Project: bodies sensing ecologically

Sensing ecologically comes to be both a conceptual tool and a pedagogical practice that allows new imaginaries where our children are becoming with and knowing the more-than-human-world prior to language. Drawing on postqualitative inquiry, using visual arts, narrative and walking methodologies we are being attentive to the very subtle encounters and sensitivities of child bodies in place and in Country.  We ask ourselves and consider deeply how do young children come to be with/encounter nonhuman animals; plants; weather; water; and materials and how do they respond and communicate with those entities through their bodies.


Researchers on the project

Karen Malone

Dr. Karen Malone is the newly appointed Professor of Education and Research Director at Swinburne University. She has been an environmental educator, social ecologist and childhood researcher for over 25 years. Her research draws on posthumanism, vital materialist and ecological approaches to researching children and their nonhuman companions in these precarious times of the Anthropocene.  Her current international research collaborations focus on two projects Children in the Anthropocene and Watery Lives. Her most recently nationally funded projects include Children’s Bodies Sensing Ecologically and Mapping Scientific Concepts through Nature Play in Early Childhood Education. In all her projects she draws on postqualitative, artistic, visual, narrative, walking and place based inquiry methodologies. In 2018 she published her sole-authored book Children In the Anthropocene, and co-edited the International Research Handbook on Childhood Nature. She is an ongoing editor of the Springer books series Children: Global Posthumanist perspectives and Materialist Theories and co-editor of the Australian Journal of Environmental Education.

Sarah Jane Moore

Sarah Jane Moore is an independent creative artist and academic with a PhD in Reconciliation through music and art from the University of Sydney. Her song writing and art making explore themes of belonging and identity.  Her research interests include Indigenous Education, Oceanic research, and she is passionate about carving out new spaces for researching creatively. Sarah Jane has extensive experience in qualitative research methodology research partnerships with the University of Guam, UNSW Sydney, The University of Sydney and Western Sydney University and The University of Tasmania.  She is passionate about creating nature based play in programs with children and committed to exploring the possibilities of deep connections to Country in early learning programs.


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