Title

What's there, what if, what then, and what can we do? an immersive and embodied experience of environment and place through children's literature

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Burke, G & Cutter-Mackenzie, AN 2010, 'What's there, what if, what then, and what can we do? an immersive and embodied experience of environment and place through children's literature', Environmental Education Research, vol. 16, no. 3-4, pp. 311-30.

Publisher's version of the article available at:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504621003715361

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

We describe an immersive investigation of children's contemporary picture books, which examines concepts of environment and place. The authors' experience occurred through and alongside a community of learners, of preservice teachers and young children, in an urban coastal community, as part of an undergraduate, pre-service teacher education unit. Participants were led through the experience utilizing techniques informed by immersive art pedagogy, to foreground the in-between dispositions of their roles as artists, researchers, and teachers (A/r/tography), and their emerging roles as environmentalists (A/r/t-e-ography). Our investigation of the relationship between picture books and inquiry into their embodied experiences with the books awakened an awareness of environment and place, taking us from what's there? to what if? to what then? to what can we do? This reflexive process provides an entry point into the second part of the article, a focused autoethnographic account of how environment and place might be treated pedagogically using Jeannie Baker's 1991 book, Window.