Staying with the traces

Year: 2019

Author: Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, Amy, Brown, Shae, Osborn, Maia, Blom, Simone, Wijesinghe, Thilinika, Brown, Adi

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper ‘stays’ with the traces in Aboriginal and posthuman knowings as an attempt to map theory in environmental education and its research. Applying ‘staying with’ as both a theory and methodology we sense/work in/through traces in theory. Staying with necessitated a slow trace. The history of environmental education is deep and slow, rather than narrow and fast. We offer an alternative storying.

We commence this alternative storying with a critical discussion of environmental education, human, posthuman, nature and Aboriginal. A Google Trends[1]report (2004-2019) reveals an unsurprising topography where ‘human’ as a concept trumps all others with ‘nature’ as a distant second. The concept of Aboriginal blips by comparison, and environmental education and posthuman is essentially flat-lined. What this bares is broad interest over time. In essence it is a temperature check, showing that humans remains placed at the centre of human thinking about the world and the world of knowledge. It also reveals that environmental education is not at the forefront of human consciousness and thus exists on the mere margins. Environmental education as a humanist focused and positivist knowledge is therefore already on the edges, an alternative, to what is considered important and here we are stretching environmental education further into a posthuman space. This move forms a radical inclusion of a range of ways of knowing; posthuman, embodied contingent knowing and Aboriginal Knowledge.