Mattering Childhood: Retheorising Early Childhood Education for Sustainability Through Child-Rubbish Encounters

This thesis takes the Anthropocene and its unfolding rubbish crises as a provocation to think about and be with rubbish differently within ECEC settings. The separation of human from nature allow rubbish to proliferate in the environment and bodies. This same separation also limits pedagogical responses to these crises. The present study uses feminist new materialist concepts to think about rubbish and child outside of the human/nature binary, instead focusing on their inextricable relations. A responsive, mixed-methods approach will be used to document moments of encounter between child and rubbish. Gathered data will then be used to restory- that is, to story outside of binaries and humanist hierarchies – child-rubbish encounters. These otherwise stories will present new understandings of child and rubbish and are intended to extend ECEC practices to respond to the crises of the Anthropocene. The outcomes of this thesis are presented within a feminist speculative frame, in that it generates further questions, to nurture ethically just and unknowable futures.

Funding / Grants

  • Jean Ferguson Memorial Award 2021

Chief Investigators

Other Team Members