Publications

The CC + Me program of research has generated seminal publications in climate change education. Recent publications include:

Cutter-Mackenzie, A., & Rousell, D. (2019). Education for what? Shaping the field of climate change education with children and young people as co-researchers. Children’s Geographies, 17(1), 90-104. doi:10.1080/14733285.2018.1467556

Abstract

Children and young people are often positioned as the next generation of leaders in whom the public imagines or expects to overcome the legacies of climate and environmental inaction. Increasingly analyses of progress in environmental education independently identify the need for researchers and teachers to ‘listen to children’s voices’. In this paper we argue that climate change education presents a significant platform not only for youth voices, but also for a genuine activation of children’s political agency in schools, universities, and the public domain. In so doing, we draw upon the government funded project Climate Change + Me, which has involved working with 135 children and young people from across Northern NSW, Australia as co-researchers investigating young people’s voices in climate change. We conclude that climate change education can open up an entirely new field of educational experience and inquiry when it is inclusive of and led by young people.

Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, A., & Rousell, D. (2020). The Mesh of Playing, Theorising and Researching in the Reality of Climate Change: Children’s Childhoodnature Research Playspaces. In A. Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, K. Malone, & E. Barratt Hacking (Eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature: Assemblages of Childhood and Nature Research (pp. 199-222). New York, USA: Springer Nature.

Abstract

This chapter develops the concept of the ‘co-research playspace’ as a methodological figure for working with children as co-researchers and co-artists. This concept emerged through our collaborative research and artistic co-production with 135 children who participated in the Climate Change and Me project (2014-2017) in Northern NSW, Australia. Drawing on Winnicott’s concepts of ‘transitional space’ and ‘transitional objects’ in relation to children’s art and environmental play, we locate the co-research playspace within the mesh of children’s playing, theorising and researching in the reality of climate change. In developing the concept of the co-research playspace, we specifically focus on that ways that iPads functioned as transitional objects within the Climate Change and Me project. This leads us to further analyse the ways that children used digital video as a ‘transitional medium’ that allowed them to experiment with new forms of co-production and creative resistance. Through our analysis of films produced by children in the project, we outline a series of three political-aesthetic modes of response to climate change that break with the predominant moralistic discourse surrounding the issue: I. critical interventions in public space; II. wild, absurd, and improvisational disruptions; and III. the creation of thought experiments and alternative worlds. The chapter concludes with the consideration of ‘children as para-academic researchers’, a concept that emphasises children’s abilities to invent their own modes of co-creation and critical inquiry that disrupt normative research protocols and associated adult expectations.

Rousell, D., & Cutter- Mackenzie-Knowles, A. (2019, 14 February). Climate change: young people striking from school see it for the life-threatening issue it is. The Conversation. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/climate-change-young-people-striking-from-school-see-it-for-the-life-threatening-issue-it-is-111159

This contagious sense of young people caring and daring to stand up against climate inaction became one of the most salient and hopeful findings of the Climate Change and Me project. And now, we see this finding playing out on a larger scale: while climate change is darkening young people’s lives, along with their prospects for a liveable future, we see children and young people using powerful and creative tactics to claim a voice and a political platform in society, and confront the greatest challenge of our age.

Rousell, D., Cutter-Mackenzie, A., & Foster, J. (2017). Children of an Earth to Come: Speculative Fiction, Geophilosophy and Climate Change Education Research. Special Issue for Educational Studies, 53(6), 654-669. doi:10.1080/00131946.2017.1369086

Abstract

Over the last 3 years, the Climate Change and Me project has mapped children and young people’s affective, creative, and ontological relationships with climate change through an emergent and child-framed research methodology. The project has involved working with 135 children and young people from across Northern NSW, Australia, as coresearchers responding to the rapidly changing material conditions of the Anthropocene epoch. In this article, we position speculative fiction as a mode of creative research that enabled the young researchers to inhabit possible climate change futures. This node of the Climate Change and Me research was initiated by coauthor Jasmyne, who at the time was a year 7 student at a local high school. Through an ongoing series of visual and textual posts on the project web site, Jasmyne created an alternate world in which children develop mutant forces and bodily augmentations that enable them to resist social and environmental injustices. Drawing on these visual and textual entries in dialogue with Deleuze and Guattari’s geophilosophy, we consider ways that speculative fiction might offer new conceptual tools for a viral strain of climate change education that proliferates through aesthetic modes of expression.

Rousell, D., & Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, A. (2019). A Systematic Review of Climate Change Education: Giving Children and Young People Both a ‘Voice’ and a ‘Hand’ in a Changing Climate. Children’s Geographies. doi:10.1080/14733285.2019.1614532

Abstract

Children and young people are often positioned as the next generation of leaders in whom the public imagines or expects to overcome the legacies of climate and environmental inaction. Increasingly analyses of progress in environmental education independently identify the need for researchers and teachers to ‘listen to children’s voices’. In this paper we argue that climate change education presents a significant platform not only for youth voices, but also for a genuine activation of children’s political agency in schools, universities, and the public domain. In so doing, we draw upon the government funded project Climate Change + Me, which has involved working with 135 children and young people from across Northern NSW, Australia as co-researchers investigating young people’s voices in climate change. We conclude that climate change education can open up an entirely new field of educational experience and inquiry when it is inclusive of and led by young people.

Rousell, D., & Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, A. (2020). Uncommon Worlds: Towards an ecological aesthetics of childhood in the Anthropocene In A. Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, K. Malone, & E. Barratt Hacking (Eds.), Research Handbook on Childhoodnature: Assemblages of Childhood and Nature Research (pp. 1657-1680). New York, USA: Springer Nature.

Abstract

In addressing the need for a more robust engagement with aesthetics in posthumanist studies of Childhoodnature, this chapter aims to make some tentative steps towards an ecological aesthetics of childhood that is grounded in Whitehead’s speculative philosophy. In doing so, the chapter takes an alternative theoretical approach from much of the ‘common worlds’ scholarship that has emerged in recent years, while making the case for a new aesthetics of childhood that is responsive to the accelerating social, technological, and environmental changes of the Anthropocene epoch. Our approach foregrounds the singularity of children’s aesthetic experiences as relational-qualitative ‘intensities’ that alter the fabric of nature as an extensive continuum held in common. We therefore argue that every moment in the life of a child is an uncommon and unrepeatable occasion through which the common world of nature is felt, perceived, and experienced differently. In the second part of the chapter we use this eco-aesthetic framework to analyse a series of photographs taken by children as part of the Climate Change and Me (CC+Me) project, which has mapped children and young people’s affective responses to climate change over a period of three years in New South Wales, Australia. Rather than working with images as representations or analogic signifiers for children’s experience, we analyse how each photograph co-implicates children’s bodies and environments through affective vectors of feeling, or ‘prehensions’. In doing so, we actively work to reframe aesthetic notions of image, sensibility, perception, and causality in relational terms, while also acknowledging the individuation of childhood experiences as ‘creaturely becomings’ that produce new potentials for environmental thought and behaviour.

Young, T., & Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, A. (2020). Posthumanist Learning: Nature as Event. In A. Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, A. Lasczik, J. Wilks, M. Logan, A. Turner, & W. Boyd (Eds.), Touchstones for Deterritorialising Socioecological Learning: The Anthropocene, Posthumanism and Common Worlds as Creative Milieux (pp. 27-48). London, UK: Palgrave McMillan.

Abstract

This chapter places learning in a posthumanist frame. Starting with classic learning theorists such as Socrates and Plato, we then turn sharply to contemporary thinking acknowledging that a key tenet of posthumanism is to de-centre or deterritorialize the all-important human, and venture towards knowing in a different way. We move through four key concepts of posthumanism, putting these concepts to work though a series of ‘nature as event’ as framed by Debaise (2017) and formerly by Whitehead (1920), James (1912) and Deleuze (1990). Nature as event is a pluralistic concept that rearticulates nature through deterritorializing, de-bifurcation and relationality. In effect, the posthumanist learner (re)adjusts to being already entangled as nature and not separated or dominated by humanist dispositions.

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