Children caring for the Australian wet tropics as a response to the anthropocene

Whitehouse, Hilary, Evans, Neus, Jackson, Clifford, and Thorne, Marcia (2018) Children caring for the Australian wet tropics as a response to the anthropocene. In: Cutter-Mackenzie, Amy, Malone, Karen, and Barratt Hacking, Elisabeth, (eds.) Research Handbook on Childhoodnature: Assemblages of Childhood and Nature Research. Springer International Handbooks of Education . Springer, Cham, Switzerland. (In Press)

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Abstract

The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area in far north eastern Australia is a unique place where tropical rainforests are internationally recognized for both biodiversity and cultural values. The chapter explores how children, advised and supported by their teachers and parents, in regional and rural schools intimately connected to these rainforests and associated aquatic ecosystems, are doing works of conservation and restoration, both as a response to the novel landscapes created by the rapidly changing environmental conditions of the Anthropocene, and as a personal contribution to caring for the Wet Tropics. Caring for country is an old discourse in Australia with its origins in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Contemporary environmental education practice in Wet Tropics schools draws on these older concepts and those of ecological and social science to create a hybrid of understandings to promote practical means for caring for rainforest country. Interview data from children are presented in the chapter to illuminate in their own words their senses of care and connection to the Wet Tropics. Barriers and enablers to restorative practice are discussed in relation to dominant schooling practices, which continue to marginalize the work of caring, even though caring is a logical and necessary response to the Anthropocene. Children wish to actively care and are supported by adults to do so; however, many aspects of the formal, public school system in Queensland are not yet fully enabling of caring practice.

Item ID: 53489
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-3-319-67285-4
ISSN: 2197-196X
Keywords: children, caring for country, wet tropics, anthropocene, agentic learning, relationality, barriers, enablers
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2018 03:54
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130199 Education systems not elsewhere classified @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960703 Environmental Education and Awareness @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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