Connecting differently: a post-qualitative narrative of (co)emergence

Witt, S. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


In a previous critical response to Nature Deficit Disorder (Louv,2005) we coined the term Nature Naivety through experiences and ponderings with student teachers and primary children. As teacher educators this offered a more nuanced way to consider notions of learners’ relationships with nature. Previously, at Nature Connections 2015, we shared our early work on ‘Eco playfulness’ (Clarke & Witt 2015). Since then, we have continued to foster lively, spirited enquiries within Selborne woodlands through a ‘Pedagogy of Place Attention’ (2016), ‘A Logic of Mutual Inclusion’ (2017) and ‘Literal and Lyrical Dimensions of Connection’ (2018). Now, in 2019, we offer a further shift in our thinking with the material and non human world as educational assemblages (Pyyry,2016) Through practice grounded research, from a Common Worlds relationality (Taylor,2017) where place is an ‘inherently pedagogical contact zone’ (Hodgins 2019), we consider the importance of uncertainty and openness to improvisation in encounters with the natural world. We have matured in acquaintance with post qualitative methodology and (re)visited notions of rhizomatic thinking and multiplicity (Deleuze and Guattari 1988). Different ways of asking questions, challenging experiences, and recognising more than human tacit knowledges have emerged. Here, we share examples of research pedagogic stories from post qualitative enquiry, paying attention to existing connection and thinking differently as an experimental and responsive collage of becoming. Significant implications emerge from these narratives: for us as participants, entangled in relationship with place; as researchers, attuned and learning with the world; as theorists, diffracting theory through narration; as curators of voices and forms; as animateurs of embodied, affective, sensory relationships. We recognise that these stories remain partial (re) tellings of encounters between students, children and place. However, in (at)tending and (re)noticing the intimate, authentic, ethical connections that inherently exist, new nature relationships are (co)shaped. We are confident that our stories will provoke and enliven future collaborations with the more than human world.
Period2 Jul 2019
Held atNature Connections 2019
Event typeConference
LocationDerby , United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • post-qualitative, (co)emergence, assemblages, materiality, nature connection, relational