Walking With Place: Storying Reconciliation Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education

  • Catherine Hamm College of Education, Victoria University

Abstract

Knowing and understanding the land with Aboriginal cosmologies requires seeing much deeper than the surface. It involves feeling those deep connections that have existed for thousands of years and understanding trees, rocks, and rivers. Drawing on Vanessa Watt’s concept of place-­‐thought and Latour’s emerging common world framework, I explore the notion of country in a specific place in the Australian context. This paper pays attention to the stories of Australia’s colonial pasts, presents, and futures as I set out to generate new reconciliation pedagogies and engage with place during an experiential learning exercise: place-­‐thought-­‐walk. I argue that place-­‐thought pedagogies that are inclusive, respectful, and reconciled to people of the local Aboriginal group can be put to work as a decolonizing practice. This practice exposes the layers of colonial inscription in the landscape, creating space for the land to be reclaimed and reinscribed with Aboriginal knowledges as the central frame.

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Author Biography

Catherine Hamm, College of Education, Victoria University
Catherine Hamm is an early career researcher in the College of Education at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. Her doctoral study investigated the connections between teacher identity and curriculum practices in early childhood. Catherine has a strong commitment to social justice and is interested in exploring the ways in which localized, specific Aboriginal knowledges can inform reconciliation pedagogies in early childhood education. Catherine’s current work involves investigating children’s relations with place, exploring the ways in which children might engage with the plants and animals that constitute the local places that children inhabit in postcolonial Australia.  Email: Catherine.Hamm@vu.edu.au
Published
2015-12-05
How to Cite
Hamm, C. (2015). Walking With Place: Storying Reconciliation Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education. Journal of Childhood Studies, 40(2), 56-66. https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs.v40i2.15179