Childhoodnature Research Handbook and Companion – A Cartographic Opening of Research Potentialities

Year: 2019

Author: Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, Amy, Malone, Karen, Barratt, Hacking, Elisabeth

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Every book comes to be through the flourishing of an initial spark or idea released into the universe and let to follow its own line of thought while being guided by a host of many. Assembled in a forest in the hinterlands of the Gold Coast, Australia in 2015 20 scholars gathered for an international colloquium on childhood nature. The intent of the Colloquium was to act as a meeting place for researchers working in the fields of childhood and nature, to consider a cartography of the field as an ever evolving movement and to consider the central tenets of the field in order to support imaginaries for potential. The concept of childhoodnature and the Research Handbook on Childhoodnature was imagined and began to be realised.

In this paper presentation, the editors of the first International Research Handbook on Childhoodnature present a cartography of this seminal research collection and the critical insights learned. At present no such handbook or major work of this breadth and depth of theoretical and applied thinking and research in the field exists. The handbook includes 10 distinct sections with 22 editors – a total of 81 chapters. The handbook also includes a childhoodnature Companionauthored by children and young people. The companion is located in the middle of the handbook signifying its centrality. It operates as a milieu akin toDeleuze and Guattari’s (1987) conception of milieu that is vibratory, chaotic yet relational. The companion vibrates through/in/as the handbook where children are nature.

Uniquely, this handbook brings together existing research themes and seminal authors in the childhoodnature field alongside new cutting-edge research and researchers drawing on cross-cultural and international research data. From the onset, the underlying objectives of the handbook were two-fold:

* Opening up spaces for childhoodnature researchers in what we have termed a childhoodnature collective; and

* Assembling Childhoodnature Research into one Collection that informs education and the social sciences.

This presentation will continue this ‘opening up’ of spaces for/with childhoodnature researchers in considering the critical insights learned from the handbook/companion and future research potentialities.