30 SES 05 A, Investigating the "Whole School" Approach
Purpose and theoretical framework
Waste is, indisputably, one of the key issues of environmental concerns of our times. In an environment and sustainability education perspective, waste offers concrete entry points to issues of consumption, sustainability and citizenship. Still, waste education has received relatively little interest from environment and sustainability education researchers (Jørgensen et al., forthcoming).
In a research- and development project on waste education carried out in Danish schools and pre-schools in 2016, we identified a significant lack of interest among educational practitioners for waste practices in the homes of the learners. In the second, ongoing phase of the project, we explore waste practices and waste understandings of families of varied backgrounds and the potentials of employing this knowledge in the development of waste education approaches. In this presentation, we discuss the differences between everyday waste practices in homes and educational institutions, with a particular focus on experiences and understandings of the temporalities linked to waste.
William Viney, in his book Waste: A Philosophy of Things (2014), brings attention to the ways in which temporal processes are experienced when we deal with waste. ‘Whenever we think about, encounter or create waste we must consider the time that has come and gone, and the ways in which things make, take and use time in the tasks we pursue with their help or hindrance. Our perception of and interaction with objects not only imply this material sense of temporality but objects we call ‘waste’ have peculiar powers to make that temporality an explicit part of what they are and how we judge them’, Viney suggests (2014, 2–3). Waste thus creates a link to the past as well as to the future. With inspiration from Viney, we explore how the temporality of waste links to various waste (related) practices in homes and schools. How do different practices negotiate and change the present and future status of waste materials? Which kind of imaginings of the future are at play in different waste practices? How is the temporality of waste discussed and narrated (or not) in different settings? How do children in different families understand waste and time? What is the potential of waste for providing educators with concrete entry points for discussions about the temporal perspective of sustainability?
Our analysis and interpretation of the empirical material generated through the project is inspired by practice theory, and, in particular, more recent theoretical contributions to practice theory emphasizing the socio-material, sensuous and aesthetic aspects of practices. While most practice theory has had a strong focus on the social, and particularly on social reproduction, material and social practices are obviously interweaved (see e.g. McKenzie & Bieler 2015); as suggested by Røpke: ‘performing a practice usually requires various artefacts, such as equipment, tools, materials, and infrastructures’ (2009, p. 2490). In continuation of our attention to the ways in which practices and materiality interweave, we are interested in the ways aesthetic and sensuous experiences figure in waste related practices (e.g. Gherardi, 2005), and how this links up to temporal experiences of waste.
References Ekström, Karin M. 2015. Waste Management and Sustainable Consumption: Reflections on Consumer Waste. Edited by Ekström. Karin M. London and New York: Earthscan Routledge. Gherardi, Silvia. 2006. Organizational Knowledge : The Texture of Workplace Learning. Blackwell Pub. Jamison, Andrew. 2001. The Making of Green Knowledge: Environmental Politics and Cultural Transformation. New York: Cambridge University Press. Jørgensen, Nanna Jordt, Madsen, Katrine Dahl, Læssøe, Jeppe. Forthcoming. Waste in Education: Socio-material perspectives and the Potential of Practice Theory. McKenzie, Marcia and Andrew Bieler. 2015. Critical Education and Sociomaterial Practice : Narration, Place, and the Social. Peter Lang. Røpke, Inge. 2009. “Theories of Practice - New Inspiration for Ecological Economic Studies on Consumption.” Ecological Economics 68 (10). Svensson, Lennart and Aagaard Nielsen, Kurt. 2006. Action Research and Interactive Research. Action and Interactive Research. Beyond Practice and Theory. Edited by Svensson, Lennart and Aagaard Nielsen, Kurt. Viney, William. 2014. Waste: A Philosophy of Things. London/New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
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