Becoming animate in education: immanent materiality and outdoor learning for sustainability

Clarke, David A.G. and Mcphie, Jamie (2014) Becoming animate in education: immanent materiality and outdoor learning for sustainability.

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Official URL: 10.1080/14729679.2014.919866


Outdoor environmental education has long postulated a link between experiences outdoors in ‘natural’ environments and environmental concern. This paper suggests a straightforward relationship is problematic due to its implicit assumption of a nature/culture divide. Critical outdoor education has sought to overcome this dualism by describing a relational understanding of the world emphasizing ecological systems and highlighting humanity’s ‘connection’ to the environment. This relational approach aims to tackle the ‘crisis of perception’, argued to be the root cause of anthropogenic planetary degradation. We draw from the philosophical work of Deleuze and Guattari to suggest that relational ontologies, as currently conceived, may reinforce a static conception of the world by emphasizing ‘points of being’ (subject and object). Deleuze and Guattari proffer immanent materiality, where points of being are dispelled by movement and ‘becoming’. We then describe ‘animism’ as a mode of living where the world is understood to be immanent and constantly becoming. The consequences of animism are explored with regards to conceptions of ‘nature’, ‘place’ and ‘outdoor’ learning for sustainability. Creative practices to tackle the ‘crisis of perception’ are suggested as approaches that circumvent static conceptions of the world implied by points in relations and prevailing conceptions of nature as ‘other’.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: 371 Schools & their activities (incl. special education, teaching methods & study skills), 577 Ecology
Members: University of Cumbria
Depositing User: ULCC Admin
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2017 04:24
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2017 04:24

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