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  • Writer's picturePete Crowcroft

Proposition 3 - Play and Explore Place

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

This podcast encourages your interaction with Place to facilitate the flow of new thoughts to emerge, and experiences to notice.



3 Play and explore Place
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Did you play at your place today? What did that lead to? Share your thoughts in the comments below.



Proposition 3_Play and explore Place

Branch reaches across Creek this morning. Trunk is located on the far bank, leaving Branch to move with the wind and bodies gathering around. Bodies bounce in response to Brach’s locality to Trunk. Up and down, bounce, bounce, bounce. A provocation is presented, what happens if you follow Branch? Bodies change and hands move across bark, following Branch. Branch-hand connection becomes the impetus as bodies follow down the bank, towards Creek. Then, Branch becomes bridge as bodies trust Branch to move them across Creek to the far bank. Branch-hand connection reconvenes as bodies realise Branch belongs with Trunk, with Big Tree. How far does Tree reach to the sky? How wide do Tree’s Branches reach across the reserve? How do Branch and Tree provoke the ways our bodies move?

In positioning learning with place, this work practices the image of the child as capable, in particular, the image of the child as a citizen of the now (Rinaldi, 2005). Rinaldi shares,

The child is not a citizen of the future; he is a citizen from the very first moment of life and also the most important citizen because he represents and brings the 'possible', a statement for me that is without rhetoric. The child is a bearer, here and now of rights, of values, of culture; the culture of childhood. He is not only our knowledge about childhood, but the childhood’s knowledge of how to be and how to live. It is our historical responsibility not only to affirm this but to create cultural, social, political and educational contexts which are able to receive children and dialogue with their potential for constructing human rights.

(p. 135-36)

This image of the child resituates the child as “capable of generating compelling insights about their communities” (Krechevsky, et al., 2016, p. 5). Connecting this image of the child with the understanding of place as agentic and active calls for teaching and learning that is complex and intentional. In this sense, pedagogical intentions[JI1] [CH2] emerge as a practice necessary to honor children as citizens of the now and construct spaces and time for intricate and sophisticated ideas to generate and evolve. Pedagogical intentions are carefully crafted practices that situate pedagogical inquiries within conceptual, ethical and political terrain as we wonder with the world. Pedagogical intentions are layered, complex and non-linear anchors for “generating learning relationships that actively work toward realizing the ethical and political contours of these worlds, and then submitting these pedagogies to conversations that purposefully extend, unsettle, and risk the conceptual terrain and practice they shape and are shaped by” (Land, Hamm, Yazbeck, Brown, Danis and Nelson, 2020, p. 136).

In the process of creating the Manifesto, the children name “fun” and “exploration” as an important part of Learning with Place. We see this as the children play with place, for example, following Branch to Tree in response to play with Branch. These actions of children as citizens of the now, reposition these moments as engaging with environmental justice, making visible the deep complexity within children’s relations with place and more-than-human. Haraway (2018) shares “generative, effective multispecies environmental justice must be as much about play, storytelling, and joy as about work, critique, and pain” (p. 102).

So how might you play and explore?

It’s very simple – you just Play! Yes, play with your place! Trace Bark on Tree. Dig your toes into Dirt. Listen to Birds as they gather with Tree. Climb Tree to see Clouds. Get low to the ground and follow ant. Run with Ocean and roll with sand.



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Can you describe a moment or tell a story of Playing with Place?

Play with place and discover parts of place that you did not know.

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