Combining a participatory mosaic approach, slow pedagogy and Indigenous Knowledges to improve human-plant relationships in young c

ID: 613 / 243

Category: Abstract

Track: Pending

Proposed Symposium Title: Combining a participatory mosaic approach, slow pedagogy and Indigenous Knowledges to improve human-plant relationships in young c

Authors:

Kimberley D. Beasley

Affiliations: School of Education, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia

Abstract:

Although young children in Early Childhood Education (ECE) in Australia are often involved in learning in outdoor natural environments, research on their relationships with plants in these environments is limited. This presentation will share important findings which explore teacher’s and young children’s relationships with the plants in native bush spaces on and near their school grounds. The mosaic approach was used to enable the young children to express their understanding about plants in multiple ways including bush walks, informal and formal conversations about plants, children creating drawings and maps, and taking photos. A slow pedagogy was used over a school year to enable observation of the subtle, slow changes in plants over time and through the seasons and to foster a deepening relationship between the children and teachers and the plants in the regularly visited bush spaces. Local Indigenous Knowledges about specific plants in the spaces were shared by a Traditional Owner through storytelling, hands-on demonstrations and conversations in the bush spaces. This combination of methods led to a powerful transformation in the human-plant relationships between the children and teachers and specific local native plants in the bush spaces they visited.

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Key words: human-plant relationships, early childhood education, mosaic approach, Indigenous Knowledges