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Nomadic dimensions of education with the earth-in-mind

Laura H. Mitchell

pp. 109-126

How do we recover educational approaches that constitute an embedded, embodied ecopsychology of education? This chapter is both: a study of how emerging nomadic learning practices are constellating around the edges of the formal educational system and also a phenomenological vision for an ecopsychology of education with the earth-in-mind. Emergent deschooling practices, explored in this chapter, largely represent a nomadic educative style grounded in direct experience, fluid flows of information, implaced learning, and engagement with complex living systems. They gravitate toward explorations and, oftentimes, lifestyles outside the constraints of the marketplace or institutional education. These "schools without walls" that I focus on, loosely fall around the practices of permaculture, organic gardening, water catchment systems, and the regeneration of local soils and food webs. As such, they represent a grassroots-embodied response to the erosive ecological consequences of globalized capitalism and population pressures. We start with the view that our internalized earth maps—along with our place-worlds and our experiencing bodies—are mutually mapped within each other and that they together form an inseparable unity. This mutual interweave of human and earth body has significant liberatory implications for education. I propose a deep education based in this body–world unity, direct experience, the lived body, the restoration of the imagination as coextensive with anima mundi, and the re-grounding of identity in our place-relations. Within these contexts, we can envision an educational phenomenology in keeping with our embeddedness in the ecological complexity of the earth as well as a responsiveness to a sustainable human presence within our globalized society.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-9619-9_7

Full citation:

Mitchell, L. H. (2014)., Nomadic dimensions of education with the earth-in-mind, in F. Castrillón (ed.), Ecopsychology, phenomenology, and the environment, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 109-126.

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