In this symposium, we engage with the declaration of the Anthropocene as an impetus to reconfigure pedagogies. The declaration of the Anthropocene prompts us to revisit the question of ‘what can be done’, and to make two interventions into the business-as-usual of early childhood environmental education. The first is to interrogate the core premises of the increasingly popular ‘nature-based’ early childhood pedagogies. By promoting the many benefits of putting children ‘in nature’, we argue that these pedagogies can unintentionally reinforce a binary logic and be blind to their own Euro/Western-centric conceits. By promoting children’s stewardship of ‘nature-spaces’, they can risk reaffirming the heroics of human exceptionalism. Our second intervention is to experiment with ways of doing environmental pedagogies differently – shifting from a ‘nature-based’ to a deliberately non-binary ‘common worlds’ framework. Drawing upon our multispecies ethnographic research in Canada and Australia, we share some lively, unruly, but ultimately hopeful moments of children learning with other beings and entities in their local ‘common worlds’ environs.
Dr. Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw
Professor, Faculty of Education, Western University, Canada
Dr. Affrica Taylor
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Science, Technology and Mathematics, University of Canberra, Australia
Dr. Mindy Blaise
Professor, Victoria University, Australia