Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-hfldf Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-12T02:16:48.338Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Reconsidering Children's Encounters With Nature and Place Using Posthumanism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 January 2016

Karen Malone*
Affiliation:
Centre for Educational Research, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, New South WalesAustralia
*
Address for correspondence: Karen Malone, Centre for Educational Research, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith NSW 2751, SAustralia. Email: k.malone@uws.edu.au

Abstract

This article explores and reconsiders the view of children's encounters with place as central to a place-based pedagogy that seeks to dismantle rather than support constructions of a nature-culture binary. I unpack the current fervour for reinserting the child in nature and nature-based education as a significant phenomenon in environmental and outdoor education. I will draw on recent literature on place-based research and theorise using new materialist and posthumanist approaches that seek to disrupt anthropocentric views and support new ways of considering our encounters with the more-than-human world. Then, using these new approaches, I will theorise a recent place-based research project with children in the city of La Paz, Bolivia, to illustrate how it is possible to challenge current assumptions that are firmly entrenched in the child in nature movement. I will conclude by considering what intra-species relations, place encounters and child-body-animal-place relations can teach us about questioning anthropocentrism and human exceptionalism. Finally, I consider how can we overcome these limitations of a narrow and nostalgic view of ‘child and nature’ and reimagine a more diverse approach to education for a sustainable future.

Type
Feature Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2016 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the universe halfway: Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Durham & London: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Braidotti, R. (2013). The posthuman. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
Carson, R. (1956). The sense of wonder. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
Chawla, L. (1994). In the first country of places: Nature, poetry and childhood memory. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
Clarke, D., & Mcphie, J. (2014). Becoming animate in education: immanent materiality and outdoor learning for sustainability. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 14, 198216. doi:10.1080/14729679.2014.919866Google Scholar
Cobb, E. (1977). The ecology of childhood imagination. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Derr, T. (2006). ‘Sometimes birds sound like fish’: Perspectives on children's place experiences. In Spencer, C. & Blades, M. (Eds.), Children and their environments: Learning, using and designing spaces (pp. 108123). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Dickinson, E. (2013). The misdiagnosis: Rethinking ‘Nature-deficit Disorder’. Environmental Communication, 7, 315335. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2013.802704Google Scholar
Fox, N., & Alldred, P. (2014) New materialist social inquiry: Designs, methods and research assemblage. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 18, 399414. doi:10.1080/13645579.2014.921458Google Scholar
Freeman, C., & Tranter, P. (2012). Children and their urban environments. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
Gill, T. (2007). No fear: Growing up in risk averse society. London: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.Google Scholar
Haraway, D. (2003). The companion species manifesto: Dogs, people and significant otherness. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press.Google Scholar
Haraway, D. (2008). When species meet. Minneapolis & London: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
Hordyk, S., Dulde, M., & Shem, M. (2014). When nature nurtures children: Nature as a containing and holding space. Children's Geographies. doi:10.1080/14733285.2014.923814Google Scholar
Kahn, P., & Kellert, S. (Eds). (2002). Children and nature: Psychological, sociocultural, and evolutionary investigations. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
Louv, R. (2005). Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.Google Scholar
Louv, R. (2014, March 10). ‘Hummingbird Parents’: Seven actions parents can take to reduce risk and still get their kids outside. The New Nature Movement. Retrieved from http://blog.childrenandnature.org/2014/03/10/seven-actions-parents-can-take-to-increase-outdoor-safety/Google Scholar
Lynch, K. (1960). The image of the city, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
Lynch, K. (1977). Growing up in cities. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
Malone, K. (2001). Children, youth and sustainable cities (special edition editorial). Local Environment, 6, 512.Google Scholar
Malone, K. (2006, June). Research by children: Are we there yet? Paper presented at the Researching Children, Open Conference, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.Google Scholar
Malone, K. (2007). The bubble-wrap generation: Children growing up in walled gardens. Environmental Education Researcher, 13, 513528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Malone, K. (2015). Encountering children's knowing and agency in their ‘place’. In Skelton, T., Klocker, N., & Ansell, N. (Eds.), Geographies of children and young people. Geographies of Global Issues (vol. 8), Climate change, natural hazards and environmental issues. London: Springer.Google Scholar
Massey, D. (2005) For space. London: Sage.Google Scholar
Myers, O.E., & Saunders, C. (2002). Animals as links toward developing caring relationships wit the natural world, in Kahn, P. & Kellert, S. (Eds.), Children and nature: Psychological, sociocultural, and evolutionary investigations (pp. 153178). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
Orr, D. (1992). Ecological literacy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
Orr, D. (2005). Place and pedagogy. In Stone, M. & Barlow, Z. (Eds.), Ecological literacy: Educating our children for a sustainable world. San Francisco: Sierra Club Series.Google Scholar
Rautio, P. (2013a). Children who carry stones in their pockets: On autotelic material practices in everyday life. Children's Geographies, 11, 394408Google Scholar
Rautio, P. (2013b). Mingling and imitating in producing spaces for knowing and being: Insights from a Finnish study of child-matter intra-action. Childhood. doi:10.1177/0907568213496653Google Scholar
Rissotto, A., & Giuliani, V. (2006). Learning neighbourhood environments: The loss of experience in a modern world. In Spencer, C. & Blades, M. (Eds.), Children and their environments: Learning, using and designing spaces (pp. 7590). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Scannell, L., & Gifford, R. (2014). Comparing theories of interpersonal and place attachment. In Manzo, L. & Devine-Wright, P. (Eds.), Place attachment: Advances in theory, methods and applications. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Sobel, D. (1996). Beyond ecophobia: Reclaiming the heart in nature education. Great Barrington, MA: The Orion Society.Google Scholar
Taylor, A. (2011). Reconceptualising the nature of childhood. Childhood, 18, 420433.Google Scholar
Taylor, A. (2013). Reconfiguring the natures of childhood. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Taylor, A., Blaise, M., & Guigni, M. (2013) Haraway's ‘bag lady story-telling’: Relocating childhood and learning within a ‘post-human landscape’. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 34, 1, 4862.Google Scholar
Tipper, B. (2011). A dog who I know quite well’: Everyday relationships between children and animals, Children's Geographies, 9, 145165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tuck, E., & McKenzie, M. (2014). Place in research: Theory, methodology, and methods. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Uzzell, D. (1999) Education for environmental action in the community: New roles and relationships. Cambridge Journal of Education, 29, 397413.Google Scholar
Wilson, E. (1984). Biophilia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar