ERIC Number: EJ1151290
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
The Matter of the Stick: Storying/(Re)Storying Children's Literacies in the Forest
Harwood, Debra; Collier, Diane R.
Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, v17 n3 p336-352 Sep 2017
Children's intra-actions with the natural world offer an important lens to revisit notions of literacies. They allow for a decentring of humans--here children--as actors. Also, forest schools and nature-based learning programmes are increasingly erupting across North America, although more commonplace in Europe for a longer period. In this presentation of our research, we feature a storying/(re)storying of data from a yearlong research study of children's entanglements with the forest as a more-than-human world. We ask what we might learn if educators, children and researchers think with sticks, not separate from, but in relation to sticks? Eight preschool children, two educators and two researchers ventured into the forest twice a week over the course of a year, documenting their interactions with a mosaic of data generation tools, such as notebooks, iPads, Go-Pro cameras. The forest offered diverse materials that provoked "thing-matter-energy-child-assemblages" that were significant for the children's play and literacy framing. Through post-humanist theorizing, we have paid particular attention to the stick within the children's forest play and illustrate the ways in which the stick was entangled with children's bodies, relations, identities and discourses. The stick was a catalyst, a friend, a momentary and changing text, an agentic force acting relationally with children's play and stories. The post humanism storying/(re)storying of the children's encounters in the forest with sticks invites infinite possibilities for literacy teaching and learning. How might educators foster such relations, enquiring with and alongside children with an openness toward what the sticks (forests) might teach us?
Descriptors: Natural Resources, Outdoor Education, Story Telling, Preschool Children, Preschool Teachers, Handheld Devices, Telecommunications, Photography, Play, Emergent Literacy, Human Body, Literacy Education, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada