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Jonas Andreasen Lysgaard

"All Our Relations": Respecting People and Scholarship

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  • Jonas Greve Lysgaard
  • Alison Neilson, University of Coimbra CES - Centro de Estudos Sociais Coimbra, Portugal
  • Reingaard Spannring, Universitat Innsbruck, Austria
  • David Kronlid, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Per Sund, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Mälardalen University, PO Box 325, Eskilstuna 63105, Sweden, Sweden
  • Louise Sund, Mälardalen University, Sweden
In seeking co-provocateurs for this roundtable, the initial outreach was fuelled by anger regarding the devaluing of social sciences compared to natural sciences and economics (Mendel, 2014) as well as the frustration of seeing poorly designed research by natural scientists studying human behaviour and education without being informed by protocols and best practices developed for such work by the social sciences (Pooley, Mendelsohn & Milner-Gulland, 2014), and ignorance of deep critical explorations of educational and other social processes by sociologists, anthropologists amongst others (Sund & Lysgaard, 2013). However, the initial response provoked an offer to discuss the role of love in environmental and sustainability education research, ESER. While this reply was clearly housed in the same concerns and critique initially expressed, the use of the word “love”, a powerful concept simultaneously simple and complex, drew us to seek a circle of renewal and remembering of life and lives that may have been forgotten at times within ESER.The phrase “all our/my relations” comes from indigenous worldviews and practices of honouring all the people who have come before you as well as the other living beings with whom we share this planet (Kulnieks, Longboat & Young, 2013). This round table discussion will honour all our relations by remembering the current and past practices which take on issues related to motivation rooted in social and cultural patterns, as well as politics of knowledge with complex histories and inequities (Glass, Scott & Price, 2012; Sund & Öhman, 2014). We will respect people and scholarship via three main currents of discussion:The role of love in ESER“Ignored concepts” - Research and extensive discourse that gets ignored when defining questions that assume people are selfish and have never cooperated to protect the commons, or are not politically active (Gaiser, Rijke & Spanning, 2010) uncritical acceptance of people/nature dichotomy, uncritical use of education as transferring information from expert to ignorant.Political dimensions of ESER (postcolonial lens, global inequities, poverty in the “south”)The discussions will flow at the level of and through individuals, but also at infrastructural and conceptual spaces and places. Creative methodologies provide powerful avenues to disrupt imbalances and injustices and take into account issues of representation, legitimation and politics in research as well as communications about research (McKenzie, 2005). Philip Payne (2005) challenges the limitations of textual discourse as a way of knowing; he focuses on “being, doing and becoming a relational, social and ecological ‘self’” (p. 415) and suggests that strong cultural production constrains these qualities. Framing, metaphors and narratives are important for meaning making (Lakoff, 2010) and are particularly important to deconstruct when challenging dominant views that may have been taken as common sense (Stone-Mediatore, 2003), as well as inviting critical reflection on the very story being told. We will use creative juxtapositioning of the currents of discussion in order to evoke deeper insights than may arise from sequential presentations of the three discussion themes (Neilson, 2009). Additionally, the format of the round table will include multiple forms of communications to involve all who attend, and, the participants along with the provocateurs will physically be seated within a circle.ReferencesGaiser, W., Rijke, J.D., & Spanning, R. (2010). Youth and political participation – empirical results for Germany within a European context. Youth 18(4), 427-450. Glass, J. H., Scott, A., & Price, M. F. (2012). Getting active at the interface: How can sustainability researchers stimulate social learning? In A. Wals & P. Blaze Concoran (Eds.) Learning for sustainability in times of accelerating change. pp. 167-183. Wageningen University Press, NL. Kronlid, D.O., & Öhman, J. (2012). An environmental ethical conceptual framework for research on sustainability and environmental education. Environmental Education Research, ifirst article, 1-24. Kulnieks, A., Longboat, D. R. & Young, K. (2013). Contemporary Studies in Environmental and Indigenous Pedagogies. A Curricula of Stories and Place. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Lakoff, G. (2010). Praxis forum. Why it matters how we frame the environment. Environmental Communication, 4(1), 70-81. McKenzie, M. (2005). The ‘post-post period’ and environmental education research. Environmental Education Research, 11(4), 401-412. Mendel, J. (2014). Bad Research and High Impact: The Science: So What Campaign and Social Media Criticism. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 13(1), 56-61. Neilson, A. L. (2009). The power of nature and the nature of power. Special Issue: Inquiries into practice. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 14, 136-148. Payne, P. (2005). Lifeworld and textualism: Reassembling the researcher/ed and ‘others’. Environmental Education Research, 11(4), 413-431. Pooley, S. P., Mendelsohn, J. A., & Milner‐Gulland, E. J. (2014). Hunting Down the Chimera of Multiple Disciplinarity in Conservation Science. Conservation Biology, 28(1), 22-32. Stone-Mediatore, S. (2003). Reading across border: Storytelling and knowledges of resistance. New York, NY: Palgrave. Sund, L., & Öhman, J. (2014). On the need to repoliticise environmental and sustainability education: Rethinking the postpolitical consensus. Environmental Education Research, 20(5), 639-659. Sund, P., & Lysgaard, J. (2013). Reclaim “Education” in Environmental and Sustainability Education Research. Sustainability, 5(4), 1598–1616.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year8 Sep 2015
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2015
Event‘European Conference on Educational Research: Education and Transition - Contributions from Educational Research - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 7 Sep 201511 Sep 2015


Conference‘European Conference on Educational Research

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