduction The body itself holds many of the lessons we need to live sustainably in the world. (Moradian, 2017, p. 9)

Dance has been called forth in recent years as a powerful metaphor, reminding us that time, space, and matter are intimately interwoven through movement (Manning, 2013). Somatic practice, the study of “the living body” or soma (Eddy, 2016a, p. 5) “not as an objective ‘body,’ but an embodied process of internal awareness and communication” (Fraleigh, 2015; Green, 2002), can offer a way of remembering our place in the living world, a way of dancing which engages us consciously in the movement of life in its fullest sense, rendering each life a work of art (see also Rousell & Fell, in press). This chapter aims to set embodied concepts of childhood and nature in motion by establishing an aesthetic of embodied movement as both the physical and metaphysical ground for learning. We advocate the moving body as critical to celebrating and deepening childhoodnature. We begin by outlining the disconnections from embodiment that have occurred within western cultures. We discuss the implications of educational settings that lack an acceptance of natural movement expression and experiential “whole body” learning methodologies. A double bind arises from the split between mind and body, humanity and nature, and scientific materialism and broader holistic views of science (Moradian, 2017). These are hurdles we must overcome to return to wholeness. We provide examples of problems, solutions, and research suggestions through a series of vignettes that offer an analysis of disembodiment and propose a revitalization of thinking, feeling, and living

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childhoodnature through the body in and as movement. We share views that work through the concept of childhoodnature as a moving experience and the embodiment of movement itself as a living creative process of learning and transformation. Rather than proceeding in a linear fashion, we have preferred a visceral, intuitive, and creative interplay of words, ideas, movements, metaphors, images, and interrelations, which can be envisioned as a dance. A key thesis of this chapter is that including bodily movement in education is important and that, in order to specifically foster concepts of childhoodnature, selectivity about the types of movement education engaged in matters. We propose the use of activities that meet the goals of whole-bodied engagement merged with teaching somatic awareness that supports compassionate, kinesthetic empathy. We purport that learning both personally and experientially includes the ways that nature interacts within ecologies, providing strategies for self-regulation, sustainable relationships, and coexistence that are necessary for species survival. Somatic movement education, especially within a “social somatic” context, meets these objectives even within the adverse conditions of disruption, displacement, fear, bullying, harassment (Eddy, 1998, 2016a), violence, and torture (Eddy, 2010a). For the purposes of this chapter, the term “somatic movement” is being used in its fullest sense to include not only contemporary practices of mind-body integration but also all practices that engage whole body-mind-being in life-affirming relationships, including the antecedents of somatic practices within indigenous cultures in the East and Global South. Thomas Hanna, who coined the term somatics, defined it as “the body as perceived from within” (Hanna, 2015). We appreciate the expansion of this definition to: . . .a holistic change theory that understands both personal and collective transformation from a radically different paradigm. Somatics understands both the personal and collective as a combination of biological, evolutionary, emotional and psychological aspects, shaped by social and historical norms and adaptive to a wide array of both resilient and oppressive forces. (Generative Somatics, 2017, p. 3)

The body itself is an important landscape for learning, a complex system within other complex systems, including not only natural and physical ecologies but also ecologies of thought, feeling, community and culture. Dwelling in the moving body opens directly to the experience of childhoodnature – to the vast field of relational interplay that is life. This state of awareness establishes direct and interactive relationship with nature, teaching us to recognize what is sustainable and what is destructive. Our long experience as movement practitioners indicates that these patterns of movement spill over into a myriad of relationships.

The Double Bind Ecological health continues to elude us – and perhaps indeed depends upon the reconstruction of patterns of thought. (Bateson, 2000, p. xii)

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The attempt to set humanity apart from nature predated the Cartesian split of mind and body (in the early seventeenth century) by at least a couple of millennia, both in the west and in the east. A dualism between “that which endures and that which changes” was introduced during the late Bronze and early Iron Age (1550 BCE to 600 BCE), preparing the way “for the distinction between energy and form, later to become that between ‘nature’ and ‘spirit’” (Baring & Cashford, 1993), and followed by a rejection of both body and nature. Economist John Maynard Keynes “believed that it was fear of the unknown which played the predominant part in shaping the religions, rituals, rules, networks, and conventions of society. The function of belief systems and institutions was to give humans courage to act in face of the unknown and unknowable” (Skidelsky, 2010, p. xix). At least since Archimedes (287–212 BCE), if not well before, enormous effort has been invested in the attempt to systematically understand, predict, manipulate, and control the natural world. Great strides have been made in this direction since that time. Hannah Arendt, however, presciently predicted that in discovering the Archimedean Point (that point outside the earth from which we might control and manipulate it), we would find ourselves stranded, outside and apart from our world, unable to find our way back in (1998). The alarming increase in dysfunctional human behavior (Brown, 2010) and the destruction of planetary equilibrium (Brown, 2009) point to a “self-correcting system which has lost its governor” and has begun a “spiral into never-ending, but always systemic distortions” (Bateson, 2000, p. 212). Despite the advancements of science and technology, persistent behaviors, dominant belief systems, and their constructs (Berger & Luckman, 1966) have brought us to a point that places life on the planet and the web of life that sustains us in peril (Capra, 1996). To survive within the human world that we have created, we have learned to shut off our feedback systems of embodied awareness, pretending that we neither affect nor are affected by one another or our world (Brown, 2010; Eddy, 2016a; Stromsted, 2017). This deeply entrenched idea of humanity apart from nature, and the separation of body from mind, has created a double bind (Moradian, 2017). Gregory Bateson identified a double bind as “a situation in which no matter what a person does, he can’t win” and suggests that living in a double bind contributes to schizophrenia (2000, p. 201). While our deepest human need is intimacy, connection, and belonging (Brown, 2010; Stromsted, 2017), we have systematically disconnected in order to “succeed” in our rational, competitive, consumeristic world. When we disconnect from the body, we lose our sense of place and self, along with our capacity to feel, selfregulate, care, and belong. When we disconnect from nature, we deny the processes and structures of relationship that sustain life. When we disconnect from each other, we render our actions toward each other less and less humane. In our desperation to fill the vast emptiness engendered by severing ourselves from the experience of our lives, we race ever-faster away from our unbearable discomfort or toward the acquisition of something we hope will relieve it. Western civilization, we find, has developed into a culture of detachment, objectification, competition, and exploitation, with an economy based on relentless acquisition, consumption, and waste of limited resources. In the USA, Johann Hari points out

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astutely that “We have created a society where a significant number of our fellow citizens cannot bear to be present in their lives” (2015). We suggest that the violence we see outwardly expressed against each other and our natural world reflects this less visible violence of disengagement that many of us commit against ourselves on a daily basis and that this condition is perpetuated in our schools. In writing this chapter on the role of movement in re-establishing life-affirming interrelationship – which we see as fundamental to childhoodnature – we recognize that we speak primarily from a western, northern-hemisphere perspective. While accounting for only a minority of the world’s population, the western exploitative and hegemonistic perspective has been disturbingly successful in spreading, bringing the world today to the threshold of disaster. Understanding and addressing the issues that lay at the roots of this malaise may help prevent or even inoculate against it, as well as find ways to engage in new patterns of dynamic equilibrium (Capra, 1996; Capra & Luisi, 2014). Furthermore, awakening to knowledge from and rooted in non-western and indigenous cultures is vital to restore balance through holistic self-regulation and health, as well as in giving voice to disparities (Low, 2013).

Vignette 1: Dancing our Lives We enter the world through the body, embraced and cradled in the ceaseless motion that is the hallmark of life itself. The body is, simultaneously, a landscape in and through which we discover, explore, and express our being; a vehicle through which we navigate, learn about, and act with/in the world; and our primary dwelling place. All matter is an expression and a part of nature and is in a constant process of change.

An ongoing state of dynamic balance is foundational to all living systems (Capra & Luisi, 2014; Margulis, 2011). This includes the human body and human being. Every child born into this dimension of time-space enters and experiences the moving world through a moving body. Neither movement nor the body can be separated from nature. We suggest that “mindful movement” and the relatively new field of somatic education offer a way, like “Ariadne’s string,” to remain conscious as we delve deep within our moving bodies, immersing in and merging with our living wholeness (Eddy, 2016a). In the context of childhoodnature, aesthetics, and sustainability education, we propose that repairing the mind-body split is necessary not only for personal health and wholeness but also for healing our relationship with each other and with nature. Helping children embrace, maintain, and retrain healthy patterns of being in their bodies is critical to transforming the violence both in and against our world into healthy, sustainable, and life-affirming relation with it. Allowing children space and time to move through, in, and with their universe, to feel, sense, ponder, play, and explore what it is to be alive and a part of the world – to dance with life – is essential to embracing this sense of wholeness and belonging and to accessing the resilience and creativity needed as we face the unknown future. We purport a dire need to establish patterns of consciously inhabiting the body, caring for and tending to it

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before children shut down access to their senses, emotions, intuitions, and their capacity “to move and be moved” (Moradian, 2017, p. 8). We also advocate for all children being equally important and deserving of healthy conditions for growth. There are numerous opportunities available through the body to affirm wholeness and explore the complexity, contradiction, and challenge of existence – which is inherently the challenge of coexistence. As children play, run, roll, and spin through their full-bodied experience of being, we suggest encouraging presence of both mind and body, inhabiting our bodies, and embracing them consciously from the inside out or somatically. We emphasize the process of responding to the feedback from both inner and outer worlds, communicating between them, and making choices consciously. As this happens, we as “educators” must prepare to be challenged and to change in response to what we meet, to learn to inhabit our own bodies through moments of both ease and discomfort. Sylvia Miller, well ahead of her time in 1933 when she wrote her Rhythms Notebook, said: We cannot start with a regimented curriculum and hope to work backwards to spontaneous invention. . . The child’s job is to initiate the activity, attach his media, and develop his techniques as he proceeds, and the teacher’s job is to preserve that atmosphere of detached absorption within which creative effort flourishes and becomes operative. (cited in Eddy, 2016a, p. 188)

We suggest that developing a lifelong somatic relationship with our bodies in motion, a relationship in which we bring our attention to our lived (psychosensorymotor) experience, is a powerful way to reclaim that wholeness which allows us to care and connect, to feel a sense of place and belonging, and to self-regulate our behavior for optimal interaction with our world.

Vignette 2: The Importance of Movement for Children Children burst forth into the world clamoring with thirst, hungry to be loved, and driven to move, discover, and grow. Each conception and birth comes from movement and is a call for relationship. We enter life engaged with our universe in an ongoing process of motion.

Movement is an elemental part of being alive and functional in the world. We attend the environment with our eyes, ears, nose, and skin and, more, respond with our muscles, joints, and vocal apparati, our full bodies in motion. These movements form the basis for learning and transformation. In this sense, education cannot be separated or abstracted from the environment or the body, nor can it be demarcated to the confines of a body, a school, a program, a family, or a community. The use of abstraction, logic, language, and linear and mechanistic thinking have been highly successful in comprehending, managing, and controlling our world. These are powerful and important tools, but not our only tools, and not appropriate to every situation (Abram, 1997a; Capra & Luisi, 2014; Williams & Brown, 2012). Indeed they could not work without the primary tools of learning through listening, touching, doing, and being.

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Our first movements are unconscious, beginning in the womb, and gradually become more conscious as we explore our environment. Maxine Sheets-Johnstone (2009) correlates the beginning of consciousness with the choices made by cells for survival, to go toward or away from stimuli (see also Capra, 1996; Capra & Luisi, 2014). Successful physical development requires healthy and efficient access to and use of all available body parts and, through exploration with any body parts that are able to move, links to metacognitive processes. Movement provides this critical connection of brain and body that expresses choice; strengthens autonomic functioning, balance, and motor activity; and promotes psychophysical intelligence (Eddy, 2016a; ISMETA, 2003). Movement stimulates biofeedback. One somatic premise is that “the body itself holds many of the lessons we need to live sustainably in the world” (Moradian, 2017, p. 9). We suggest that it is particularly important to help children establish and maintain healthy patterns of “mindful movement” and “embodied being” before the natural skills of full-bodied self-awareness are dismantled. Keeping the body’s feedback systems turned on and engaged allows us to sense self and our agency. In the same way that we affect our environment, the environments we interact with can support this process of self-making (Eddy, 2009, 2016a) and communities-inthe-making (Dewey, 1927). We assert that “staying awake” and engaged through movement is a reciprocal relationship, an interactive and collaborative creative process. We further propose a somatic approach to movement as a creative lens through which to experience our lives as a living work of art (Roussell & Fell, in press). And when life is the work of art we attend to throughout the duration of our lives, then there is no doubt that art can and does change the world.

Vignette 3: Movement, Creativity, and Play Attending to the play of our senses brings us into the present moment, “which is the only place and time in which we can effectively act, feel, communicate, teach, or learn” (Williams & Brown, 2012, p.147)

Movement is a vast domain, from simply breathing to full out dancing, and the scope for study of its impact in different settings is enormous. Learning can be evidenced through successful motor planning, effective nonverbal communication, establishing positive climates through socio-emotionally astute games, play, embodied learning activities, role-plays, assessing the quantity and quality of psychophysical reflection, and the products of art-making. Each facet of whole body-engaged learning awakens related interneural connections of internal and external perception. Dance is a key resource. Dance education is at the forefront of actively engaging learners in diverse STEM and STEAM subjects – science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Virtually every imaginable subject has been danced and many have been chronicled. Somatic educators seek to keep the dancing spirit alive whether indoors or outside by creating environments that are sensorially rich and provide freedom for diverse, peaceable responses.

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Movement is also inherent in school day transitions (e.g., from classroom to lunch, from hallway to school bus). Indeed, it is these moments that cause many teachers angst and certainly when bullying and other sorts of conflicts arise (Eddy, 1998, 2016a). Embedding movement games, body awareness, and physical activities during these periods are reported to instigate an enjoyable shift in a school’s climate. Movement has begun to be built into the day to make time for recuperation as well. Yoga, in particular, has become a familiar component in many school days, largely because it is taught as a series of relatively still, formal postures that promote breath, flexibility, and mental concentration, while helping to manage emotions and stress. Its relative stillness is often easier for teachers to manage than freer forms of movement. However more open-ended movement is a support to higherorder learning. Education can be evoked through play, sports, dance, and outdoor recreation among other modes. Learning through movement and motor responses may be revealed in numerous more subtle ways, including gesture, whole body “everyday” movement, or the action of the voice in words or song. The full cycle of sensory stimulus and motor response brings us into the cycle of sensory-motor action, also known as perceptual-motor activity. When educators are creative in introducing diverse sensations that allow for full-bodied and “free-to-have-one’s-own-truth” responses, we become more sensate and alive. When awareness of both the environment outside of ourselves and our presence within ourselves awakens, we are embodied (Eddy, 2016a). Play has its roots in nature and seems closest in maintaining childhoodnature. It demands presence, inviting participation and engagement in the moment. It calls upon all of our human capacities, and all of the senses, serving as a form of both exploration and recreation. Play immerses us in a universe of complexity and possibility, demands attention to surrounding stimuli, develops strength and agility, and helps us explore and build relationships. Play allows us to try something new or test out a variety of hypotheses, including those about physical potential, environmental awareness, and social skills. It provides a space in which to take risks and to fail, fostering imagination, creativity, resilience, and responsiveness. Even play fighting has value. While any type of fight is perhaps not a typically desirable goal, it is one of the few socially acceptable outlets in many western cultures for boys to touch one another (Beardall, Bergman & Surrey, 2007; Eddy, 1998, 2016b). At its best, play is a bodily immersion in experience, fully cultivated in an aesthetically rich multisensory and safe environment. Inviting children to share their experience and stories in movement, rhythm, and sound can awaken awareness to the rich layers of nonverbal communication that make up 60–93% of our communication patterns, tapping into layers of self-expression and creativity (Eastman, 2011; Thompson, 2011). What environments foster the richness of play and play that enhances childhoodnature? Learning gardens and soil are an excellent example of multisensorial environments that integrate learning about science, aesthetics, life, and interrelation (Williams & Brown, 2012). Like learning gardens, movement activities based in somatic awareness, no matter what the physical environment is, “take us

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beyond intellectual understanding, opening a door that connects the living world inside to the living world outside” (pp. 147–148). Play is an active doing, necessary for being more cognizant of our world, especially as an antidote to the overriding experience of being “talking heads.” When subsumed by intellectual and technological tasks, we need to reawaken sensorial alertness to the natural world. It is interesting to note how much sensory input is no longer “real” but rather is only available through virtual stimuli and interaction. Play in nature is a dying art form in urban areas and in education. This is unfortunate. Outdoor play allows for a myriad of responses including self-awareness and growth. Nonetheless, where play in nature is not possible for logistical or conditional reasons, there are many forms of movement through which proprioception (knowledge of self) and kinesthesia (self-awareness of movement) can be taught. Dance improvisation is a form of play that can happen in simple open and even fairly confined spaces. Dance/movement education out of doors brings us closer to the dances and ritual derived from ancient tribal and indigenous practices. Somatic dance allows for this sense of ritual and interconnection, whether indoors or outdoors. Educational policy is supported by research that demonstrates that these methods help us to keep our humanity and our animal wholeness intact, along with our ability and willingness to respond, connect, communicate, interact, and tend to our world in healthy, constructive, and sustainable ways. Musical Seeds is one such curriculum that brings classes outdoors to meet educators devoted to preserving the cultural heritage of planting and harvesting. In the process of learning about plant life, students are exposed to the music and dance that accompanies the agricultural process in diverse continents.

Vignette 4: Neurodevelopmental Movement Inroads Important to movement research is finding more information about what and how physical activities enhance all aspects of development (Lovatt, 2011; Ratey, 2008). Several schools of somatic education hypothesize that the progression of movement development corresponds to neurological development (Bainbridge Cohen, 1993; Dart, 1950; Dimon, 2003; Feldenkrais 1989, 1997; Hannaford, 1995; Miller, 1933; Murray, 2005). A powerful choice is to focus on those movements that accompany brain development. Embryonic movements through the first year after birth performed in sequence include skill-building, beginning with control of the head and senses; learning to lift and strengthen the upper back; rolling over (which also helps shift attention); waggling and then crawling to get somewhere using core muscles necessary for becoming upright; sitting (a crucial social skill); creeping on hands and knees; cruising along a table or with other upper body support; standing independently; and taking first steps, critical to individuation. These accomplishments are relatively uniform for all human beings with variation due to disability and

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across cultures (e.g., as in Bali where children in traditional environments are not placed on the floor). Somatic movement educators often have students follow this developmental movement sequence (or adaptations of it) as a way of working toward more efficient overall function (Bainbridge Cohen, 1993; Dart, 1950; Dimon, 2003; Eddy, 2012; Feldenkrais, 1989, 1997; Thelen & Smith, 1994), but there is little empirical research substantiating it (Eddy, 2002, 2012). While Thelen and Smith found physical coordination could be gained, and Arnold Gesell hypothesized brain development in response to movement, research is needed on specific potential cognitive changes. Research on mindfulness and meditation has been underway for some time now, and research into the effects of conscientious movement practices has begun (Kabat-Zinn, 2003; Psychology Today, 2015). For example, results from studies in neuroscience begin to distinguish between the effects of breathing practices, meditation, and physical yoga postures; between mindful practices like yoga or tai chi and walking; or between formal sequenced dance movements and improvised ones (Lovatt, 2011; Telles, Sharma, Yadav, Singh, & Balkrishna, 2014; Villameure, Ceko, Cotton, & Bushnell, 2015). More subtle instrumentation is needed to answer how the brain-body, neuromotor experience impacts cognition and communication. Readings by fMRIs that penetrate to the wavelengths of deep brain structures such as the basal ganglia, the pons, and the midbrain would answer many questions (Ironically, it may be the study of how computer exposure is damaging our brains that may help us study our brains more fully.). In the meantime, research can progress with correlational studies of brain development, motor coordination, and quality of life. Just how specific movements stimulate the brain could eventually reveal how embodied cognition works. Embodied cognition is the idea, pioneered by cognitive neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, that consciousness is not isolated in the cerebral cortex, but that the brainstem plays an important role in our awareness as it passes afferent information from the body and viscera to the brain (Craig, 2013). Further understanding is that correlated emotions within the cerebellum and limbic system impact memory, thought, and learning (Röhricht, Gallagher, Geuter, & Hutto, 2017), that we need to “move to think.” What is more easily studied than the response of deep brain structures to movement is how the brain responds to thoughts about movement – also known as imagination, ideation, or ideokinesis (Bernard, Steinmuller, & Stricker, 2006). Ideokinesis, a somatic movement system developed by Lulu Sweigard and based on the work of Mabel Todd, works with images of movement – ideation of kinesis, movement, primarily to improve performance (Matt, 1993) and reduce injury. It asks participants to track their proprioceptive cues before, during, and after their practice. Current research on goal-oriented movement, like dance virtuosity, shows that thinking about movement is best timed in advance of an action and results in heightened movement performance.

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Vignette 5: Sensory Awareness Includes Awareness of Self Our bodies are not only our access to nature; they are nature. Awakening to the senses is a necessary and important part of reclaiming relationship with ourselves and orienting in our world – knowing who we are, how we are, and where we are. Our bodies are the sensory lived experiences of nature that are ever present in our lives. Movement teaches responsiveness. It is the active, creative, and life-sustaining response to paying attention to our world. It includes ease as well as challenge, falling, and balance.

Somatic movement highlights the simultaneous experience of sensory awareness and carefully interlaced responses, providing an interface between our inner and outer worlds. It is this type of perceptual-motor interaction that the authors advocate as a perfect way to affirm the importance and value of childhoodnature. Its strategies can aid in repairing the fractures that have led us to unhealthy patterns of relationship at all levels. Perhaps it is here that the potential to transform unconscious (and often negative) life patterns into “conscious positive habits” resides. Somatic movement happens when the mover is aware of his or her psychophysical experience. Proprioception, the ability to know one’s own body position via information from the joint and muscle receptors within the nervous system, and kinesthesia, being aware of how one is moving through space – as perceived by proprioception combined with information from the vestibular system and eyes – assist awareness of more than bodily experience (Eddy, 2016a). They awaken a sense of self, including our emotional self (see Fig. 1). Environmental stimuli are also known to trigger emotions. Emotion within decision-making is embedded in the concept of embodied cognition, as discussed earlier. Somatic movement practices recognize that emotions and thought correlate

Fig. 1 There are 10 Senses /Credit: # 2017, Martha Eddy, www.WellnessCKE.net

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with body movement and bring awareness to this. Hence through somatic awareness of bodily experience, researchers and practitioners often describe a capacity to sensitize more fully to self, other, and surroundings (Bales & Nettl-Fiol 2008; Williamson, Batson, Whatley, & Weber, 2015). Karen Olness proposes that every child “have an opportunity to be hooked up to a biofeedback system, maybe some sort of computer game that was cued to a physiologic response” so they might understand “Aha! I change my thinking, and my body changes” (cited in Moyers, 1993, p. 78). Access to simple biofeedback instrumentation is a great goal. Given budget limitations in many education settings, it is also important to consider avenues to self-awareness that involve minimal costs. Somatic education and mindful movement practices offer a type of personal biofeedback enhancement (Eddy, 2016a). Giving children the sense that they can have control over their behavior is a critical strategy for self-regulation. Within the somatic paradigm, rather than receiving feedback from technology, the feedback comes from a refined ability within oneself to register changes in the body-mind through the other five senses our body provides – proprioception of (1) muscle tension; (2) joint angle and kinesthetic; (3) awareness of posture; (4) self-perception of stopping, starting, and velocity; as well as experiences of (5) tilting, falling, or turning. In the domain of biofeedback, we undervalue the importance of having permission to “fail,” particularly in learning environments. Falling is a case in point. We learn about our place in the world by striving to become upright and stay upright. The process of finding balance includes working with a combined experience of gravity, surfaces, natural and man-made objects, and atmospheric pressures. Learning includes both finding balance and sometimes falling and learning how to get back up. Learning is, after all, an encounter with the unknown. In her work with teenagers, Moradian finds it particularly important to help students become comfortable with imperfection and meeting the unknown. Once students understand that “perfection is a moving target” (2016) rather than an achievable goal, their entire body language changes: eyes brighten, spines lengthen, and they breathe more freely. It is easy to impose our own fears and limitations onto others’ honest and sincere process of growth and learning. As educators, we need to know when to step back and give our students the time and space to explore their questions (like How does this relate to the world I know and care about?) and not just answer ours. This “validate(s) their own experience and give(s) them the courage and clarity they need to live their lives with authenticity, confidence and creativity.” It also “invite(s) them to participate in and take ownership of their lives” (Moradian, 2016) and their learning.

Vignette 6: The Rhythms of Nature: Racing with Time From our first entry into the material world, we are immersed in an ocean of not only space but also time and rhythm. Each body has its own natural rhythms of breath and blood; work, rest, and play; and birth, regeneration, and decay. These cannot be separated from the

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body or from our world. Natural rhythms surround, embrace, and weave their way throughout our lives.

Trying to bypass nature’s rhythms, like pushing children to reach developmental markers ahead of their body’s natural development, is actually counterproductive. The documentary film The Moving Child interviews experts in motor development, occupational therapy, dance therapy, and psychology who espouse the necessity of allowing babies the time to discover their natural movements. There are dozens of articles on the deleterious impact of baby walkers and other products used to accelerate a child’s development (Lamont, 2015). Toddlers shown the “solution” for how to traverse a jungle-gym bridge, for example, miss out on the exploration of their own embodied and lived “questions.” Parents and educators can, instead, take a moment to scaffold experiences with verbal and nonverbal prompts, like: What is this thing? How does it feel? What part of your body is touching it? How might your body and this object interact? What can you do with it? Time is an invisible, inseparable, and often forgotten aspect of space (Abram, 1997a). It critically influences how we relate with ourselves and our world. Pushing ourselves to do more in less time – this adds a layer of stress. Taking time to “do nothing” or immerse in a soothing natural environment seems to wash stress away and often helps us function better. Having the perfect environment serves little purpose if we do not also make the time to experience it. When we allow ourselves to pause, “suspending” the moment between experience and action or inquiry and response, we open a fertile space of not knowing (Bigé, 2017; Fiadeiro, 2017) which can provoke fear but can also expand into a state of listening, imagining, questioning, searching, experimenting, and discovering. Like play, this time for listening is a powerful place where creativity, new possibility, and transformation reside. The compression and expansion of time-space becomes evident when observing the difference between the martial arts of Aikido and Kinomichi. Developed by Masamichi Noro (a disciple of Aikido’s founder Morihei Ueshiba), Kinomichi uses many of the same forms, techniques, and principles of Aikido but encourages encounters to slow down in time and expand in space. Much like somatic inquiry, this slowing down opens up more internal space for a deeper, more conscious, and nuanced exchange of information through the bodies’ contact. At faster rhythms, the time to process and become conscious of information diminishes, increasing the risk of injury for inexperienced practitioners. This extension of time and space in Kinomichi reveals how the same movement slowed down can unblock tension and heal, without losing its capacity to guide and direct. This expansion of “embodied time” is the basis of somatic movement therapy and somatic psychology. Speed and efficiency can be useful in competition (like running a race) or in an emergency (like dousing a fire), but when misplaced they “compress time” and abbreviate our experience. In many countries, our business, social, and economic systems propel us forward ever faster. This trend, evident since the beginning of the industrial revolution, is exacerbated intensely today by the speed of information exchange through the internet and digital technologies (Fleurot, 2017). Always on “high speed,” we often set our adrenal systems on high alert, affecting our mental

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and physical health (Eddy & Zak, 2011). By habitually moving too fast, we shut down receptivity to our own feelings and to those of others, effectively numbing our senses and in turn our sense of self. The pressure to accelerate the rhythm of our lives toward relentless efficiency not only diminishes our capacity to inquire, engage, and assimilate but can also be seen as a form of violence (Moradian, 2017). Alan Block (1997) views the lack of contemplative, Thoreauvian space and movement within the school day as a form of violence as well. All rhythms have their value, but in high-speed, high-stress, reactive cultures, the somatic maxim of “slowing down to feel” (Eddy, 2016a, p. 140) is called for. Racing with time leaves no space to wander, wonder, ponder, respond, or integrate, the very experiences that connect us with our naturalness.

Vignette 7: Cultivating Space for Embodied Learning through Movement Ergonomics is concerned with mechanics and parts of the body. I’m more concerned with total systems, the role of culture and psychology, and making cultural change. We’re not just dealing with a mechanical problem about how we’re going to be more comfortable. It’s a cultural problem. Galen Cranz (in Dalton, 2008)

Though typically situated in studios, gymnasiums, out-of-doors, or other open spaces, learning through the body can occur in any environment. Schools with an ecological focus often structure their programs in naturalistic environments like parks and learning gardens or other nature-rich settings, which are all ideal. Many educational institutions, however, have limited access to nature and open spaces and minimal funding for field trips, special equipment, or events. Ideally all school administrators would have data on what types of natural and man-made environments, beyond gymnasiums and natural spaces, best foster childhoodnature and different types of learning and design curricula accordingly. The goals of embodied learning in educational environments can range widely and may include all subject areas, as well as environmental empathy, socio-emotional development, aesthetic development, and somatic awareness. Curricula that encourage bodily play or creative interactions can also be supported by shifts in school environments – introducing a new suite of sensory learning and responsive possibilities. This engagement can happen indoors or out. Indoor spaces can foster movement and body awareness. One school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, brought physio-balls (large gymnastic balls) into the classrooms to be used as chairs, others are using standing desks, or, in the case of Adaptive Design Associates lead by MacArthur winner Alex Truesdell, schools work with local artisans to create cardboard seats and desks that suit the varied bodies of children, including those with disabilities (Lomot, 2013; www.Adaptive DesignAssociates.org). As another example, the Pono Learning Center in New York City (www.PonoLearningCenter.org) is a school that has explicitly chosen to use a limited amount of low-to-the-ground furniture, with open wooden floors, low

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platforms and tables, and well-sanded tree stumps. These are moved around, and children are found sitting, standing, lying, or balancing on them throughout the day. They are thinking, drawing, writing, reading, and discussing with the “furniture” available to support any of these activities. Learning groups happen here in circles or clusters of children, with occasional lines. Varying spatial formations among people foster different ways of relating – horizontal, vertical, and sagittal. These relationships with each other and within the space allow a person to bodily self-adjust for the sake of comfort, focus, and health but also promote new perspectives within relationships. Varying spatial formations in the classroom is like being invited to change your seat during a performance. This flexibility of place allows for multiple perspectives, inbuilt recuperation, and ever-changing contact within the group process of relationship building. Another example is EcoMoves for Kids, a curriculum from the Center for Kinesthetic Education (www.WellnessCKE.net) that engages students in physical activities (e.g., dance, hikes, cleanups, etc.) outdoors, reflects on these experiences indoors using movement and dance, and then strives to bring awareness to the needs of local flora and fauna around the school, teaching advocacy for students’ suggestions for adaptations to their school environments (e.g., use of water fountains and bottles, roof gardens, etc.). Providing ergonomic furniture (including adjustable standing desks and varied seating options, like balls and kneeling chairs, Lomot, 2013) and outdoor exploration are emerging exploratory trends. Including more movement within these indoor and outdoor environments is critical to completing the sensory-motor cycle and to overall well-being that comes from being present and aware of the body and the environment.

Vignette 8: The Lure of Detachment: Overcoming Violence The powerful drives and emotions the body contains can be, like nature itself, exhilarating and joyous but also confusing, uncomfortable, and disturbing. Ultimately, the body decays and we come face-to-face with death. Like nature, the body is a wild space where life brushes up against us and challenges and defies our control (Abram, 1997b). The body may be our home for the duration of this experience called life, yet cultural practices alternate between celebrating our embodiment and escaping it. The body is our birthright, yet many of us reject it.

A sense of place is not only about the surrounding physical environment. From a somatic vantage point, place begins with the body. Disregarding the need to listen and to give voice to human movement or to learn movement skills is a way in which we reject not only the body but life and our very place in the world. When life is tough, or as Hari (2016) suggests, “unbearable,” people take flight from their bodies, disconnecting from embodied experience in numerous ways (van der Kolk, 2014). These disconnections may be expressed as numbing (which, according to Brené Brown, “cannot be done selectively”), imposing certainty on uncertainty, imposing or insisting on perfection, pretending that we do not have an effect on other people or

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our world, perpetuating systemic racism and classism, intellectualization, addictions (including workaholism, overstimulation, and technology use), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and “spiritual bypassing” whereby people use spirituality as a way of avoiding their embodied emotions (Brown, 2010; Masters, 2010; Stromsted, 2017). When we disassociate from the body, experience and learning remain only partial. Partial, disembodied existence makes wholeness, healthy functioning, and, according to Antonio Damasio, even full consciousness impossible (Pontin, 2014). Movement not only helps us to be present, but it makes us visible. In safe environments this can be a cause for joy and pride. However in hostile environments (whether socio-emotional/psychological or physical), people often prefer to cut off from their physical selves in order to become “invisible.” For instance, in the film Invitation to Dance (Linton, 2014), people with disabilities struggle to find private venues for parties to avoid being blatantly visible while dancing. In a “safe space,” they overcome their fears and open up to the joy of dancing. In many western cultures, people dim the lights or imbibe mind-altering substances to lessen selfconsciousness that comes from “showing our bodies in movement.” Another example is the courage it takes for female students with hijab to play soccer – one of the only semi-acceptable ways to engage in physical movement as teenagers in Muslim countries (Sheerazi, 2017). Harsh judgment and strictures about the body, body image, and body action may make for caustic learning environments. What causes judgment may be rooted within cultures or the minds of individuals. Economics may play a role as well. Instead of striving for nonjudgment, awareness of interdependence, and creative interaction, a commercialized, objectified, competitive world fosters indifference to others. This can lead to negative judgment of one’s self and others, repressive power dynamics, bullying, and violence. These types of interactions can be seen in corporations and governments, as well as among individuals, and within schools (Katz, 2013). The effects of bullying and self-consciousness are enormously deleterious – from shame to suicide among children, teens, and adults. When working with the body and movement in school, awareness of the continuum from stress to trauma and how these conditions are impacting youth can be important. In an ethnographic analysis of six violence prevention programs across the USA, Martha Eddy (1998) gathered information about embodied movement practices in conflict resolution and peace education. The study found that all educators benefit from skills for dealing with abuse and trauma, given how rampant physical, psychological, and sexual abuse and cultural dislocation are (one-quarter of the world’s population lives in nonpermanent housing). Teaching in nature is often a wonderful way to calm the nervous systems of students and teachers alike. Any teaching community can strive to provide, or devise democratically as a group, guidelines that contribute further to calm, by ensuring emotional and physical safety. Another set of findings from Eddy’s research revealed that excellent educators of conflict resolution selected topics for exploration such as self-control, increasing awareness of potential violence (with the goal to detect and avoid it), developing the strength to stand up to injustice and violence, and/or pointedly engaging in peacemaking. Eddy has created a matrix using these features to ensure that programs meet

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their own objectives (1998, 2016a) across the continuum of violence prevention and peace education. For instance, when teaching peace education, it can be deemed insufficient to simply teach self-control; adding self-defense, self-assertion of one’s own strength and power, and compassionate work with others for peace makes for a fuller experience of diminishing conflict within the context of societal injustice (Eddy 1998, 2010b). Within the conditions of discomfort including, but not limited to, fear, overwhelm, hopelessness, confusion, callousness, indifference, pain, negative judgment, poverty, bullying, abuse, and violence, people of any age may disconnect from the body, becoming numb to one’s own sensations (Eddy, 2016a). Some people might stay physically connected with their bodies, building up irritability that may result in bouts of aggression or even violence (Eddy, 2016b), which can be further amplified by interaction with violent media, television, and games (Carlsson-Paige, 2008). More education is needed.

Vignette 9: Combining Indigenous and Somatic Approaches for Well-Being In Chinese medicine, the movements of tai chi and chi gong teach people “where their center is, what is a balanced form, where the right and left are. . . In the Chinese culture that defines health. If you can figure out where your center is and how to concentrate your mind, you’re healthy, and once you lose that, you get sick” (Eisenberg cited in Moyers, 1993, p. 282).

While teaching at Columbia University, a native of mainland China reported to Eddy (2002) that “finding center somatically” was new and not part of her traditional Chinese experience. The somatic work transformed an abstract idea into a powerful and visceral experience. Eisenberg explains that it is the combination of mindful attention and conscious movement that is essential to the Chinese idea of well-being in the world. “One without the other is not enough.” The Chinese consider the universe to be made up of both the physical and spiritual, “and the struggle is in maintaining the balance between the two forces.” In addition, movement is experienced within an ethical framework that includes how you treat others and yourself (cited in Moyers, 1993, p. 283). This idea of holistic experience, a relationship of “systems” within systems (Capra & Luisi, 2014), is central to wholeness and health from an ecological perspective. It is also foundational to somatic approaches such as Laban-based Bartenieff, Body-Mind Centering, or Dynamic Embodiment and in the Feldenkrais method, as well as many eastern and indigenous approaches (Eddy, 2016a). In these embodied practices, “We can touch this place of wholeness where body and mind, emotions and thought, matter and energy are given to us as one” (Ford cited in Eddy, 2016a, p. 255). The challenge in this state of complex and interrelated wholeness is to be awake fully to the internal and external – self and more-than-other (Abram, 1997a) – which “lies at the heart of the challenge of co-existence” (Moradian, 2017, p. 11). Helping children become conscious of the body’s experience, affirming its

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wisdom, and learning to moderate its impulses are important steps to dwelling, at home and at ease, in the body. Only then can we really begin to experience what it is to dwell on the planet. This harkens back to Gregory Bateson’s “ecology of mind” (2000). Somatic education is built on European, Eastern, and Afro-Caribbean constructs (Eddy, 2002, 2016a) that unify the physical and the mental, action and contemplation. Mind-body movement techniques use the mind to “control the body” (Eddy, 2016a). As is hopefully clear by now, the “body-mind” approach of somatic education (with various forms shaped by cultural framework and/or historic settings) offers the particular vantage point of listening to the body to learn from it, mining psychophysical wisdom. Educational approaches akin to somatic education are understood in the psychological and sociological domains as well. Bessel van der Kolk finds that “mindfulness” helps emotional regulation, physical health, and stress-, psychiatric-, and psychosomatic-related symptoms including depression and chronic pain (2014, pp. 211–212). He highlights yoga, tai chi, qigong, African drumming, and the martial arts which “focus on the cultivation of purposeful movement, and being centered in the present” and points out that they all combine “. . .physical movement, breathing, and meditation” (p. 210). Cognitive linguist George Lakoff also acknowledges the importance of embodiment (2004). Celebrated educator Nel Noddings asserts that education should expand its focus from linguistic and logical intelligence to include also spatial, bodily kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligences (based on Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences) with a focus on caring (cited in Williams & Brown, 2012). Somatic education builds upon all of these, and particularly upon caring and empathy, by building the capacity to feel, to integrate, and to respond creatively and appropriately to life circumstances, linking directly to agency (Shafir, 2015). Noddings focuses on developing students who are healthy, competent, and moral people even if this is at odds with a national agenda of education, which in many cases may be “disconnected from life.” In the same way that Williams and Brown argue for the living soil as “a dynamic metaphorical guide” that affirms life and “brings attention to relationship as a central feature of education” (2012, p. 139), we suggest the living body is a learning landscape that both affirms and teaches us about life, complexity, responsivity, and relationship.

Vignette 10: Movement: The Ground for Learning in Educational Settings The body in motion is the foundation for experiential learning. Ironically, some experiential learning does not highlight, or even recognize, the knowledge gleaned from the vehicle of our very experience – the body itself. As we embrace an awareness of self in relation to the ongoing movement of life, in all its complexity – as we begin to dance with that ongoing interrelated process of transformation that is our life – we can readily extend this understanding to the classroom, community, culture, ecosystem, and biosphere.

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Movement can be used to teach, exemplify and improve content learning, smooth out school-day transitions, provide brain and body recuperation, and be a powerful source for aesthetic experience and development (Selver-Kassell, 2008). When any of these movement activities are done in nature or with nature in mind, one is entering into the domain of eco-somatics. An eco-somatic approach can be central or adjunctive in curricula. It is a reflection on bodily experience, sensation, and response to sensation as experienced in whatever nature is available that completes the childhoodnature cycle. By learning with the whole body and bringing awareness to what is learned through the body, we experience the very essence of being interdependent with and part of nature. Lessons on breath are the quintessential example. A somatic approach to learning could focus on oxygenation, the human cardiovascular system, chemical processes, and our interdependence with plant life, all while actually breathing, smelling, and tasting the quality of the air. Experiences, like feeling the pulse and the pumping sensation of the heart, the rhythm, textures, length and depth of the breath, and visualizing the five lobes of the lungs and their three-dimensional, balloon-like expansion and contraction, are best followed by reflection and discussion about the sensations, discoveries, and curiosities that emerge. Moradian invites her students to “release the resistance to the breath” by incrementally letting go of contractions in the throat, chest, and heart region that restrict the lungs’ capacity to breathe fully. She encourages them, both viscerally and through the imagination, to slow the breath and become aware of the “nourishment and support, cleansing and release that come with each and every cycle of breath” (Moradian, 2015). Breathing immerses us experientially in our deep interconnectedness with the living planet and can tangibly remind us of the dynamic processes and balance inherent to all living systems. In addition to deep inner awareness and awakening to our interdependence with the world around us, breathing practices like these prepare the learner to be more comfortable “at school” by massaging the abdominal organs, oxygenating the body’s cells, and calming the nervous system (Eddy & Zak, 2011; Iyengar, 2010). Similar teachable moments can be infused in numerous situations, including eco-aesthetic and ecological contexts. For example: – Bringing attention to the sensations of the feet while walking on different surfaces, to the living nature of the soil beneath the feet, to the relationship of bodies and plants to gravity and their movement and growth, to the vestibular system with eyes open and closed, and to how occluding different senses alters sensory awareness. – Discussing what happens when living organisms become dehydrated, malnourished, or poisoned and then paying attention to the sensations that arise in the process of drinking water or eating a snack, followed by imagining how a plant “drinks” or “eats.” These could be followed by reflection on metabolism or the liquidity of our bodies and the planet. To shift beyond sensation into motoric, creative expression, it is critical to allow for more options. Free movement is the most explicit choice. Allowing a student to

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choose three postures and move between them teaches the making of a “movement statement.” The postures or movements selected can be related to a discussion theme – like representing three states of water, three moods, three types of stress, three different trees, and three animals. Three is a key number because it represents a sentence – a beginning, a middle, and an end. Group discussion can go in a myriad of directions. In her doctoral research, Eddy found that the process of co-choreography enhances problem-solving and builds peer leadership (1998). Peter Lovatt’s research in dance psychology shows that improvisational movement opens up a world of “divergent thinking” (2011), including experimentation, invention, and creativity. Dance education research is adding to the canon of how to enhance information retrieval including the potency of movement memory, and discussion among dance education professionals supports the hypothesis that experienced improvisers are not only more comfortable encountering the unknown but also often even relish meeting change and challenge.

Conclusion Sensory perception is the glue that binds our separate nervous systems into the larger, encompassing ecosystem. (Abram, 1997b, p. 9)

In reclaiming our bodies and our place in the larger world, dwelling within the living system of our bodies and nested within the living systems of the earth, we shift from what might be a parasitic or exploitative relationship with our world to a symbiotic interaction with nature. Biologist Lynn Margulis defines symbiosis as “the living together of more than one species.” She asserts, “all organisms that you can see with the naked eye are living in symbiosis with others,” and cooperation between species is more common than competition for evolutionary survival (2011). In a videotaped presentation to NASA in 1984, Margulis explained how life on earth (including humans) can actually make the world greener and more alive, as long as it is in dynamic balance. For adults and children alike, equilibrium depends upon the ability to respond appropriately to the feedback we receive, through and also from our bodies (which includes, but is not limited by, what we think of as our “minds”). We cannot disconnect from our bodies and still hope to respond optimally. In welcoming movement and the ongoing process of change it stimulates, we can move from stationary dis-ease into ease, presence, and a natural state of flow; we move toward health and wholeness, not simply as individuals but as ecologies of community and place. This takes time and attention, along with a willingness and ability to respond to the intricate, subtle, complex messages coming from the myriad of relationships that we, in the west, have tried to ignore or deny. Neglecting our bodies in education teaches us to disconnect from nature. To embrace our interdependence demands humility and requires a willingness to recognize both our power and our vulnerability – that we affect and are affected by all that we encounter.

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In conclusion, we suggest that changing conditions in both our human and morethan-human worlds demand better communication and optimal responsivity at all possible levels. The ongoing state of dynamic balance that is life demands our willingness to dwell here and now, consciously in our bodies, face-to-face with complexity, contradiction, and the unknown. This expanded consciousness, or “reconstruction of patterns of thought” (Bateson, 2000, p. xii), moves us to recognize our interdependence with our world, helping us to treat the earth not as our possession but as our home and as our symbiotic partner. Embodiment processes like somatic movement can help us to reconnect with the multilayered worlds of our living body in place. The goal is to reclaim the natural, any-shape, any-person’s, nonobjectified, non-commercialized body and to live in healthy relationship with it. As we do this, we engage and participate in our learning processes and nourish our ability to respond to challenges with creativity and agility. Life-affirming, movement-friendly environments need to be cultivated. Caring for ourselves, each other, and the earth is called for, not simply as a “good” thing to do, but as a necessary part of thriving in and with our world. This is more than just a dance. It is the dance of our lives and life. The history of progressive, constructivist, and existential schools of education has hypothesized that enactive education that includes sensitivity to the needs of planetary and community sustainability produces learners who are aware of and care for the environment (Eddy, 2016a). By promoting awareness and self-management of the feelings and sensations that come up in the process of learning, we can encourage children to experience and shape the world in life-affirming ways. Our contention is that aligning education and conscious embodied movement intensifies not just self-awareness, self-knowing, self-care, and self-regulation but also moves us to act and interact with greater awareness and care for others and our world, including the places we inhabit and share (Eddy, 2016a). “The body (is) the portal through which we can re-enter the world – even after we have locked ourselves out. . . Consciously attended, the body offers a living landscape for deep ecological experience” (Moradian, 2017, p. 8).

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Childhoodnature Pedagogies and Place: An Overview and Analysis Robert B. Stevenson, Greg Mannion, and Neus (Snowy) Evans

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . From Place-Based Education to Place-Conscious/Responsive Pedagogy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emerging Poststructural, Post-human, and New Materialist Pedagogies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Political . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pedagogies of Place in Teacher Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Introducing the Section Chapters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Advancing the Characteristics of Pedagogies of Place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Abstract

Nature-based experiences have gained increasing attention for their capacity to foster children’s connectedness with nature, referred to here as childhoodnature. This chapter explores childhoodnature from a pedagogical perspective of place, beginning with an overview of the conceptual foundations of and distinctions between place-based education and place-responsive and place-conscious pedagogy. We then examine recently emergent post-human and new materialist R. B. Stevenson (*) The Cairns Institute and College of Arts, Society and Education, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia e-mail: [email protected] G. Mannion School of Education, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, UK e-mail: [email protected] N. S. Evans College of Arts, Society and Education, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia e-mail: [email protected] # Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018 A. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, Springer International Handbooks of Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51949-4_76-1

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ontologies and pedagogies for their contributions to new understandings of and approaches to childhoodnature connections. Besides providing a map of the childhoodnature pedagogies and place section of this handbook, we assess the extent to which the theoretical and empirical contributions of the section chapters lay the groundwork for developing the pedagogies of place literature. Despite marked differences in cultural contexts, a number of common themes emerged across the chapters, particularly in relation to the intent and focus of the pedagogies of place. All chapters expand and/or challenge current understandings and/or preconceptions of place, nature, childhoodnature relationships, and pedagogy. A number of chapters highlight the role of agency, embodied learning, and place relations in enabling children to build connectedness with nature. Finally, in considering the chapters as a whole, some implications are offered for future research. Keywords

Place-conscious pedagogy · Place-responsive pedagogy · Post-humanism · Morethan-human · Connectedness with nature · New materialism

Introduction The children of today will bear the brunt of the impact of the age of the Anthropocene and in particular of climate change (Cutter-Mackenzie, Edwards, Moore, & Boyd, 2014; Stevenson, Nichols & Whitehouse, 2016). At the same time, concerns have been expressed about children’s increased physical and emotional distancing from nature (Louv, 2006; Soga & Gaston, 2016). Childhood is increasingly disconnected from nature with more time spent indoors drawing on technology-mediated play than outdoors with nature play activities. Critics emphasize that the growth of technology and the reduction of greenspace in many urban contexts resulting in limited nature-driven play poses a threat for children’s wellbeing and development (Corraliza, Collado, & Bethelmy, 2012; Louv, 2016). One question that remains unknown is whether the childhoodnature disconnection will affect children’s future capacity to mediate emergent Anthropogenic impacts. This disconnection is viewed as an urgent priority to address, given the precariousness of the current state of natural ecosystems on which human survival is dependent. Nature-based experiences have gained increasing attention for their capacity to foster children’s connectedness with nature (Chawla & Derr, 2012; Ward-Smith et al. this volume). Writers over time have focused on the importance of these direct experiences in nature, through emphasizing, for example, the power of silence and solitude in connecting to nature (Knapp, 1996) or sensory immersion to cultivate an emotional attachment to the natural environment (Van Matre, 1990). More recently, the focus has been on these experiences being centered and bounded in the particular place(s) of where children’s lives are lived irrespective of its spatial and cultural location. The importance of fostering children’s emotional relationships with place has also been extended beyond the human environment to interactions with the

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more-than-human world, to all species and nonliving things and to place itself. This raises the empirical question posed by Tooth and Renshaw in this section: Can children become emotionally interconnected with other living, as well as nonliving, entities? Authors in this section of the handbook grapple with the question of what kind of pedagogies of place facilitates the cultivation of children’s connections with nature? They explore the theoretical underpinnings and value assumptions of a range of pedagogies of place enacted in diverse educational, cultural, and geographical contexts to enhance children’s connections with nature and examine the outcomes and impacts of these pedagogies on this connectivity for learning, for individuals and human communities, and for the sustainability of eco-social communities. The chapters present current research and diverse ways of (re)thinking about placecentered pedagogy, supported by case studies and vignettes from these contexts. Contributors also explore the meaning of place in relation to children’s interactions, connections, and other entanglements with “nature.” In this introductory chapter, we first examine theoretical foundations of the broad concept of place-based education and then its limitations as revealed by the subsequent related but more critical or post-critical conceptualizations of place-responsive and place-conscious pedagogy. The relevance of emerging post-human and new materialist ontologies and pedagogies is examined for their contributions to new understandings of and approaches to childhoodnature interactions and connections. Pedagogies of place that speak to politics and ethics (of Indigeneity and equity) are also briefly addressed. We then draw on selected literature that offers a praxis approach to pedagogies of place in teacher practice to begin to address the question of how might pedagogies of place research contribute to helping educators decide what to do next in a given place? Finally, we outline each of the seven contributing chapters in relation to the place-related frameworks presented and the more recent turns to new materialist and post-human pedagogies before finally analyzing the theoretical and empirical contributions of these chapters to the pedagogies of place literature.

From Place-Based Education to Place-Conscious/Responsive Pedagogy Place-based education has been defined as grounding learning in the local or the particular place of students’ lived experience (Smith, 2002). Smith argued that placebased education was not a new phenomenon as its approach could be traced back to John Dewey who noted the “disconnection between school and the world and sought to overcome it in the University of Chicago Lab School that he and his colleagues created at the end of the 19th century” (p. 586). Dewey attributed the problem to “the fact that children possess minds that are primarily drawn to actual phenomena rather than to ideas about phenomena” (p. 586). The initial resurgence of interest in PBE, as further described by Sobel, essentially focused on a pedagogical approach to

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enhancing student learning of traditional disciplinary concepts in the curriculum as well as connections to the community and the natural world: Place-based education is the process of using the local community and environment as a starting point to teach concepts in language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum. Emphasizing hands-on, real-world learning experiences, this approach to education increases academic achievement, helps students develop stronger ties to their community, enhances students’ appreciation for the natural world, and creates a heightened commitment to serving as active, contributing citizens. (Sobel, 2004, p. 6)

The primary value of place-based education has been summarized as residing “in the way that it serves to strengthen children’s connections to others and to the regions in which they live” (Smith, 2002, p. 594). Bonnett (2013) situates these connections in all human experience. Since we are all emplaced, “we dwell in a world . . .. . .of locales of intimately related things” (p. 264). He further describes: the anticipatory and ecstatic nature of emplacement, in which we are always beyond ourselves, with the emplaced things that we encounter. This constitutes a flow of involvements that sustains our sense of who we are and what we are doing . . . In this sense we are (literally) enlivened by encounters with emplaced things, sometimes quite explicitly, as say by the promise of the unknown encounters that are to come as we set off for a walk on a fine spring morning. (p. 266)

These notions of emplacement and presence have important implications for pedagogies of place in illuminating the potential development of enhanced awareness or consciousness. The latter is explicitly foregrounded by the concepts of placeresponsive and place-conscious pedagogy. Although often used interchangeably in the literature with place-based, both place-responsive and place-conscious pedagogy represent important theoretical distinctions from the more widely used term and conceptualization. Place-responsive pedagogy has been defined as “explicit teaching by-means-of-an-environment with the aim of understanding and improving humanenvironment relations” (Mannion, Fenwick, & Lynch, 2013, p. 803). What is important, the authors argue, is that the core process of teaching and learning “is both pedagogically and ontologically linked,” whereas “[m]ost conceptions of placebased education lack this ontological understanding and therefore can be distinguished from place-responsive education and pedagogy (Karrow & Fazio, 2010).” Gruenewald (later Greenwood) (2003a, b) introduced the notion and discourse of critical place-based and place-conscious education by linking critical pedagogy and place-based education through the two important ontological relationships of decolonization and reinhabitation. Sometimes a heightened awareness of place: leads to a process of decolonization, that is, coming to understand and resist the ideas and forces that allow for the privileging of some people, and the oppression of others – human and more-than-human. At other times, place-consciousness means learning how to reinhabit our communities and regions in ways that allow for more sustainable relationships now and in the long run. (Gruenewald & Smith, 2008, p. vii)

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In A Critical Theory of Place-Conscious Education, Greenwood (2013) argues the need for a decolonization of places by revealing “the often contestable nature of the dominant beliefs and motives” (p. 97) that shapes our perspectives of places. This process of decolonization enables a reinhabitation of these places with “a more open and deeper consciousness” (p. 97). The conceptualization of decolonization and reinhabitation not only emphasizes an ontological relationship but also “aims to enlist teachers and students in the firsthand experience of local life and in the political process of understanding and shaping what happens there” (Gruenewald, 2003, p. 620). In contrast, other forms of education that are attentive to place (e.g., geographical education or science education) may suffer from a tendency to ignore political dimensions because of a focus on a transmission approach to curriculum delivery and pedagogy designed to address individuals’ development of knowledge and skills for self-awareness.

Emerging Poststructural, Post-human, and New Materialist Pedagogies In other areas of scholarship related to pedagogies of place, there are recent turns away from a focus on structural developmental views of the child in favor of understanding how children engage with a whole range of entities, relations (including with other species), forces, and materials found in their everyday worlds (for examples see Taylor & Pacini-Ketchabaw, 2015). Both the “material turn” and the “animal turn” are now posing challenges to the perceived limits of the linguistic “turn” and the anthropocentrism of poststructural thinking (Taylor, 2018). Ontological responses to (post)structuralisms and other anthropocentric philosophies have resulted in realist (re)turns in social theory, in particular speculative realism and matter-realism or new materialisms. Although there are many forms of post-humanism (see Pederson, 2010), they share a perspective that dissolves the separation of nature and culture. Quinn (2013), for example, argues that “fixed distinctions between human and non-human spheres no longer hold . . ... [as] nature and culture are ‘mangled’ together at every point . . .. as ‘the agency of matter is intertwined with human agency’ (Hekman, 2010)” (Quinn, 2013, p. 738). Taylor and Pacini-Ketchabaw (2015) credit the boundaryblurring “natureculture” bio-philosophies of Haraway for illuminating “the ways that humans and other species share entangled, cascading and enmeshed pasts, presents and futures” (p. 6). Taylor and Pacini-Ketchabaw argue for moving away from the predominately individual child-centered pedagogies in early childhood education that focus on “learning within an exclusively socio/cultural (in other words, exclusively human) context (Rogoff, 2003)” (Taylor & Pacini-Ketchabaw, 2015, p. 6). Instead Taylor and Pacini-Ketchabaw (2015) argue for focusing: on the collective manners and means through which children learn from engaging with other species, entities and forces in their immediate common worlds. We call these collectively engaged modes of learning ‘common world pedagogies’ (p. 4).

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Thus, new kinds of place-responsive pedagogies are emerging, such as multispecies pedagogies and more-than-human pedagogies (see http://common.worlds.net/). Critics of the post-human turn, such as Paul James (2017), suggest these kinds of pedagogies may be less well grounded, lack impact when it comes to politics and ethics, and fail to deliver their hope for getting beyond the dualism of nature and culture. James (p. 36) cites Snaza and Weaver’s argument that “it is not even remotely possible at the present moment to conceptually or practically lay out a theory of post-humanist education or outline the contours of a post-humanist pedagogy.” Perhaps because this field is emerging and nascent, an identifiable tendency in environmental and early childhood research has thus far been not to offer orientations for practice for nature-based post-human educators but rather to use research to describe the ongoing flow of events for learners in natural settings. Hence one emerging gap in nature-based post-human pedagogies appears to be a coherent research-based framework for educators to draw upon in the planning and enactment of place-related curricula. Another issue relates to how extant and emerging placerelated pedagogies handle the political in their approaches. Without attempting to lay out a theory of post-humanist pedagogy, we briefly examine pedagogies of place that claim to take politics and ethics (of Indigeneity and equity) seriously.

The Political In a recent study of experience-based place-responsive pedagogy in Environmental Education Centres (EECs) in Queensland, Australia (Renshaw & Tooth, 2018), a political dimension to teachers’ work was identified. An analysis of center case studies revealed that the political varied across places from being explicitly articulated to more implicit with different aspects emphasized in different ways (Stevenson & Smith, 2018). For example, Stevenson and Smith (2018) observed that a conceptualization of “pedagogy as advocacy” reflected an explicitly political statement of the environmental goals of one EEC’s work, while an “Inspiring Champions” approach at another center encouraged students to model their future behavior as adults on environmental champions of the past. At two other EECs, students are introduced to the work of local environmental activists who have played and are playing significant roles in protecting from development land having ecological and Indigenous cultural history values. Meanwhile, the pedagogy at several other centers is not explicitly political but implicitly addresses the political through not only exposing students to alternative (to the dominant anthropocentric) worldviews but also questioning and critiquing traditional understandings of economic growth, consumption economics, and related cultural values and the environment. Yet a question that can be asked about the role of politics in pedagogies of place generally is are politics only aspirational at best in these and other educational endeavors? Certainly, the political needs to be more than aspirational while not advocating a particular position on a socio-ecological issue, despite the title of “pedagogy as advocacy” of one center’s approach in Tooth and Renshaw’s study.

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We argue that the pedagogical focus should be on advocating the engagement of young people in first critically thinking about local socio-ecological issues, including unpacking and understanding the politics and ethics that are an inherent part of the different and conflicting interests and perspectives involved in socio-ecological issues. Second, active engagement should be encouraged in the political process in order to respond to such issues. Others, such as Pederson (2011) and Quinn (2013), encourage a “re”human positioning in accepting that post-humanism works to decenter the human subject, and so the implications for learning are profound if we can develop an “understanding of what it means to learn with and from rather than about nonhuman animals” (Pederson, 2011, p. 20). Quinn reports on two studies, first referring back to her earlier study with colleagues of finding young people in jobs without training that “animals played a surprisingly large role in the lives of some young people” to the extent that “[i]n some cases, the emotional attachment to animals was far greater than that to humans and ease and comfort with animals contrasted to estrangement from family or peers” (p. 745). However, Quinn, while acknowledging the importance of Barad’s (2003) foregrounding the nonhuman and the potential of such a perspective for liberation, appropriately cautions that: going too far down that road hides the fact that the intra-activity of human and nature is still shaped by social positions. We are all composed of matter shared with the non-human, but we are not all equally well placed to deal with any potential problems this may cause. (Quinn, 2013, p. 749)

Quinn’s (2013) second study gives a greater sense of what role nonhuman animals play in young people’s everyday outdoor learning: Animals teach the young people about the continuum of culture/nature and the necessity of balance and equilibrium. Of course this is very far from being an equal relationship; whilst Bennett might argue that animals have power and agency they do not have guns and traps with which to kill humans. Nevertheless, once the animal is given its due, a different form of knowledge emerges about factors which are key to the survival of humans, such as the chain of production and where our food comes from. (Quinn, 2013, p. 746)

Some poststructural and new materialist researchers take strong and distinctive political stances with respect to nature and place on the basis of new relational ontological framings. As we have seen, positioning animals as beings with whom we relate and learn repositions the natural world away from being something we save or steward as humans to being an entangled set of processes within which we need to interact and respond (see Taylor, 2017). Others take a strong feminist and decolonial stance (Nxumalo, 2015). These kinds of research agendas in effect try to combine critical ideological readings of place and nature while combining them with an ontological turn toward lived experience, process, and relationality. However, there is a tension between critical theory which situates politics and inequalities in social structures and feminist post-human ontological focus on relational politics.

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Pedagogies of Place in Teacher Practice Post-human research agendas seek to understand complexity and stay with the “trouble” of our damaged world with our commodified lives and the intricacies of educator-animal-child relations (Nxumalo & Pacini-Ketchabaw, 2017). Less common is practical advice for educators about how to help actualize pedagogies to realize these new relations or ecological and social justice. Quinn argues that the outdoor literature emphasizes practice, but theoretical positions are not very well developed, while “[c]onversely, in post-humanist feminist literature, there is much theoretical discussion about ‘nature’. . .. . . Her paper seeks “to use post-human ideas to advance theoretical understanding of outdoor learning and to put post-human theory to work with empirical data from outdoor learning, in order to demonstrate post-humanism’s analytic capacity. . ... to deepen understanding of outdoor learning” (p. 739). Mannion et al.’s (2013) theory of place-responsive pedagogy draws on findings from a study they conducted of teachers devising interdisciplinary curricula while based in national parkland in Scotland. They explain: We see place-responsive pedagogy is one element in a wider process of curriculum making that emerges through the intra-activity (Barad, 2007) of: (i) educators’ own experiences and dispositions to place, (ii) learners’ dispositions and experiences of place and (iii) the ongoing contingent events in the place itself (including the presence and activities of other living things). (p. 803)

Five key aspects of an experience-based pedagogy in Queensland state-run Environmental Education Centres (EEC) in Australia were identified by Ballantyne and Packer (2008, 2009) as learning by doing, being in the environment, addressing authentic tasks, cultivating sensory engagement, and exploring local problems and issues. In a follow-up in-depth study, conducted by Renshaw and Tooth (2018), place-conscious pedagogies were identified as requiring “that educators have an intimate knowledge of the ecology and history of the place, including an acute awareness of the pedagogical affordances of specific sites . . ... (forest or creek or tree or track)” (p. 10). One center educator describes blending the application of systems thinking to the complex patterns and connections among the parts of the forest, with a process of slow pedagogy and a (nonlinear) experience-reflectionrepresentation cycle of engaging students in sharing, questioning, and inquiring into their discoveries of specific inhabitants of the forest (e.g., a leaf or insect). A view of place as a dynamic socially constructed site of “negotiation between related unfolding stories” (Renshaw & Tooth, p.3) underpins this pedagogical content knowledge that links together deep content and pedagogical knowledge (Stevenson & Smith, 2018). Diverse pedagogies of place, as framed in Tooth and Renshaw’s study, represent pedagogical content knowledge in nature-based experiential teaching (Stevenson & Smith, 2018). Specifically, that means knowledge and understanding of “the unique affordances of particular places for learning about, in and for the environment”

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(Stevenson & Smith, 2018, p. 195). Such knowledge has been argued by Tooth and Renshaw as involving the intersection of three dimensions of place: 1. The materiality of place itself, its unpredictability, and its unique patterning of inanimate objects, natural features, and animate beings 2. The cultural meanings that have been storied into the place by Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, including the educators at each center 3. The agency of teachers, students, and parents, whose purposes and goals selectively foreground and background what can be experienced and learned in place (Renshaw & Tooth, 2018, p.4)

These illuminations of the pedagogies of place of experienced outdoor educators are consistent with evidence from Mannion et al.’s (2013) study suggesting first that, particularly for “novice outdoor” teachers, collaborative planning visits, extended time in natural settings, and opportunity for reflection were all useful ingredients in planning nature-based excursions. These approaches enabled teachers to find new scope to rework their own perspectives of themselves as educators such that place and material context were not backdrops to their actions but the new socio-material context was implicated in curriculum planning and later in teaching. For these teachers, spending time in the nature reserves involved getting to know the place and themselves better; through this reconnaissance, they looked again at what role the materiality of the world would play in their pedagogies and in their plans for the generation of new meanings with their learners. In part, this may be because of the design of the study in that it asked them to consider place as part of the curriculum design process, but this is expected to be a wider phenomenon common to more than this context. This strand of analysis provides empirical support for the potential of considering curriculum design as a socio-material and embodied practice in places. A number of scholars have reported that curriculum planning with place in mind was easier for teachers who had spent time accruing a deeper relationship with the natural places visited (see Mannion et al., 2013; Martin, 2004; Renshaw & Tooth, 2018). More expert outdoor teachers were able to explain how they did this more comprehensively, while novice outdoor teachers found they needed to learn new dispositions or orientations to place. Drawing on the work of anthropologist Tim Ingold, evidence is emerging that supports the idea of curriculum making as a coming together of teachers, learners, generations, and places, and, through this coming together, relations are remade (see also Ross & Mannion, 2012). One might suggest that changing the place for education (in this case, from indoors to a natural setting) was a form of interruption in the ways in which the curriculum was normally socio-materially assembled. There is scope, therefore, for understanding curriculum making as requiring a form of interruption through new forms of attention and response to place. Ross and Mannion conclude that their sense is that place-responsive teachers need to explicitly attend to the role of the places – the socio-material contingent events and relations between humans and other species – in their educational endeavors. In placeresponsive pedagogy, teachers (in collaboration with students and others), as historically embodied subjects, explicitly set out to create new place-based practices and

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place-based relations. We suggest that this involves learning to dwell or inhabit places differently while accepting our shared immersion in the world (see Ross & Mannion, 2012). In summary of the literature cited, given “the unique affordances of particular places for learning in, about and for the environment” (Renshaw & Tooth, 2018, p. 4) and the significance for teacher pedagogical practice of educators’ own experiences and dispositions to place (Mannion et al., 2013), the first essential task for teachers is “being present in and with a place” (Wattchow & Brown, 2011, p. 800) through extended collaborative planning time in natural settings (Mannion et al., 2013). The purpose is for educators to get to know themselves and the materiality of place itself better through reconnaissance; this would include having the opportunity for reflection on what role the materiality, including living things, of place can play in their pedagogies and in creating plans for the generation of new meanings with their learners (Mannion et al., 2013; Renshaw & Tooth, 2018). A particular feature of teacher and student learning is the power of place-based stories and narratives (Wattchow & Brown, 2011) for identifying and creating “cultural meanings that have been storied into the place across time” (Renshaw & Tooth, 2018, p. 4). An enabling condition is for teachers, students, and parents to have the agency to enact the above curriculum and pedagogical planning (Renshaw & Tooth, 2018). This agency is relationally enacted with and through places in order it seems to maintain the necessary attentiveness to one’s emplacement.

Introducing the Section Chapters In any discussion of pedagogies of place, the ultimate important question is what can the educator do? How can research and theory contribute to helping educators decide what to do next in a given place? The authors in this section not only articulate their ontological positioning in relation to the theoretical perspectives outlined above but also generally identify pedagogical approaches that can be taken by educators. Thus, a strength of the following chapters is that they offer guidance or directions for practice that can make a difference. Furthermore, many authors in this handbook section base their accounts on the empirical as well as the theoretical. As previously mentioned, it is important that the teaching and learning process is pedagogically and ontologically connected. We now offer a brief overview of each of the seven chapters in this section of the handbook. The culturally and geopolitically diverse studies that are reported were conducted in seven countries: Australia (2), Germany, Hong Kong, Qatar, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States. Julia Truscott, in her chapter in this section “Towards a pedagogy for naturebased play in early childhood educational settings,” explores how young children experience nature through nature-based play and the influences on such experiences, particularly within an early childhood (EC) setting. Drawing on sociocultural and Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory and qualitative data from preschool children and their educators, educator pedagogy emerged as the strongest and most critical component of Truscott’s study of the interplay between children’s experiences and

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educator pedagogy. Truscott explores the facets of pedagogy – educators’ values, beliefs, and behaviors – that appear to best afford children opportunities to become immersed in their nature-based play in EC settings. Ron Tooth and Peter Renshaw, in their chapter titled “Children becoming emotionally attuned to “nature” through place-responsive pedagogies,” raise the interesting question, “can children situate themselves as not separated from “nature” but as part of “nature”, emotionally interconnected with other living, as well as non-living, entities?” They analyzed children’s representations of “nature” and themselves following an excursion to a forest in South East Queensland, Australia, where they were exposed to Ron Tooth’s storythread designed program of a civic activist in the 1990s who was crucial for establishing the area as a protected reserve. Their connection to place is mediated throughout the excursion by an Aboriginal practice of attentiveness to and feeling in place. The children shifted toward an understanding of “nature” as agentic, knowledgeable, emotional, and bonded to them. The authors address the implications of this place-responsive pedagogy in the context of neoliberal times and accountability pressures for teachers. In the chapter “Towards decolonising nature-based pedagogy: the importance of history, sociocultural and socio-material context in mediating connectedness-withnature,” by Chesney Ward-Smith, Lausanne Olvitt, and Jacqui Akhurst, the authors explore children’s “connectedness-with-nature” in a culturally diverse context in South Africa. They argue that nature-based pedagogies often project Eurocentric environmental values onto children in subtle ways, inadvertently colonizing natural spaces and children’s experiences in them. Taking a sociocultural perspective, the chapter draws on a qualitative case study of 37 children from culturally diverse backgrounds at an outdoor education center. The chapter explores the tensions and resonances between participants’ value positions and those of the outdoor education center. Given that this interrelationship mediates the children’s developing sense of connectedness-with-nature, integrating their values was found to be essential for designing appropriate nature-based pedagogies. Such pedagogies are seen as providing opportunities for more nuanced explorations of sociocultural and sociomaterial resonances and contradictions and for children to connect with nature in less colonizing ways. Bob Coulter, in his chapter “The role and limits of agency in place-based education,” focuses on developing a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities involved in fostering youth agency. He first critically examines conceptions of agency that are often implicit in descriptions of place-based education and emphasizes the need for better articulation of the ways in which meaningful agency among the participants can be supported. An analytic framework is derived building on both Greenwood’s (2013) three questions for grounding place-conscious learning deeply within local ecological and cultural space and Fesmire’s (2010, 2012) descriptions of ecological and moral imagination; Coulter argues that Fesmire offers tools through which thoughtful responses to Greenwood’s questions can be developed. A series of vignettes are presented to embellish the framework, and a set of educational principles are derived in order to guide the support of children’s agency within place-based education. The author concludes with reflections on the

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power of a process of grounding our ecological and moral imaginations deeply in our local space when we consider the role of student (and teacher) agency in place-based education. Sarah Urquhart and Oliver Picton’s chapter “Place, experience & identity for Third Culture Kids” begins by making a case that traditional assumptions and conceptualizations of a singular localized sense of place are incongruent with the experiences of, what they term, “third culture kids” (TCKs) who spend their developmental years in multiple and diverse physical, cultural, and social contexts. They reexamine the concept of sense of place through two case studies in international schools: (1) a quantitative examination in Hong Kong of differences in place attachment and relationships to nature between TCKs and local adolescents and how relocation has influenced TCKs’ sense of place and (2) a qualitative exploration of how the “gatedness” of residential contexts in Qatar impacts adolescent TCKs’ experiences of place and sense of place. The authors argue that immediate contexts are intrinsically linked to the diversity of places experienced by TCKs which presents both challenges and opportunities for place-based pedagogy in international schools that needs to be undergirded by relational conceptualizations of place and driven by an inclusive and globally minded sense of place for TCKs. Elsa Lee, Nicola Walshe, Ruth Sapsed, and Joanna Holland in “Artists as Emplaced pedagogues: How does Thinking about Children’s Nature Relations Influence Pedagogy?” take a more forthright approach to considering the role of teachers in linking learners to nature. The authors explore within the chapter how female artists working with children are seen to follow young people’s lead, yet also have input in taking children to new kinds of places. For the authors human exceptionalism sits uneasily yet catalytically alongside ecologically integrated views of the human-environment dialogue. Key to the pedagogy here is the link to an ontology that includes the actual and the virtual aspects of becoming – what we are and how we are becoming within nature are in constant dialectical conversation. Into this space, we have a worthy inquiry into what role teachers need to take in striving for new norms for human-environment relations. Part of this work involves imagination of the next generation. Doerte Martens, Claudia Friede, and Heike Molitor, in their chapter Nature Experience Areas: Rediscovering the potential of nature for children’s development, argue that healthy childhood spaces are under threat and “nature” offers a solution. Furthermore, according to the outcomes of their study, childhoods are seen as increasingly less autonomously managed by young people themselves. With urban dwelling on the rise and consequent less contact with nature, there is a decreased time spent in physical activity and more time with technology. In this context, local natural play areas can afford a safe, accessible action space for children’s autonomous play wherein they benefit from greenspace experience – in terms of mental well-being, physical activity and literacy, social development, and learning through play. Of note is how the play value of natural settings is shown to be more diverse but also significant in the palpable sense that children really enjoyed the opportunities to play in hugely diverse ways; natural settings also provided affordances for fruit picking when in season and finding places for adventurous activity as well as places

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to retreat at times from the busyness of the world. Rooted in a quite humanist concern for child development, nature as a key agent is not a lost figure in this chapter.

Advancing the Characteristics of Pedagogies of Place The seven chapters encompass research studies conducted in seven countries in a diverse range of different kinds of nature-based places, including (declining) natural play areas in urban settings, a park or nature reserve on the outskirts of a major city, nature-based play in early childhood education, a gated residential complex, and an outdoor education center in a culturally diverse context. They share an emphasis on place as a prerequisite for experiencing the nonhuman world by treating place as a way to understand children’s entanglements and connections with and care for the living and nonliving world of nature. Table 1 summarizes the characteristics of pedagogies of place identified and discussed in the section chapters. The purpose of this table is to illuminate the materiality of particular places and their unique pedagogical affordances for learning about, in, and for nature (Renshaw & Tooth, 2018). Despite these differences in context, as well as in age group of children involved (e.g., Coulter 7–12 years, Truscott 2.5–5 years), a number of common themes are evident across the chapters, particularly in regard to the intent and focus of the pedagogies of place. First, however, a not surprising recurring theme is that of the need for connecting (or reconnecting) children to nature (Coulter; Lee, Walshe, Sapsed, & Holland; Martens, Friede, & Molitor; Tooth & Renshaw; Truscott; Ward-Smith, Olvitt, & Akhurst). Notwithstanding the risk of continuing the nature child binary that this handbook sets out to disrupt, an assumption of most authors is that children are disconnected from nature, resulting from fairly recent modern phenomena (of, e.g., urban expansion, loss of community, heightened concerns about children’s security) that should be addressed urgently in this time of the Anthropocene by reconnecting children to nature. The benefits for children of pedagogies of place, argue one group of authors (Martens et al.), include mental well-being, physical activity, literacy, social development, and cognitive learning. All chapters expand and/or challenge current understandings and/or preconceptions of place, nature, childhoodnature relationships, and pedagogy. For example, rather than seeing pedagogy as a human-human endeavor, Martens and her co-authors conclude by implying that a more-than-human frame can be used to understand wider place pedagogies (beyond formal education). An example might be how we design public greenspace as a key part of the childhoodnature pedagogy “landscape” (a landscape both literally and metaphorically). The intent would be to harness the nonhuman into the affordances for play and learning – which fits a placeresponsive pedagogy rubric or perspective at a material end of the continuum. Truscott identifies, from her study of nature-based play in early childhood education, children’s positioning along a continuum of connections to nature, from immersion to (material) backdrop.

Urquhart and Picton Global sense of place

Coulter Agencysupportive placebased education

Truscott Martens et al. Nature-based play Nature experience as a form of placeresponsive pedagogy Intent of the To engage To be inclusive by To build agency To build To enhance young pedagogy children’s senses concurrently and develop children’s agency children’s and emotions and capturing inward/ childhoodnature to become fully childhoodnature to build their current (local) and connections “immersed” in connections agency in a place- outward/previous nature-based play through daily responsive (global/ leading to contact with pedagogy (not international) childhoodnature natural treating a natural childhoodnature connections environments place as simply a experiences and through play that site to conduct perspectives of is embedded in nature inquiries) place children’s learning experiences Features or Pedagogical Pedagogies that Strategies to build Strategies to build Local natural play childhoodnature areas afford a safe, characteristics storying are inward and childhoodnature connections accessible action of the strategies, outward looking, agency and through naturespace for pedagogy especially of including local identity based play in early children’s emotionality and and international development childhood autonomous play Indigeneity, to perspectives that through education wherein they cultivate enduring connect to connection and everyday green benefit in terms of interconnections students’ lived imagination spaces mental well-being, with nature experiences physical activity, literacy, social development, and learning

Tooth and Author Renshaw Name of “Storythread” pedagogy (as pedagogy per author/s)

Table 1 Characteristics of pedagogies of place

To create transformative nature-based learning processes that lead to the development of childhoodnature connections

Pedagogies that are decolonizing, ethics-led, and embodied

To build children’s agency and connections to the outdoors and non-human nature

Posthumanism perspective leads to particular pedagogical strategies: e.g., One Minute Maps, Found Mapping

(continued)

Ward-Smith et al. Nature-based decolonized pedagogies

Lee et al. Place-responsive participatory pedagogy

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Author What are the new contributions to pedagogies of place?

Tooth and Renshaw Storying pedagogies that treat children as having agency, being knowledgeable, and emotionally bonded in relation to nature

Table 1 (continued)

Urquhart and Picton Lived experiences of “third culture kids” mean a pedagogical need for an inclusive and globallyminded concept or sense of place for these children Coulter Enhanced understanding of ways to build childhoodnature agency: student (and teacher) agency should enable grounding ecological and moral imaginations deeply in local space

Truscott Educators’ understanding of how children experience naturebased play and their related pedagogy influences children’s positioning along a continuum of connections to nature (from immersion to backdrop)

Martens et al. Expansion of concept/ understanding of place-based pedagogies beyond formal human-human education, e.g., how we design public greenspace is a key part of the childhoodnature pedagogy “landscape” (literally and metaphorically)

Lee et al. Pedagogical role of striving for new norms of humanenvironment relations, including imagination of the next generation, with a constant dialectical conversation between what we are and how we are becoming within nature

Ward-Smith et al. Decolonizing, ethical, and embodied naturebased pedagogies should address potential tensions and resonances between participants’ and educators’ value positionings

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An important reminder of starting from children’s lived experience is provided by Urquhart and Picton. A singular localized sense of place is revealed as incongruent with the experiences of “third culture kids” (TCKs) who spend their developmental years in multiple and diverse physical and sociocultural contexts. The authors argue that immediate contexts are intrinsically linked to the diversity of places experienced by TCKs; this presents both challenges and opportunities for place-based pedagogy in international schools that needs to be undergirded by relational conceptualizations of place. More broadly, Urquhart and Picton draw on the work of Somerville and Green (2015) and argue as they do that “as a conceptual framework, place provides a bridge between the local and global, real and representational, indigenous and non-indigenous, and different disciplinary approaches” (p. 36). They also point out the need to move beyond a singular and conventional understanding of sense of place, acknowledging the work of Massey (1994), who has argued in the past that “the character of a place can only be constructed by linking that place to places beyond. . . .. . .What we need, it seems to me, is a global sense of the local, a global sense of place” (p. 156). Part of lived experience for some children is a cultural history of colonial domination. In their chapter in this section Ward-Smith, Olvitt and Akhurst propose “a potentially transformative triad of decolonising, ethics-led and embodied naturebased pedagogies to address calls for nature-reconnection in this context.” They define decolonizing pedagogies as “approaches to teaching and learning that help learners to recognise and disrupt the structure and powers of colonial influences on their lives and in their communities.” Drawing on McGregor (2012), Ward Smith et al. argue that the purpose of these pedagogies generally is “to re-centre indigenous ways of knowing, doing and relating, and support change-oriented, agentive responses in the world.” Ethics-led pedagogies, the authors explain: engage explicitly and reflexively with the values and ethico-moral positions that people bring to each situation and seek to create challenging but safe spaces for learners to have ever-deepening conversations about what matters to them, why, and how that affects others, now and into the future. (Ward-Smith et al.)

One important theme emerging in four of the chapters including those of Tooth and Renshaw, Coulter, Truscott, and Lee et al. is that of agency. There is a consistent current across these four chapters of enabling children the agency to own and collaboratively lead (with teacher guidance) their own learning and that this is critical for building childhoodnature connections. When considering teacher agency, which is key to teachers having the kind of role envisaged in place-responsive pedagogy, Coulter emphasizes the power of a process of grounding students’ ecological and moral imaginations deeply in local space. Lee et al. argue that the development of new norms of human-environment relations should include imagination of the next generation with a consistent dialectical conversation between where we are now and how we are becoming within nature. This grounding in children’s imaginations coheres with Somerville (2010) who argues that place exists in both a material and imaginative sense. The role and

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importance of imagination can be traced back to Dewey who argued that it is the medium for realizing and appreciating values (Elliott, 2007). Renshaw and Tooth (2018, p. 12) propose that as well as imagining how a place was represented in the past by others, we can consider “how it might be re-inhabited and re-imagined in the present and future through emergent stories.” Embodied learning is identified by several authors as an important characteristic of pedagogies of place. Drawing on Somerville’s (2010) notion of embodiment, Tooth and Renshaw argue that we come to know through the body by walking, touching, smelling, hearing, or sensing in place – but embodiment demands openness to the materiality of the landscape and its agency in shaping what we come to know. Urquhart and Picton acknowledge aligning with Massey (2005) in their understandings of place as relational and involving an unbounded and negotiated process. They add that the meaning of place to the TCKs they studied, drawing on the work of Cele (2006), revealed an emotional relationship dependent on the body, “an embodiment that is even more significant for children who often experience the landscape in more physical ways than adults through outdoor play and exploration.” In addition to embodiment, our relationship to place is constituted in stories (Somerville, 2010). Tooth and Renshaw, in their chapter in this section, describe their experiences in using a pedagogical storying strategy, storythread, to evoke children’s emotional attachment to nonhuman species and the materiality of a specific special local place. They emphasize the critical role of children engaging with animals (birds, insects) and landscape (the forest) as a pathway for children to recognize that the animal and non-animal material world has agency along with themselves. Yet the challenge of enabling children’s agency, as Martens and her co-authors point out, is exacerbated by childhood being seen as increasingly less autonomously managed by young people themselves, while Ward-Smith and her colleagues argue that nature-based pedagogies often subtly project Eurocentric environmental values onto children. Lee et al. delineate the role of teachers in connecting students to nature from observing the work with children of female artists who “follow young people’s lead” but also take initiatives in taking “children to new kinds of places.” Expanding on Lee et al.’s approach, four pedagogical design principles to guide the support of children’s agency are offered by Coulter: age-appropriate youth control, continuous development of skills and dispositions, nurturing interest and commitment through connection, and fostering depth through enhanced interest. It could be argued that what is missing explicitly from the chapters is a coherent account of agency that, from a post-humanist perspective, captures a way of seeing agency as shared beyond the human to the other material living and nonliving objects. Further insights could be gained from exploring how such agency plays out when it comes to pedagogy with/in/or through the material/nature. Also omitted is much account of how collective agency might be exercised. Duhn (2012, p. 100), characterizing “pedagogy-of-place-as-assemblage,” argues that a de-centered learner and distributed agency based on a post-human or more-than-human perspective shift attention “from the individual child to the child’s entanglement with forces and forms of all sorts, both human and more-than-human” (Duhn, 2012, p. 104).

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Mulcahy (2012, p. 21) adds that thinking of pedagogy as assemblage opens up a sense of collective responsibility: for developing and maintaining them [pedagogical relations] are similarly distributed and heterogeneous. This opens up a range of processes that form possibilities for a variety of elements to participate and create effects. The workings of bodies, technologies, texts and teaching desire come into view.

Bowden (2015) suggests a Deleuzian or “assemblage” conception of agency is compatible with a view that humans do have intentions and act in the world but that this world – we can read natural world – is full of forces and affective relations with nonhuman animals and other things. A cautionary note should be added that relational views of agency do not need to distribute agency to the extent that humans have not got an important pedagogical role to play. The key point of the post-human new materialism worldview is that the materiality of the landscape has agency which is intertwined with human agency (Hekman, 2010) and thereby shapes what children learn about/in/for nature. Simply stated, posthumanism brings matter to the forefront in a way that can deepen understanding of outdoor learning (Quinn, 2013). However, the ontological turn asks for something more than a “worldview.” For educators, it is not about getting the ideology exposed (akin to critical place-based education/pedagogy of the last century) before you teach about nature experience per se (although materials are important), it is how materials and discourses are attuned to, in and through the pedagogy, in the planning, in the enactment, and in the outcomes of nature-based place learning. In other words, as Somerville (2010) argues, a thoroughly relational ontology is not a view from any “where” that is not a place. What is important, one pair of the contributors argues elsewhere, is that the core process of teaching and learning is both pedagogically and ontologically linked to create a praxis of pedagogies of place (Renshaw & Tooth, 2018).

Conclusion Much literature over time has argued constructively for why place, especially natural place, is an important pedagogical site in which the child can explore nature, including their own positioning as part of nature. The chapters in this section represent an effort to explore how childhoodnature can be pedagogically enabled with a focus on new materialist approaches that offer a new ontological lens. Further, to some degree, the chapters explain what the outcomes or effects are in embodied ways for lived experiences through encounters with other species and the materiality’s of place. In Quinn’s (2013, p. 739) words, the contributors to this section have used “post-human ideas to advance theoretical understanding” of nature-based learning,” while most have also used these ideas to work with empirical data on this learning, “in order to demonstrate post-humanism’s analytic capacity” (op cit, p. 739). The contributors portray place itself as (re)constructed and experienced by children and teachers in which pedagogies are perhaps best summarily captured by

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Urquhart and Picton’s citation of Ruitenberg’s (2005, p. 218) concept of a “radical pedagogy of place” which is “a pedagogy of ‘place’ under deconstruction, a pedagogy that understands experience as mediated, that understands the ‘local’ as producing and being produced by the trans-local, and that understands ‘community’ as community-to-come.” Further, according to Ruitenberg, students are encouraged to see the diversity of conflicts over interpretations of place for which there are no correct answers, as well as the meanings of the place in the past and the openness to future interpretations and constructions of meaning. Based on our limited review of some of this literature and the contributions of the seven sets of authors, there may remain a need for future empirical research to understand the: (a) Outcomes and effects for diverse groups of learners experiencing diverse kinds of pedagogies across different kinds of outdoor natural settings (b) Inputs in particular contexts educators need to provide to facilitate desired outcomes (e.g., sustainable lifestyles, physically active citizens, knowledgeable conservationists) (c) Planning and policies at a system level for nature-based places (parks, greening, school grounds, etc.) that are needed as the population lives more and more in cities

References Ballantyne, R., & Packer, J. (2008). Learning for sustainability: The role and impact of outdoor and environmental education centres. St. Lucia, Australia: School of Tourism, University of Queensland. Ballantyne, R., & Packer, J. (2009). Introducing a fifth pedagogy: Experience-based strategies for facilitating learning in natural environments. Environmental Education Research, 15(2), 243–262. Barad, K. (2003). Posthumanist performativity: Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter. Signs, 28(3), 801–831. Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the universe half way: Quantum physics and the entanglements of matter and meaning. London: Duke University Press. Bonnett, M. (2013). Sustainable development, environmental education, and the significance of being in place. The Curriculum Journal, 24(2), 250–271. Bowden, S. (2015). Human and non-human agency in Deleuze. In J. Rolfe & H. Stark (Eds.), Deleuze and the non/human (pp. 60–80). London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. Cele, S. (2006). Communicating Place: Methods for Understanding Children’s Experience of Place (Doctoral dissertation, Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis). Chawla, L., & Derr, V. (2012). The development of conservation behaviors in childhood and youth. In S. Clayton (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of environmental and conservation psychology (pp. 527–555). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Corraliza, J. A., Collado, S., & Bethelmy, L. (2012). Nature as a moderator of stress in urban children. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 38, 253–263. Cutter-Mackenzie, A., Edwards, S., Moore, D., & Boyd, W. (2014). Young children’s play and environmental education in early childhood education. Geneva, Switzerland: Springer. Duhn, I. (2012). Places for pedagogies, pedagogies for places. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 13(2), 99–107. https://doi.org/10.2304/ciec.2012.13.2.99

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Elliott, J. (2007). From ‘human capital’ theory to ‘capability theory’ as a driver of curriculum reform. In B. Somekh & T. Schwandt (Eds.), Knowledge production: Research work in interesting times (pp. 142–165). London, UK: Routledge. Fesmire, S. (2010). Ecological imagination. Environmental Ethics, 32(2), 183–203. https://doi.org/ 10.5840/enviroethics201032219. Fesmire, S. (2012). Ecological imagination in moral education, East and West. Contemporary Pragmatism, 9(1), 205–222. Greenwood, D. (2013). A critical theory of place-conscious education. In R. Stevenson, M. Brody, J. Dillon, & A. Wals (Eds.), International handbook of research in environmental education (pp. 93–100). New York, NY: AERA/Routledge. Gruenewald, D. (2003a). Foundations of place: A multidisciplinary framework for place-conscious education. American Educational Research Journal, 40(3), 619–654. Gruenewald, D. A. (2003b). The best of both worlds: A critical pedagogy of place. Educational Researcher, 32(4), 3–12. Gruenewald, D., & Smith, G. (2008). Place-based education in the global age. Abingdon: Taylor and Francis. Hekman, S. (2010). The material of knowledge: Feminist disclosures. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. James, P. (2017). Alternative paradigms for sustainability: Decentring the human without becoming posthuman. In K. Malone, S. Truong, & T. Gray (Eds.), Reimagining sustainability in precarious times (pp. 29–44). Singapore, Singapore: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-2550-1_3 Knapp, C. (1996). Just beyond the Classroom: Community Adventures for Interdisciplinary Learning. ERIC/CRESS, PO Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325–1348. Louv, R. (2006). Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books. Mannion, G., Fenwick, A., & Lynch, J. (2013). Place responsive pedagogy: Learning from teachers’ experiences of excursions in nature. Environmental Education Research, 19(6), 792–809. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2012.749980 Martin, P. (2004). Outdoor adventure in promoting relationships with nature. Australian Journal of Outdoor Education, 8(1), 20–28. Massey, D. (1994). A global sense of place space, place and gender. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Massey, D. (2005). For Space. London: Palgrave. McGregor, C. (2012). Art-informed pedagogy: Tools for social transformation. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 31(3), 309–324. Mulcahy, D. (2012). Affective assemblages: Body matters in the pedagogic practices of contemporary school classrooms. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 20(1), 9–27. Nxumalo, F. (2015). Forest stories: Restorying encounters with ‘natural’ places in early childhood education. In V. Pacini-Ketchabaw & A. Taylor (Eds.), Unsettling the colonial places and spaces of early childhood education (pp. 21–42). New York, NY: Routledge. Nxumalo, F., & Pacini-Ketchabaw, V. (2017). ‘Staying with the trouble’ in child-insect-educator common worlds. Environmental Education Research, 23(10), 1414–1426. Pederson, H. (2010). Is the Posthuman educable? Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 31(2), 327–347. Quinn, J. (2013). Theorizing learning and nature: Posthuman possibilities and problems. Gender and Education, 25(6), 738–753. Renshaw, P., & Tooth, R. (Eds.). (2018). Diverse pedagogies of place. London, UK: Routledge. Ross, H., & Mannion, G. (2012). Curriculum making as the enactment of dwelling in places. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 31(3), 303–313. Ruitenberg, C. (2005). Deconstructing the experience of the local: Toward a radical pedagogy of place. Philosophy of education, 212–220. Smith, G. A. (2002). Place-based education: Learning to be where we are. Phi Delta Kappan, 83(8), 584–594.

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Sobel, D. (2004). Place-based education: Connecting classroom and community. Nature and Listening, 4, 1–7 Available from kohalacenter.org [Downloaded 14 January, 2018] Soga, M., & Gaston, K. J. (2016). Extinction of experience: The loss of human–nature interactions. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 14(2), 94–101. https://doi.org/10.1002/fee.1225 Somerville, M. (2010). A place pedagogy for ‘global contemporaneity. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 42(3), 326–344. Somerville, M., & Green, M. (2015). Children, place and sustainability. London, UK: Routledge. Stevenson, R., Nichols, J., & Whitehouse, H. (2016). What is climate change education? Curriculum Perspectives, 37(1), 67–71. Stevenson, R., & Smith, G. (2018). Environmental educators learning and theorizing placeresponsive pedagogies. In P. Renshaw & R. Tooth (Eds.), Diverse pedagogies of place (pp. 190–210). London, UK: Routledge. Taylor, A. (2017). Beyond stewardship: Common world pedagogies for the Anthropocene. Environmental Education Research, 23(10), 1448–1461. Taylor, A. (2018). Engaging with the conceptual tools and challenges of poststructural theories. In M. Fleer & B. van Oers (Eds.), International handbook of early childhood education (pp. 91–115). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. Taylor, A., & Pacini-Ketchabaw, V. (2015). Learning with children, ants, and worms in the Anthropocene: Towards a common world pedagogy of multispecies vulnerability. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 23(4), 507–529. Van Matre, S. W. (1990). Earth education: A new beginning. Warrenville, IL: Institute of Earth Education. Wattchow, B., & Brown, M. (2011). A pedagogy of place: Outdoor education for a changing world. Melbourne, Australia: Monash University Publishing.

Childhoodnature – An Assemblage Adventure Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, Karen Malone, and Elisabeth Barratt Hacking

Contents Embarking on a New Childhoodnature Adventure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grandtour of Childhoodnature Handbook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Section 1: Childhoodnature Theoretical Perspectives (Section Editors: Professor Karen Malone, Dr Iris Duhn and Dr Mark Tesar) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Section 2: Childhoodnature Research Methodologies (Section Editor: Professor Paul Hart) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Section 3: Cultural, Political, and Wild Perspectives of Childhoodnature (Section Editors: Professor Sean Blenkinsop and Professor Peter Kahn) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Section 4: Childhoodnature and the Anthropocene: An Epoch of “Cenes” (Section Editors: Professor Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, Professor Karen Malone and A/Professor Hilary Whitehouse and Professor Marianne Krasny) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Childhoodnature Companion (Companion Editors/Curators: Dr Helen Widdop Quinton, Dr Laura Piersol, Dr David Rousell and Dr Joshua Russell) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Section 5: Childhoodnature Significant Life Experience (Section Editors: Elisabeth Barratt Hacking, Dr Debra Cushing and Professor Robert Barratt) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Section 6: Childhoodnature Ecological Systems (Section Editors: Dr Marianne Logan and Dr Helen Widdop Quinton) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Section 7: Childhoodnature Animal Relations (Section Editors: Professor Pauliina Rautio and Tracy Young) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Section 8: Childhoodnature Pedagogies and Place (Section Editors: Professor Bob Stevenson, Dr Greg Mannion and Dr Snowy Evans) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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A. Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles (*) School of Education, Sustainability, Environment and the Arts in Education (SEAE) Research Cluster, Southern Cross University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia e-mail: [email protected] K. Malone Department of Education, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, NSW, Australia e-mail: [email protected] E. Barratt Hacking Department of Education, University of Bath, Bath, UK e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019 A. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, Springer International Handbooks of Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51949-4_2-1

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Section 9: Childhoodnature Ecological Aesthetics and the Learning Environment (Section Editors: Dr David Rousell and Professor Dilafruz Williams) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Childhoodnature Emergence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Abstract

What follows in this International handbook are nine distinct sections, together with a companion authored by children and young people. It is the first handbook on childhoodnature research, theory, and practice – a new field of research and inquiry. In the handbook introduction, we initially invite readers to join us for a grandtour of the handbook and companion, followed by a rich discussion on the new concept “childhoodnature” co-created by the handbook editors. Keywords

Childhoodnature · Assemblage · Posthuman · Anthropocene · Childhood

Embarking on a New Childhoodnature Adventure “The adventures first” as Lewis Caroll would say. This handbook is an adventure. A new adventure of thought; indeed a thought experiment. It experiments through the compilation of new and old ideas enmeshed into one collection.

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We are sitting together at a set of table and chairs constructed for small children. I feel uncomfortable, unstable, my knees are bent. I am slightly hunched over so I can attentively watch at the actions of the small child next to me, without getting too close. Sara has the packet of developed photographs from the disposable camera she handed to me a week ago. She had run up to me with an air of excitement when I had arrived in the Kindergarten room. She wouldn’t be disappointed. I had the photographs. She opens the packet and starts to methodically pull each one out. She pauses at each, looks at it for a while, then places it on the table in front of her. She stops at one photograph and holds it in her hands. Putting aside the packet with the unviewed photographs still contained inside, she holds the photograph in both hands. For where I am sitting I can see the photograph she is holding has the trunk of two trees and the perspective is as if it was taken looking up into the tree from the ground. I pause and allow her to guide the process. ‘I took this in the park’ she says quietly, almost like she is speaking to herself. I nod my head. ‘I am a leaf fallen from the tree’. She turns her head to see my reaction. I nod again. She pauses, still looking at me, ‘from that tree’, she says and points to the tree on the right of the photograph. She then gets off the chair on the floor beside me and lays down on her back. She is once again becoming a leaf. I sit still, quietly watching. She is still, quietly being a leaf. (Extract from Malone (2018), Children in the Anthropocene (used with permission of the author))

Grandtour of Childhoodnature Handbook Through its 81 chapters, including the companion, the Research Handbook on Childhoodnature provides an assemblage of research in the field of childhoodnature. Likened to an assemblage as espoused by Deleuze and Guattari (1987) in their book “a thousand plateaus” the handbook can be entered and exited at any point. It has content and form, ways of being and becoming with many ideas and concepts, some new, many in between old and new and other speculative around how the field could be and the contribution it could make in future thinking. At present no such handbook or major work of this breadth and depth of theoretical and applied thinking and research in the field exists, but beyond this is for the first time it invites children and young people to walk alongside adult researchers and provide their own perspectives through a range of multimodals episodes. With the advent of a re-turning of the “children in nature” movement, the “new nature movement” has seen an increase in producing the practice and nature of outdoor and nature education that has led to a resurgence in public visibility of the field (see Fletcher, 2017; Gill, 2011; Kahn, 1999; Kahn & Kellert, 2002; Kellert, 2002; Louv, 2011, 2016; Malone, 2016; Malone, Birrell, Boyle, & Gray, 2015; Sobel, 1996, 2008; Taylor, 2013). At the public interface, this resurgence has primarily been orchestrated on a small collection of well-known books (for example Louv, 2005, 2011, 2016). These books, although focused on the ways and means of educating children in nature and effective in engaging the (minority Western) public in such matters (Alam, 2008), have tended not to problematize the implications for this field or be instrumental in supporting new theoretical perspectives and associated research methodologies. Further, we argue that this work maintains the nature-culture binary, which we find

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problematic, by suggesting a separation between children and nature. As a response the new concept of childhoodnature aligns with a posthuman turn in educational and childhoodnature research and, associated with this, the recognition that humans are having an unprecedented planetary impact on Earth in this time of the Anthropocene. To this extent, posthumanist ontologies reject “that humans are the only species capable of producing knowledge and instead creates openings for other forms/ things/objects/beings/phenomenon to know” (Ulmer, 2017, p. 834). Such ontological thinking troubles traditional and scientific ways of knowing between species, opening up “a wealth of research possibilities. . . when humans are decentered as the only possible knowers” (Ulmer, 2017, p. 834). The intent of this handbook was therefore to bring together children and researchers interested in the new concept of childhoodnature, whose research work reflected our commitment to problematizing views around childhood and nature and progressing “childhoodnature” work. Here, we offered an opportunity for researchers to gather into a new research collective and, as such, build the momentum. To these ends, this handbook’s endeavor is to consolidate the field of childhoodnature research; it provides an avenue for considering the terrain that lies ahead to continue to build the influence and impact of the field. It provides key information on childhoodnature research together with its underpinning theoretical perspectives and inter-/trans-/antidisciplinary relationships. Uniquely, this handbook assembles existing research themes and seminal authors in the childhoodnature field alongside new cutting-edge research and researchers drawing on cross-cultural and international research data. From the onset, the underlying objectives of the handbook were twofold: • Opening up spaces for childhoodnature researchers in what we have termed a childhoodnature collective; and • Assembling Childhoodnature Research into one Collection that informs education and the social sciences The handbook’s nine sections were edited by 22 Section Editors who took oversight of those particular sections. The sections and editors include: 1. Childhoodnature Theoretical Perspectives (Section Editors: Professor Karen Malone, A/Professor Iris Duhn and Dr Mark Tesar) 2. Childhoodnature Research Methodologies (Section Editor: Professor Paul Hart) 3. Cultural, Political and Wild Perspectives of Childhoodnature (Section Editors: Professor Sean Blenkinsop and Professor Peter Kahn) 4. Childhoodnature and the Anthropocene: An Epoch of “Cenes” (Section Editors: Professor Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, Professor Karen Malone and A/Professor Hilary Whitehouse and Professor Marianne Krasny) 5. Childhoodnature Significant Life Experience (Section Editors: Elisabeth Barratt Hacking, Dr Debra Cushing and Professor Robert Barratt) 6. Childhoodnature Ecological Systems (Section Editors: Dr Marianne Logan and Dr Helen Widdop Quinton)

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7. Childhoodnature Animal Relations (Section Editors: Professor Pauliina Rautio and Tracy Young) 8. Childhoodnature Pedagogies and Place (Section Editors: Professor Bob Stevenson, Dr Greg Mannion and Dr Snowy Evans) 9. Childhoodnature Ecological Aesthetics and the Learning Environment (Section Editors: Dr David Rousell and Professor Dilafruz Williams) The handbook also includes a childhoodnature Companion authored by children and young people, edited/curated by distinguished early career researchers (Dr Helen Widdop Quinton, Dr. Laura Piersol, Dr. David Rousell and Dr. Joshua Russell) supported by a panel of youth reviewers. The companion is located in the middle of the handbook signifying its centrality. It operates as a milieu akin to Deleuze and Guattari’s (1987) conception of milieu that is vibratory, chaotic yet relational. The companion vibrates through/in/as the handbook where children are nature.

Section 1: Childhoodnature Theoretical Perspectives (Section Editors: Professor Karen Malone, Dr Iris Duhn and Dr Mark Tesar) In setting out on an uncertain and tenuous adventure into the future, theories are needed which can help humans effectively respond to the rapidly changing conditions of everyday life on earth. This is particularly the case in the emerging field of childhoodnature studies, as children themselves will be forced to grapple with existential threats associated with the onset of the Anthropocene era, including climate change, social instability, and water crises, among many others. This section assembles a theoretical toolkit which can enable childhoodnature encounters to flourish into the Anthropocene and indeed post-Anthropocene. In this undertaking, this section does not put diverse theoretical perspectives into competition but rather assembles theories as tools which can produce sparks when knocked together. These are theories that you can pack up and take for a walk, theories that can help get you out of sticky situations, and theories which children themselves can use to address the crises which they will inevitably inherit. As such, this section puts multiple philosophical perspectives into consequential relation such that they can become productive in their differences. This endeavor asks us to take stock of theories which have been productive in the field to this point and also to seek new theories which are emerging in direct response to the contemporary moment.

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Section 2: Childhoodnature Research Methodologies (Section Editor: Professor Paul Hart) This section focuses on the framing of childhoodnature research and its interpretations and applications, as well as trends and issues. Methodological inquiry in the social sciences normally rests upon certain epistemological interests, ontological assumptions, and axiological commitments. This basic frame of research is complicated further in environmental education research when the formative context of childhoodnature is included. Additional demands are placed on the conceptualization, contextualization, representation, and legitimation of the research problem, purposes, processes, values, and inevitably, usefulness. Methodological deliberations and debates in environmental education research have a four decade long history (strictly in a Western minority sense) but are now subject to “new” theoretical perspectives introduced in Section 1 while also drawing inspiration from the rise of the environmental arts, humanities, sciences, and related genres of emergent inquiry. Paradigmatic change for childhoodnature is a potential – exacerbated practically by the local-global consequences of the Anthropocene now being felt intergenerationally and lived cross culturally. Children and childhood are particularly vulnerable. How, and in what ways, does methodological inquiry about the researcher-researched (childhoodnatures) relationship access children’s lived experiences; historicized selves/subjectivities and identity formations including family and schooling ecologies; actions and interactions with (and against) nature; and “worldviews”? Methodological inquiries into the framings, interpretations/applications, and trends/issues supported by, where possible, distinctive empirical insights are invited. Exemplary contributions to this section demonstrate how the methodological reflexivity of childhoodnature studies advances the qualities, values, status, and efficacy of environmental education research and the social sciences more broadly.

Section 3: Cultural, Political, and Wild Perspectives of Childhoodnature (Section Editors: Professor Sean Blenkinsop and Professor Peter Kahn) This small yet significant section speaks to the transformative power of children interacting with nature, and more wild nature, in diverse settings, including schools. It considers investigations of nature and wildness, nature as teacher, and educational, political, social, and cultural transformation. Consideration is given to ways in which current and near future (often digital) technologies are impacting children’s learning and experience of nature and authenticity of relation. Chapters also include innovative educational work that is currently happening that imagines beyond the boundaries of conventional affluent minority educational norms. Linkages are established between theory, practice, ethics, diversity, and contested ideas of childhoodnature.

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Section 4: Childhoodnature and the Anthropocene: An Epoch of “Cenes” (Section Editors: Professor Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, Professor Karen Malone and A/Professor Hilary Whitehouse and Professor Marianne Krasny) Section Four troubles childhoodnature and the Anthropocene, a scientific and popular term used to described the present human-nature conditions on planet Earth. The section does this through eight contributions which broadly speak to four ‘cenes’, namely: children in the Anthropocene – child-cene; woman in the Anthropocene – gyno-cene; Cities as sites of the Anthropocene – city-cene; and relations with the morethanhuman – kin-cene. The lines though between/within/ through these identified cenes are porous and enmeshed.

Childhoodnature Companion (Companion Editors/Curators: Dr Helen Widdop Quinton, Dr Laura Piersol, Dr David Rousell and Dr Joshua Russell) This “Companion” to the Childhoodnature Handbook is a co-creation between children, young people, and adults, curated by four academics and five graduate students to bring children and young people’s voices to the foreground. What does it mean to create a Companion? How might the voices of children and young people become “companions” with the other chapters that make up this Handbook? The Companion editors began the process of compiling and curating the Companion with these open questions in mind. They wanted to explore how a notion of companionship could grow and develop organically and perhaps become something more than what we had expected. In early 2017, the Companion Editors extended an international call for contributions from children and young people all over the world. The call asked for children and young people (from early childhood to 25) to submit essays, photographs, poetry, drawings, creative writing, or personal narratives that expressed their experiences and understandings of childhoodnature. They asked for “anything and everything that you, as children, teenagers, and young people (ages 0–25), might contribute that draws on your ideas about nature, your experiences with animals, or your thoughts about environmental issues.” The companion editors’ editorial approach to constructing the Companion has attempted to preserve the quality and diversity of the submissions that they received. They also worked with youth reviewers who helped to shape their approach and understanding of the material. The Companion is something new in academic publishing – there were no models or templates to guide either the Handbook Editors or Companion Editors. Rather than attempting to represent, interpret, or categorize the experiences of children and young people, the Companion Editors created four distinct compositions of interwoven feelings, places, sensations, and ideas:

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Composition 1: stories of human and nonhuman relation Composition 2: practices of sense and sensation Composition 3: eco-poetics of childhoodnature encounter Composition 4: the childhoodnature imaginary In putting these compositions together, the Companion Editors endeavored to give each submission space to breathe, inhabit, and saturate the page, while also weaving together different voices and geographical locations to produce a range of feelings and sensations for the reader.

Section 5: Childhoodnature Significant Life Experience (Section Editors: Elisabeth Barratt Hacking, Dr Debra Cushing and Professor Robert Barratt) Being in nature as a child has long been reported as an important contributor to being an advocate for the environment later in life. This section investigates the multiplecomplexities about what people attribute their significant lived experiences to and how it has shaped their environmental choices. Significant Life Experiences (SLE) was coined in 1980 by Tom Tanner (Chawla, 1998) who inspired an avid interest in this area of research. Tanner’s ground-breaking study identified affective experiences in nature that had an impact upon people’s respect and appreciation for the environment. Following on from Tanner’s work, further research has also endorsed and confirmed the power of SLE in nature. But what is it about these SLEs that have such an impact upon people’s lives? The quality of SLE has been shown to influence learning, not just in early childhood but throughout life. Chawla has noted that natural areas, family influences, organization, negative experiences, and/or education have been attributed to creating these SLE. While children are often not able to recall these experiences, they do shape lifelong learning, which clearly develops into personal adult characteristics, as is demonstrated by adults’ reflections upon their experiences. This section provides a snapshot of current research and associated understandings of SLE in childhoodnature. Authors draw on SLE reported from around the world contextualizing the influence of society, people, and culture on childhoodnature relationships and theorize on the meaning of both social disadvantages and negative environmental experiences. By developing deeper understanding of these experiences, authentic achievements in environmental education are afforded.

Section 6: Childhoodnature Ecological Systems (Section Editors: Dr Marianne Logan and Dr Helen Widdop Quinton) Section 6 focuses on childhoodnature within the complexity of the entanglement of the biological environment with the physical environment. It incorporates childhoodnature in the light of the magnitude of environmental change as a result of human activity,

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indeed the Anthropocence. Ecological literacy, ecological thinking, ecological identity, and whole systems thinking are central to the eight chapters which comprise this Section. The section (re)explores systems thinking, ecological systems and the interaction of humans within those systems. The chapters reveal a posthuman turn for reconceptualizing ecological systems thinking in childhoodnature.

Section 7: Childhoodnature Animal Relations (Section Editors: Professor Pauliina Rautio and Tracy Young) Until recent times human-animal relationships have received minimal attention from educational and social science research or have rarely focused on children’s interspecies relations. We know that animals matter in the lives of children and the Handbook and Section Editors have chosen to privilege these human-animal relationships through this section. The complex relationships with children, animals, and environment provide a space for ethical considerations that critique the social positioning of animals in education and society. The ten chapters provoke a diversity of (re)thinking of child/animal relationships in communities, families, and education with a range of suggested ways that animals can be elevated as crucial components of pedagogical theory and practice. The authors grapple with taken-for-granted interspecies relationships in their messy, complex, and multiple forms, looking beyond the hidden, the marginalized, the unexplained, and the ill-considered. This questioning of multiple relatings has the potential to (re)imagine new models, theories, and ways of crossing boundaries that blur the illusion of separation between children and animals.

Section 8: Childhoodnature Pedagogies and Place (Section Editors: Professor Bob Stevenson, Dr Greg Mannion and Dr Snowy Evans) This section explores a range of pedagogies enacted in diverse contexts with a childhoodnature focus. Place is an integral element of childhoodnature experience and education; this section represents writing that engages with a depth of pedagogical understandings and a breadth of pedagogical repertoires. The way that childhoodnature centric approaches promote critical thinking, problem solving, resilience, adaptability, and preparedness in the current and future global uncertainties is considered and discussed in this section. The seven chapters in this section document current research and thinking about place and pedagogy supported with illustrative vignettes and case studies from a range of educational contexts.

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Section 9: Childhoodnature Ecological Aesthetics and the Learning Environment (Section Editors: Dr David Rousell and Professor Dilafruz Williams) This section explores the ecological and aesthetic dimensions of learning environments in which childhoodnature encounters take place. While environmental education has traditionally placed children in contact with a relational and interconnected world, too often the aesthetic dimensions of these encounters have been overlooked. As revealed across the ten chapters in this section, eco-aesthetics provides fertile grounds for interdisciplinary research and practice which attends to richly textured compositions of childhoodnature through a diverse range of material, social, and conceptual practices. Such approaches have become increasingly relevant following the onset of the Anthropocene epoch, which has provoked new modes of thinking and practice transgressing established barriers between the arts, humanities, sciences, and technology. In attending to the sensuous and affective qualities of childhoodnature encounters, multiple sites are opened up as vital spaces for children to respond to the changing material conditions of everyday life. These spaces are not limited to national parks, remote wilderness areas, nature schools, or community gardens but also include art galleries, online environments, museums, urban landscapes, everyday domestic spaces, among many other settings. Each of these sites of engagement can be considered inherently ecological and aesthetic spaces which afford and constrain the very possibilities for movement, learning, and thought. This perspective supports methodological turns towards arts-based, creative, and sensory practices in educational research with children.

A Childhoodnature Emergence In recent years, there has been a significant return to the enduring sentiment that providing opportunities for children to be immersed in “nature” particularly in the places close to where they live is an essential way to support children’s opportunities to reconnect with the planet. Premised on the argument that a nature-child connection is essential for their health, well-being, and their potentiality to be environmental stewards and that unless children are re-natured then all these attributes would be compromised. This is a significant challenge, engaging children to be the potential “masters” (using this term is to signify how humans, particularly male Eurocentric humans, have come to view themselves in relation to nature) of the Earth’s destiny on behalf of the human/nonhuman species. Educators in sustainable development, environmental, and nature education as fields of educational study have sought to idealize and argue that the central challenge of education is to encourage and entice the human moral desire to “conserve nature,” to “protect animals,” and for children to grow up and be politically active agents for change (see Cutter-Mackenzie & Rousell, 2018; Cutter-Mackenzie, Edwards, Moore, & Boyd, 2014; Rousell, CutterMackenzie, & Foster, 2017). Big-ticket environmental issues such as limits to production, climate change, and animal conservation are the backbone of

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sustainability, environmental, and nature education; to be able to “overcome” these significant global issues, a well-educated and natured child willing to have the moral certitude to take up the challenges has been viewed as essential. Cutter-Mackenzie et al. (2014, p. 26) caution such “child” positionings: An anthropocentric perspective emphasises the use of the environment for human gain, and so sustainability is associated for some scholars with responding to this use so that children become ‘agents of change’, working to protect the earth’s resources from being depleted. Whilst this approach undoubtedly has value. . . critics argue that an ecocentric [relational] perspective is more appropriate.

Taylor (2017, p. 1462) further problemalizes stewardship in environmental education and traces this belief in the potential environmental immersion to produce agents of change back to the writings of Wilson (1993), Chawla (2009) and the historical traditions of Rousseau: “. . . the close association of young children with nature can be traced back to Rousseau’s figurative ‘Nature’s Child’ legacy and the subsequent Romantic western cultural traditions that perpetuate the view that young children have a special and close affinity with the natural world (see Taylor, 2013, pp. 3–57). From this legacy, the assumption is that, if nurtured, children’s ‘biophilia’ (or innate love of nature) will predispose them to become environmental stewards” (p. 5). Taylor (2017) then goes on to argue that these beliefs are a divergence between good romantic nature and bad evil culture with children positioned as “bad culture” in need of a return/reconnect back to their pure natured bodies. She argues that these beliefs are supported by a set of two keenly held assumptions: “Firstly, they assume that nature exists ‘out there’ in a pure space that is somehow separate to the corrupting cultural/technological/urban domain in which most children grow up” (p. 1452); and “Secondly, and concomitantly, they assume that young children’s ‘natural’ place is in nature, and that the increasing paucity of children’s first hand nature experiences in their overly urban lives constitutes a threat to their wellbeing” (p. 1452). These beliefs have been supported also through much of the recent studies by agencies such as the US-based child and nature network (https://www.children andnature.org) where the focus is on creating opportunities to enhance children’s experiences and capacity to encounter “real” nature. In their fervor to improve what may have been viewed as degraded environments or deprived children, what they have not done is look closely at the relations of those entities and things that surround and embrace children in the urban places where they live. Questions about what the meanings of those child-nature encounters are or even to acknowledge that children, no matter where they are (in slums or in a conservation park), are engaging with a range of different types of “nature” relations have been missing from the literature, something explored and unpacked deeply in this childhoodnature handbook. Dickinson, for instance, has argued in the past that (2013, p. 7) “Fall-recovery narratives can be problematic in how they reify the human-nature split, obscure environmental justice, influence irresponsible behavior, and normalize contemporary conditions and relationships.” What she means by fall-recovery narratives is a

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form of reminiscing about the past that has been sanitized/romanticized in order to present a specific view of childhood and nature. That is, for example, the view that “the past was always ‘good’ and ‘virtuousness’ particularly in terms of the childnature relationship and the focus should be on returning children to this desired natured state” (Malone, 2018). The past generation is sentimentalized as having grown up in an utopian dream in which all children had a childhood where they were safer, had more freedom to be “children,” and were left to explore nature (particularly wild nature). This return to a “better” nature relation is contrived on an assumption that past generations had a closer and more intimate relation with the planet and “de-emphasizes” according to Dickinson (2013, p. 7) “a long history of environmental degradation and disconnectedness.” Past studies on children’s perceptions of nature in a range of urban and peri-urban environments reveal that unlike the simplified and commodified definitions of “childhoodnature relations,” child/nature relations are complex and these encounters of children with and through their natured selves, as nature, with nature, being entangled with natural entities can often be uncomfortable, difficult, and tricky. We do not need to go far back into the literature to find this work. Teenagers in Wals’s (1994) early study on perceptions of nature (one of the first ever in the field), for example, defined their view of “nature” as a threatening place and validated an anthropocentric desire by the young people to control, tame and manage the wilds. In his study, the students’ perception of nature was based upon “..a combination of their own fantasies and the unspeakable acts that occur in local parks, which are often well documented by the media” (p. 132). In their home neighborhood, the students feared the forest and trees. One student remarked that they would prefer forests with “just enough trees to give you shade, but not enough for murderers and rapists to be able to hide behind them” (p. 135). Wals’s (1994) results are consistent with other research studies where “nature” (including animals) can be viewed as both threatening and fascinating (Evans, 2013; Evans et al., 2007; Phenice & Griffore, 2003). Participatory research with 10–12 year old children in a disadvantaged urban area of the UK (Barratt Hacking et al., 2007) found that children held a realist rather than romanticized view of childhoodnature relations. While this research predates the new concept of childhoodnature, looking back it is clear that childhoodnature experience was important to the children. Specifically, they demonstrated concern for the (local) environment for themselves, other children, and adults and more than human nature. The children conveyed a real sense of emotional attachment to, and physical engagement with, the local environment (Barratt & Barratt Hacking, 2008). Despite living in a disadvantaged environment, the children viewed more than human nature as integral and important to their lives and their locality. The research found that children had intricate local environment knowledge which “is generated through exploration and play, passed to the children from their peers and families through stories, and is renewed through contact with each other, with older children, with adults” (Barratt Hacking et al., 2007, p. 131). Green spaces in the form of parks and school grounds, though limited in this urban area, were significant in children’s lives, not least as places beyond the adult gaze to play, socialize, and enjoy. Nevertheless, there were concerns about how older youths and adults posed a threat

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to the children’s safety and enjoyment in the park and to the wildlife contained in it. The child researchers’ analysis of data they gathered about their own and their peers’ local environment perspectives led them to conclude that: Many of us move around without adults now. . . we have detailed knowledge that is different to adults and we use our knowledge differently to them. The environment is important to us, we want more wildlife, we want a cleaner and safer environment, we want to care for the environment. (Barratt Hacking & Barratt, 2009, p. 379)

While attaching great importance to local environment quality the children reported that they and their peers have “difficulty taking action to achieve what they want for their local environment; (and) do not know how to go about it” (Barratt Hacking et al., 2013, p. 447). The evidence from this research showed how the children viewed their natural worlds as intertwined with their socio-cultural worlds and that children have “a strong desire to be involved in local improvement; for example, they are concerned about environmental quality and would like to see more habitats” (Barratt Hacking et al., 2007, p. 132). Then taking into account the diversity of children and childhoods now existing in multiple ways of knowing being in the world, childhoodnature has the opportunity to open up a range of different possibilities. Hordyk, Dulde, and Shem (2014), for example, reporting on their study of immigrant and refugee children in Canada revealed that for children coming from majority world nations: “Nature was not a utopian ideal waiting to be experienced by children” and “human and animal predators made walks in a forest dangerous pass-times” (p. 6). Malone (2018, p. 124) also revealed this less than romantic view of childhoodnature relations from her studies in Bolivia which are further expanded in the handbook: The majority of children growing up in the slums of La Paz although in a built and very altered environment were deeply embedded in the potential of intra-acting with the natural environment. This was not an imagined pure nature, a wooded forest with birds and butterflies; it is the difficult dirty gritty world of living in poverty with nature through shared material matter.

The world outside of the Western minority gaze also reveals a view of the natural world as entangled in cosmological philosophies dating back for thousands of years in many indigenous nations. The diversity of possibilities and potential for childhoodnature as a means for relational ways of being with nature, child, and earth allows something new and old to happen differently: Children in La Paz are deeply entangled in a relation with their natural world. This is not just a worldly present relation but a deeply entrenched history of reverence and respect for nature and the earth that has evolved through their indigenous spiritual beliefs of the Pachamama. (Pachma meaning ‘cosmos’ and mama meaning ‘mother’). In the indigenous philosophy of the Andean people, the Pachamama is a goddess. She is Mother Earth. She sustains life on earth. Water, Earth, Sun, and Moon are Mother Earth’s four Quechuan cosmological entities. (Malone, 2018, p. 103)

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Conclusion By shifting away from the child in nature as the only agential body and focusing on the materiality of child bodies and the bodies of other nonhuman entities as relational assemblages allows this new ethical imagining for children and their encounters with place and nature. In this handbook, we are seeking to reframe the importance of childhoodnature relational encounters as central to children’s collective agency with and through being with others. This allows us to realize the messy, entangled natures of living in a less than romantic world. Throughout the world at this time of the Anthropocene, children are living natured lives with a host of others. A focus on the human subject to the detriment of ‘other’ possible agentic subjects has narrowed the view of child-nature relations and supported the Cartesian divides human/nature, adult/child, and self/other. Taylor (2013, p. 66) describing the recent conversations in the field states: . . . such conversations have constellated around the challenge of thinking differently about nature, as well as what it means to be human. Those involved have undertaken to reconceptualize what counts as nature outside the bounds of the nature/culture divide, to build connections rather than rehearse separations.

The research conversations with the emergent compositions of the companion have sought to disrupt beliefs and assumptions around children and nature by engaging with the majority of the world’s children’s real (rather than imagined) childhoodnatures. Essentially, what this makes clear is that childhood encounters with the “environment” are not always as restorative, healthy, or spiritually uplifting as some nostalgic stories have seduced many to believe. A child-nature reconnect as purported by many in the fields of childhood and nature are in danger of continuing to reinforce the human-nature divide by continuing to position humans as “exceptional” and outside of nature, a sentiment that some may say has set humanity on its current destructive path. This handbook holds the space for something new to happen outside these past histories, bringing emerging new relational potentials through childhoodnature.

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M. Brody, & J. Dillon (Eds.), The Handbook of Research on Environmental Education (pp. 438–458). Washington: American Educational Research Association Barratt, R., & Barratt Hacking, E. (2008). A clash of worlds: Children talking about their community experience in relation to the school curriculum. In A. D. Reid, B. B. Jensen, J. Nikel, & V. Simovska (Eds.), Participation and learning. Perspectives on education and the environment, health and sustainability (pp. 285–298). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. Chawla, L. (1998). Significant life experiences revisited: A review of research on sources of environmental sensitivity. Environmental Education Research, 4(4), 369–382. Chawla, L. (2009). Growing up green: Becoming an agent of care for the natural world, The Journal of Developmental Processes, 4(1), 6–23. Cutter-Mackenzie, A., Edwards, S., Moore, D., & Boyd, W. (2014). Young children’s play and environmental education in early childhood education. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. Cutter-Mackenzie, A., & Rousell, D. (2018). Education for what? Shaping the field of climate change education with children and young people as co-researchers. Children’s Geographies, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1080/14733285.2018.1467556 Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. London, UK: Continuum. Dickinson, E. (2013). The misdiagnosis: Rethinking “nature-deficit disorder”. Environmental Communication, 7(3), 315–414. https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2013.802704 Evans, G., Brauchle, G., Haq, A., Stecker, R., Wong, K., & Shapiro, E. (2007). Young children’s environmental attitudes and behavior. Environment and Behavior, 39(5), 635–659. https://doi. org/10.1177/0013916506294252 Evans, R. (2013). Towards a creative synthesis of participant observation and participatory research: Reflections on doing research with and on young Bhutanese refugees in Nepal. Childhood, 20(2), 169–184. https://doi.org/10.1177/0907568212459774 Fletcher, R. (2017). Connection with nature is an oxymoron: A political ecology of “nature-deficit disorder”. The Journal of Environmental Education, 48(4), 226–233. https://doi.org/10.1080/ 00958964.2016.1139534 Gill, T. (2011). Children and nature: A quasi-systematic review of the empirical evidence. London: Greater London Authority. Hordyk, S., Dulde, M., & Shem, M. (2014). When nature nurtures children: Nature as a containing and holding space. Children’s Geographies, 13(5), 571–588. https://doi.org/10.1080/ 14733285.2014.923814 Kahn, P. (1999). The human relationship with nature: Development and culture. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Kahn, P., & Kellert, S. (Eds.). (2002). Children and nature: Psychological, sociocultural, and evolutionary investigations. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Kellert, S. (2002). Experiencing nature: Affective, cognitive, and evaluative development in children. In P. Kahn & S. Kellert (Eds.), Children and nature: Psychological, sociocultural, and evolutionary investigations (pp. 117–151). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Louv, R. (2005). Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature deficit disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books. Louv, R. (2011). The nature principle: Human restoration and the end of nature-deficit disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. Louv, R. (2016). Vitamin N: The essential guide to a nature-rich life: 500 ways to enrich your family’s health & happiness. New York, NY: Algonquin Books. Malone, K. (2016). Reconsidering children’s encounters with nature and place using posthumanism. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 32(1), 1–15. Malone, K. (2018). Children in the anthropocene: Rethinking sustainability and child friendliness in cities. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers. Malone, K., Birrell, C., Boyle, I., & Gray, T. (2015). Wild nature play: Researching out of school hours in the bush. Sydney, Australia: Centre for Educational Research, University of Western Sydney.

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Children Becoming Emotionally Attuned to “Nature” Through Diverse PlaceResponsive Pedagogies Ron Tooth and Peter Renshaw

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Place-Responsive Pedagogy and Emotionality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emotionality: Love, Care, and Solidarity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Loving Karawatha: “Does This (A Piece of Bitumen) Belong Here?” (Year 6 Girl, Aged 11) Pedagogical Tools That Mediate Children’s Emotionality in Place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . White Crystal Dadirri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Animal Dadirri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rock Dadirri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Categorizing Children’s Representations of and Relationship to “Nature” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Students’ Sense of Bonding with “Nature” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Students View “Nature” as Having Agency and Knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Students Express Love, Care, and Solidarity with “Nature” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Perezhivanie: Identities Emerging from Emotional Experience in Place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Teacher Knowledge, Love, Care, and Solidarity with Place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Place-Responsive Professional Learning for Teache