Meeting in the Forest: Education in a Posthuman Era

Joanna Hume*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

In this paper I explore the current worldwide growth of forest school practice in education settings via the related concepts of posthumanism and post-anthropocentrism. Initially I use the popular nature documentary My Octopus Teacherto illustrate Braidotti’s notion of a posthuman conceptual convergence.I use this film to exemplify some posthuman concepts (the gradual relationship-building and reframing between human and non-human, the reversal or levelling of power hierarchies and the more-than-human healing potential of nature); notions which I then apply to the current growth of forest school programmes. Focusing particularly on the intriguing status of forest schools within the UK education system, I suggest that an oppressive, outcomes-driven framework may be a motivating force behind teachers’ desire to escape into the forest. I then use post-anthropocentric concepts to consider forest school as a positively disruptive force for changing the way we think about learning. Ultimately, I argue for the radical potential of forest schools to offer new posthuman perspectives and to disrupt the limiting boundaries of existing education systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-127
Number of pages10
JournalCultural and Pedagogical Inquiry
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2022

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