Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles

Professor of Sustainability, Environment and Education, Southern Cross University

Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles is a Professor of Sustainability, Environment and Education at Southern Cross University, School of Education, Australia.  She is the Deputy Dean Research for the School of Education, as well as the Research Leader of the ‘Sustainability, Environment and Education’ (SEE) Research Cluster.   She has led over 30 research projects in environmental education and published over 150 publications largely centred on ontologies in/as nature through socioecological and more recently posthumanist theoretical orientations. She has a particular interest in child-framed arts-based research methodologies.  Amy has also been recognised for both her teaching and research excellence in environmental education, including the Australian Association for Environmental Education Fellowship (Life Achievement Award) for her outstanding contribution to environmental education research.

Childhood Summit 2019 - Childhood In Practice - Workshop - Environment -

Day 1 Afternoon - Thought Leader Forum - Environment - Facilitator with Karen Malone

Day 2 & Day 3 Afternoon - Childhood In Practice - Workshop with Karen Malone

Childhood In Practice

Mapping and troubling natureplay:  Posthuman cartographies
With Professor Karen Malone

Recent analysis in childhood studies identifies that educators have readily framed childhood as a social or cultural construct with little consideration of nature (Malone, 2016; Taylor, 2013, 2017).  Wood and Attfield (2005) position Froebel, Rousseau and Dewey as seminal theorists in shifting views of early childhood education with play seen as critical to children’s learning and development.  However, these theorists often placed the child at the centre of learning with the environment as a backdrop, prop, setting or even a ‘third teacher’ (Dodd-Nufrio, 2011). In backgrounding the environment as the passive context for children’s social, physical, and mental development, they have not adequately considered the child and nature as interpenetrating and mutually entangled worlds, or what Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, Malone and Barratt Hacking (2018) frame as childhoodnature – a posthumanist hybridised understanding of childhood and nature as mutually important.


In further understanding the complexities of natureplay, in this session we focus on cartography; an arts-based education research methodology of creating visual maps from observations, ideas and pedagogies for natureplay.  We draw upon Latour’s (2013) model of cartography, which is focused on the relations between people, places and objects (Cutcher, Rousell, & Cutter-Mackenzie, 2015). Latour (2013) positions the cartographic network as domains of knowledge.  This session will enable participants to gain valuable insight into accessing children’s domains of knowledge through/as natureplay.

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