This paper responds to the call to explore pedagogical relations and dialogues in considering how to create climate pedagogies that are responsive, dynamic, and transformative in thinking about human and nonhuman relations. Using the lens of entanglement, the paper attempts to bring into dialogue children’s rights and more-than-human ways of thinking to understand what, if any, commonalities lie in these two projects and whether and how a rights-respecting approach can be productively reconfigured in envisaging a dynamic climate pedagogy. It considers several tensions that arise from this entangled dialogue to probe both the overlaps and points of incommensurability in the two approaches. This includes viewing asymmetrical power and logics of coloniality that assert themselves through rights discourses and rights-based techniques based in an Anglo-Eurocentric worldview that narrowly defines who is included in the “human” of human rights. To illustrate these entanglements, the paper draws on a child/youth-led and child/youth-driven participatory model called Shaking the Movers (STM) created in 2007 by the Landon Pearson Centre and used with youth as well as with children in early childhood and other settings across Canada each year. The model aims to enable children’s civil and political rights. Shaking the Movers was used as the framework for a workshop held in Williams Lake, British Columbia in 2017. The workshop serves as a case study in this paper to illustrate some of the entanglements that arise in practice when considering rights-respecting and more-than-human approaches. The analysis draws on scholarship from several disciplinary locations, including Stuart Aitken’s critical childhood concept of the post-child, Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw and Affrica Taylor’s notion of agency as not exclusively human and conceived as collective rather than an outcome of individual intent, and Shenila Khoja-Moolji’s analysis of an ethic of interdependency and alliance when understanding human rights in context. Each of these perspectives informs a contemplation of how to reconfigure the Shaking the Movers model amplify its strengths. The paper concludes with thoughts on the ways entanglements create a productive space both for bringing together a more-than-human and rights-respecting approach to attend to actions emanating from the margins and for invigorating and understanding how to meaningfully engage children located in interconnected and interdependent worlds.
This paper, which I presented at the Responding to Ecological Challenges with/in Contemporary Childhoods Colloquium in January 2020, is an extension of my dissertation research with children and the more-than-human world in Brazil. Drawing on Donna Haraway’s work and inspired by Karen Barad’s framing of diffraction, I take an ecofeminist, common worlds approach to my study of how children learn through becoming-with more-than-human worlds. You are invited to join in our stories and become-with us as, together, we follow provocations in different directions across time and space and speculate “and ifs.”
Settler childhood’s futurity is grounded in settler time: the colonial temporal structures of settlers that view time as strictly delineated, in opposition to Indigenous temporal heterogeneity—the coexistence of a multiplicity of temporalities. Mark Rifkin describes this temporal heterogeneity as having the power to unsettle settler frames of reference. In response to Adam Gaudry’s call for settlers to engage in insurgent research by engaging with Indigenous research and worldviews while focusing on settler problems, turning to the tension of settler time with Indigenous temporal sovereignty alongside Barbara Adam’s conception of temporal care relations offers a way to unsettle settler childhoods. Bringing together two ways of rethinking temporality through Dwayne Donald’s conception of ethical relationality enables a critique of colonialism without seeking to take up Indigenous childhoods to fill the broken spaces in settlers’ own. This effort reflects Alexis Shotwell’s warning to attendees of the Common Worlds colloquium Responding to Ecological Challenges with/in Contemporary Childhoods: An Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Climate Pedagogies to be attentive to epistemic extractivism and the problem of settlers seeking to resolve the damage of colonialism through seeking to behave as if they are Indigenous. Instead, I propose a way forward in which children are reentangled in both common worlds and common fates.
Working with educators, artists, young children, and materials to make meaning with place affected by human environmental impacts, this study zooms in on a documentary of dying birds who’ve swallowed plastics. The birds’ habitat is an eye-opening 2,000 miles from the nearest continent and is infested with trash and plastic. The birds ingest many shiny plastic bits and slowly die. This research paper focuses in on experiences of sharing this documentary with teacher educators at an international conference, then educators in our own context, and then with early childhood artists working in reuse materials. The research captures a series of dialogues and materials interactions at each of the three gatherings about possible ways to research with young children on daunting ecological issues in perilously turbulent times.
This paper shares a multilayered retrospective story of an international exhibit curated for the Climate Action Childhood Network Colloquium as part of a commitment among exhibit curators to reveal the complexities of unpalatable climate futures. In the format of a tasting menu, we offer a sampling of the exhibit installations as a menu of potential alterpolitics in the making. Facing intensifying inequitable climate presents and futures, our intention is that this invitation might create openings for the intersection of local and global concerns. We gesture toward collective but tentative responses for thinking climate action pedagogies through the metaphor of a troubling meal.
The child-future join is pervasive in childhood studies and popular culture. Instead of disavowing the relation, I consider what might be generated if we “stay with the trouble” of its cocomposition in the making of worlds. To do so, I turn to a zombie child named Melanie from The Girl with All the Gifts to grapple with how the end of the world might not be a cause for mourning, how fiery landscapes can allow for species regeneration, and how viruses might incite counternarratives of community amid contagion.
The frictions of living and learning in times of climate precarity, global unrest, and uncertainty require educators to consider the ways we can collectively engage in speculative pedagogies that respond to the complex, coinherited common world(s) we inhabit. This conceptual and practice-based paper considers the way early childhood education is implicated in ongoing settler colonialism. It aims to notice, generate, and stay with the trouble of stories that disrupt and unsettle the extractive and colonial dialogues about the forest as a resource and pedagogical tool.