Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood
School of Education
This article proposes the diffractive practice of blogging-with Place as an alternative to a reflective journal. Reflective practice is a priority for teachers, with reflective journaling often employed as a method for documenting a teacher's experiences and knowledge about sites that are intended for place-based teaching and learning. However, when implemented for the purpose of improving place-based approaches, reflective journaling is limited by its grounding in an epistemology that values knowledge as leading to mastery and control over the environment. In response to calls for a radical reimagining of place-based approaches, the diffractive practice of blogging-with Place offers an opening for (re)imagining place-based pedagogies that (re)situate children as part of Place–children common worlds. This article has emerged from a study during which the researcher walked- and blogged-with Gabbiljee, a wetlands ecosystem also known as the watery place at the end of Derbarl Yerrigan (also known as the Swan River) in Perth, Western Australia. The inquiry revealed that whilst the potential for diffractive practice was acknowledged, there were challenges for a teacher-researcher trained in reflective practice to make this shift. The author found that the intentional implementation of hesitating and (de)composing practices intervened in ways that disrupted reflective habits, prompted necessary unlearning and created openings for diffractive possibilities. Using excerpts from two different blogs, the limitations of reflective blogging are compared to the possibilities, challenges and unlearning that transpired when engaging with the diffractive practice of blogging-with Place. Speculative, transparent and emergent, blogging-with Place is an alternative method for documenting encounters with Place.
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