Wild Pedagogies … or … changing the world through early childhood education

Opening lecture at Norwegian Kindergarten Research Conference 2020

Through the use of several stories and examples drawn from the early childhood classrooms of three environmental public schools I have helped to create, this talk will explore three key pedagogical strands that I think are important for EC educators to consider: the relational, the critical, and the existential. The focus will be on what these strands are, why they are important, and how they might be extended and even challenged.  Then using the frame of the six touchstones for Wild Pedagogies I hope to make a careful list of the pedagogical offerings that environmentally engaged (and concerned) educators might make to the larger world, including public education, in the hopes of supporting the changes that must occur.

Sean Blenkinsop 

Sean Blenkinsop is a Professor of Education at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. He grew up in the boreal forests of northern Canada and has more than 30 years of background in outdoor, environmental, and experiential education. Now, as a researcher and educator he has been involved in starting and researching three nature-based, place-based, eco-schools (all in the public system). He is the author of more than one hundred articles and chapters, editor of The Imagination in Education (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009), and most recently, author and editor of Wild Pedagogies: Touchstones for renegotiating education and the environment in the Anthropocene (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2018).  He is currently working on two books due in early 2021. The first explores and offers examples of a research method, ecoportraiture, that seeks to engage with the natural world and its myriad denizens as active, agential voices and co-researchers. The second, Teaching and Learning as if Nature Mattered, builds on more than 10 years of research in environmental public school and offers theories and practices related to cultural change in public education as a necessary part of a sustainable, flourishing, ecological project.