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Relationality and decolonisation in children and youth garden spaces

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 May 2019

Janet McVittie
Affiliation:
Department of Educational Foundations, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Ranjan Datta
Affiliation:
Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Jean Kayira
Affiliation:
Environmental Studies Department, Antioch University New England, Keene, New Hampshire, USA
Vince Anderson
Affiliation:
Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Corresponding
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Abstract

This article presents an analysis of three uniquely situated garden-based research studies. As colleagues intrigued by the rich, intricate, learning dynamics playing out within the garden spaces, our collaboration explored the broader meaning and potential for garden-based programming. As we discussed the three garden studies, two themes emerged as valuable for analysis: relationality and decolonisation. We understand the themes in relation to Gregory Cajete’s (2005) conceptualisation of coming to resonance within oneself, one’s community, and the surrounding ecosystem as being integral aspects of a holistic learning program. In addition, centring learning around relationality with place requires, as Delores Calderon (2014) asserts, a critique of colonisation that has shaped place over time. In our collaboration on the three studies and reading of current developments in the literature, it became clear that garden- and place-based education must grapple with the troubled histories of place and work towards decolonisation. Each garden project provided unique insight, but our collective analysis elicited an examination of assumptions about pedagogy and potential for decolonisation of land, body, and minds.

Type
Feature Articles
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2019 

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