On Sensorial Experiences at the Beach

Thinking with Haraway to Explore an Unfolding Sensory Knowing of Marine STEAM

In: Why Science and Art Creativities Matter


An increasing realisation and acceptance of the impact of climate change has raised the profile of STEM and learning for sustainability in educational systems across the world. However, despite arguably some of the most encouraging policy in the world, teachers in Scotland often remain thwarted by the pragmatics of schooling and furthermore they may lack personal or professional conviction to take learning outside. In their defence, teachers in Scotland are working with a school population and ways of learning increasingly removed from nature and the specificity of place. This chapter describes the author’s attitude to teaching and learning, which has always been to “get stuck in” and face issues “head on”. Therefore, creating an opportunity from this pedagogical challenge was an obvious response. Donna Haraway’s curiosity is likewise piqued by the entanglements between beings and becoming, implicating such response-ability. Her passionate use of art and story describes the delicate, yet tenacious, webs of implicit relationality humans find themselves within. Haraway’s theorising of the worlding game on Earth, a game the children and the author played out each week at the beach, develops understandings of the value of alternative ways of learning which can occur when citizen scientist meets artist in a littoral contact zone. This chapter explores Haraway’s writing, in parallel with a description of a lived inquiry, to extend and deepen understanding of how sensorial encounter can complement rather than counter or polarise experiences of the other and of other learning.

Why Science and Art Creativities Matter

(Re-)Configuring STEAM for Future-Making Education