Title

Paying attention to water relations: Poetic inquiry and pedagogical documentation as curious practices

Author Identifiers

Claire O’Callaghan

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3380-2291

Date of Award

2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education

School

School of Education

First Advisor

Mindy Blaise

Second Advisor

Jane Merewether

Third Advisor

Jo Pollitt

Abstract

This project explores climate pedagogies with particular interest in Western Australia’s current water crisis. Human and more-than-human relations are explored with young children and educators from an early learning centre in Perth, Western Australia, with a view to reimagining education in the context of rapid environmental change. The project is grounded in feminist new materialist knowledge and is framed by an attentive focus to amplify the non-binary nature of both human and more-than-human counterparts. The research focuses on challenging colonial ways of knowing water, by decentring the child, unsettling norms, and reinstating reciprocity between human and more-than-human others (Nxumalo & Villanueva, 2019). Poetic inquiry as curious practice is explored, and how it highlights the present absences of the mutual becomings of water and child by conducting experimental, creative, and inventive arts-informed explorations with a lens of keeping water in sight and in mind. Videography and photography as tools of pedagogical documentation are a primary data-creation method and are both experimental and creative outputs. The following questions guide the research:

1. How does poetic inquiry as curious practice help me to address children’s relations with water beyond the child/water binary?

2. How does poetic inquiry as curious practice help me to understand poetic characteristics of water such as movement, sound, duration, speed, timing, etc.?

3. How does pedagogical documentation inform poetic data creation and analysis? The project lends itself to radical ways of thinking. It engages with poetic inquiry as curious practice, paying attention to present absences, and examining the poetics of pedagogical documentation to create meaningful data as poetry (Faulkner, 2009; Leavy,2009). Poetic outputs include responses that take the form of video-poems, creative texts, and images with decisions about research direction being made in the moment and in response to grounded experiences.

This study contributes to a shift and expansion of pedagogical practices and educators’ understanding of the gaps in current sustainability and environmental education.

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