Environmental Education Research
Taylor and Francis
School of Education
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The Earth is in the midst of a recent acceleration in the rate of species extinction and the unravelling of ecological communities. The authors think with the emerging field of Extinction Studies to explore educational approaches to ecological endangerment and extinction. Using a notion of visiting as ‘curious practice’, we story encounters between the authors, young children and the endangered Noorook Yalgorup-Lake Clifton thrombolites and their ecological community in south-western Australia. These visits were not intended to teach about extinction or the thrombolites. Rather, our aim was to generate pedagogical insights through approaching the threatened thrombolites and their environment with curiosity, openness and attentiveness, and framed by perspectives that trouble human exceptionalism and Western dualisms. Guided by Haraway’s notion of ‘staying with the trouble’, we argue this approach to encountering extinction generates insights into learning and living with ecological crisis in our shared world. Specifically, that for educators and children to relearn the world and their place in it, educators must enable new senses, meanings, perspectives and stories to populate the Earth and for this to occur they should listen with openness to, and think with, children.
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Natural and Built Environments