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Place, space and time: A topological perspective of a forest school-based educational mode of existence

Unsworth, Ruth ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4900-3590 (2024) Place, space and time: A topological perspective of a forest school-based educational mode of existence. European Educational Research Journal.

unsworth-2024-place-space-and-time-a-topological-perspective-of-a-forest-school-based-educational-mode-of-existence.pdf - Published Version
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This paper explores the question: ‘how do teachers shape children’s connections to forest places and establish educational ways of being and knowing (an educational mode of existence) during Forest School sessions?’. A Forest School ‘movement’ has grown in popularity in Europe over the last decade, alongside a marked expansion in the field of learning outside the classroom (LOTC). Part of this movement has focused on the importance of developing children’s relationship with nature. However, little literature speaks to how child-nature relationships manifest, nor implications for educational ways of being (and knowing). This paper steps outside of popularised notions of ‘nature deficit disorder’ to reimagine Forest Schooling as intentional construction of a specific educational mode of existence, reliant upon careful evolution of children’s connections to forest places. The term ‘place’ is necessarily complicated in this paper, arguing that only through recent developments in (social) topological perspectives and theories of modes of existence can we begin to fully understand place connection. Drawing on ethnographic data, this paper argues for greater focus on intersections between materiality and meaning constructed in multidimensional time and space in establishing educational modes of existence and related place connections.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/14749041241259888
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/10220

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