Pedagogies of self attempt to uncover the complexities of being. In unearthing the multiplicity of the self with children our impulse might be to minimize and define them in relation to others.
In challenging the political context for exploring self we act to debunk binary ideas of identity proselytizing children as merely competent and capable. Could we afford ourselves the opportunity to consider the interconnectedness of being within the ethos of ecologies? Would this act to further underscore the need for connection to something greater than ourselves? Schmidt, Brown and Orr suggest that, “ In response to evidence that the planet is not empty, but full, many social scientists have begun revisiting understandings of agency and human-environment interaction (2016, p.188).
Exploring harmony and connectedness beyond that of human encounter envelopes the spirit and unleashes a kaleidoscope of possibility. Children shape and are shaped by their experiences in concert with the environment. Their senses capture the nuances of the world around them from the damp smell of the earth after the rain to the brilliant hues of a rainbow on the horizon. Children interpret the texture of the earth under their feet as they leap forward learning about their world and their place in it. The development of self is as present in the glow of sunshine on a child’s face as it is in the warmth of their connection with others. Children discover joy in the environment which is imprinted on their soul. These interactions are woven into the tapestry of their consciousness, a part of them from which they can draw strength as they chase after their next encounter with bliss.
Schmidt, J. J., Brown, P. G. and Orr, C. J. (2016). Ethics in the Anthropocene: A research agenda. The Anthropocene Review, 3(3) 188-200. DOI: 10.1177/2053019616662052