Special Issue of Environmental Education Research
Urban / childhood / nature / pedagogy
Guest editors: Iris Duhn (Monash University), Karen Malone (University of Western Sydney), Marek Tesar (University of Auckland)
This Special Issue of Environmental Education Research engages critically with the intersections of the urban, childhood and nature to create a space for contributions that trouble and re-think what constitutes childhood and childhood pedagogies in contemporary urban nature environments. As guest editors, and in full view of the aims and scope of the journal, we invite contributions from researchers and scholars that challenge the assumption that cities are places of human and technological dominance over nature, and that childhoods are increasingly lived in human-centered unnatured urban environments. We particularly invite research-based papers that engage with urban / child / nature / pedagogy intersections in unexpected ways, to critically explore the materiality and diversity of nature / urban / childhood / pedagogy. We also anticipate that the Special Issue will contain contributions that consider what new theoretical and methodological perspectives may be useful in explorations of human/nature and nature/culture urban entanglements and allow more inclusive means for critical engagement with the nature-human collective (Hinchliffe, Kearnes, Degen & Whatmore, 2005), therefore moving away from cultural universalisms about the natured child.
The notions of nature and urbanism, with respect to childhoods, are often disconnected parts of the educational discourse. The aim of the Special Issue is to generate new perspectives on how education contributes to knowledges about natured childhoods and their performances in the urban, where nature, childhood and cities are enlivened without becoming “conscripted or re-inscribed in the cultural” (Hird, 2010, p. 55). We ask potential contributors: how can we move outside and disrupt the familiar and expose the limitations of anthropocentric views that often inform educational debates? We invite prospective authors to also consider deeply the ways we construct children’s relations with the urban world and in particular the everydayness of living in a place. For instance, “green” and “play” areas are easily associated with “soft nature” and “innocence” as good and safe places for childhoods in the city. Equally, playgrounds often create illusions of child-friendly urban places and connectedness with nature and natural materials, whereas “hard” urban spaces are associated with control, danger, surveillance, and with being devoid of nature and thus non child-friendly (Barratt Hacking, Barratt & Scott, 2007). This Special Issue seeks to challenge these notions, with a particular interest in scholarship that troubles these intersections in post-anthropocentric ways.
In sum, we invite theoretically informed and research rich explorations of nature / urban / childhood / pedagogy, and are particularly interested in developing scholarship that engages with the materialities of urban natures in relation to childhoods in cities, by exploring questions such as:
- What counts as urban nature, and what is unaccounted for? What places for children emerge when urban nature is explored as unexpected, unknowable and as a site of interspecies encounters and cohabitation (Tsing, 2012)?
- What pedagogies become possible when concepts are unsettled, and how do these pedagogies contribute to new conceptual spaces for natured childhoods in cities? What is urban nature (Davison & Ridder, 2006), and what may be the potential of “urban nature” as a pedagogical lens in education for sustainability with children?
- What does “child friendly urban space” mean through a post-anthropocentric lens?
- What kinds of theorisations of urbanism / education / childhood / nature might be useful in thinking about city spaces as lived in, and enacted as “places”?
- What are the intersections of childhood / urban / nature and its tensions, possibilities and risks for educational thought and practice?
The journal welcomes both theoretical and empirical papers from contributors. The working language of the collection is English. Full details for submissions to Environmental Education Research are available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission
Please contact the Guest Editors for further information.
Deadline for paper proposals: 1 October, 2015
Content: 400-500 words proposal for the paper, with title, author’s name, a short bio with affiliation, and contact information.
Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Paper proposals should crystallise the key arguments of the proposed paper, and map out how this will be achieved, e.g. 300 words abstract, 200 word paper overview, including key sources of ideas/references/evidence/etc. Invitations to submit a full paper will be sent to selected authors by October 30, 2015.
As with the journal in general, accepted proposals will be those that are likely to:
- make a useful and/or significant addition to the literature
- have appropriate focus and contents
- have coherent research method, arguments and conclusions
- be understood by an international audience
Consult the following for guidelines for manuscript preparation. The reference style is Chicago. Manuscript templates will be available for accepted proposals and are highly recommended.
Deadline for Full Draft Submissions: March 1, 2016
Full papers should be between 5000-7000 words.
Final acceptance is conditional upon peer-review assessments.
For further information about the journal, visit http://www.tandfonline.com/EER.
Barratt Hacking, E., Barratt, R., & Scott, W. (2007). Engaging children: Research issues around participation and environmental learning. Environmental Education Research, 13(4), 529-544.
Davison, A., & Ridder, B. (2006). Turbulent times for urban nature: conserving and re-inventing nature in Australian cities. Australian Zoologist, 33(3), 306-314.
Hinchliffe, S., Kearnes, M. B., Degen, M., & Whatmore, S. (2005). Urban wild things: A cosmopolitical experiment. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 23(5), 643-658.
Hird, M. J. (2010). Indifferent Globality Gaia, Symbiosis and ‘Other Worldliness.’ Theory, Culture & Society, 27(2-3), 54-72.
Tsing, A. (2012). Unruly edges: mushrooms as companion species. Environmental Humanities, 1, 141-154.