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Personal, Educational and Societal Arenas
On Collaboration: Personal, Educational and Societal Arenas provides an elaborated analysis of what it means to collaborate, particularly in educational contexts. It thereby adopts a mixed-genre approach, following L. Vygotsky, who maintained that, for example, the works of Shakespeare and of Dostoyevsky had as much to teach us about the human psyche as laboratory studies and field observations. The authors draw on results of scientific research, particularly on collaborative learning and work, as well as on autobiographical narrative, analysis of works of art and even on original fiction. In addition, they broaden the scientific perspective on collaboration from purely educational perspectives by including personal, artistic, and societal contexts. By exploiting benefits of different styles and genres (expository, narrative, fictional, argumentative) this text intends to lead readers towards further reflection on collaboration in their own lives, and towards deeper understanding of the complexity and misconceptions of collaboration, including its societal relevance.
The Lifelong Pursuit to Build the Scientific Mind
Editors: Jan Visser and Muriel Visser
The quest to understand defines our humanness. Since time immemorial it has given rise to art and literature, philosophical reflection, religious practice, myths, metaphor, and allegory, as well as, in more recent history, disciplined scientific inquiry. Seeking understanding is a lifelong journey towards a goal the parameters of which change as our pursuit progresses, until, at life’s end, the goal vanishes beyond the horizon. Such is humanness. Along the way, we build, in an enduring self-transformative fashion, our mind—the scientific mind. But what is that mind?

A transdisciplinary team of 21 prominent authors, from areas such as music history, psychiatry, physics, cosmology, education, astronomy, mathematics, medicine, gaming, artificial intelligence, science communication, early child development, science education, and economics, shed light on what it takes humans to build and cultivate the scientific mind along the lifespan. A decade of intercultural dialogue preceded the book. It comprised six major international Building the Scientific Mind colloquia in culturally diverse settings that spanned the entire planet. Several hundred people from different disciplines and interests—among them distinguished scientists, policy and decision makers, practitioners and thinkers—contributed to the dialogue.

Building the scientific mind transforms our ‘way of being in the world.’ It is driven by the desire to understand deeply—cognitively and affectively—who we are in a world of which we are an integral part. It has great relevance for sustained human existence in the Anthropocene and profound implications for how we organize the conditions for informal and formal learning.
(Re-)Configuring STEAM for Future-Making Education
Why Science and Arts Creativities Matter is a ground-breaking text which significantly extends current understandings of STEAM and debates about individuation of disciplines vis-à-vis transdisciplinary theory. Drawing upon posthumanism, new materialism and enactivism, this collection of chapters aims to dwell further into the ways in which we come to know in relationship with the world. The text draws together a wide set of approaches and points of views to stimulate dialogue and awareness of the different ways in which we can extend the repertoire of human faculties for thinking and experiencing the world. A unique invitation is shared with readers to develop greater understanding of the contribution of education across the arts and sciences and to re-imagine our collective futures.

This book is a unique and timely volume that opens up several new lines of enquiry and arguments on STEAM education. It rebalances and readdresses the current emphasis in the literature around STEAM as another, newer opportunity to teach content. Instead, it brings a more specific focus on an entwining of contemporary theorists – putting theory to work – to extend the means for understanding and cultivating science and arts creativities, and make explicit key connections with the materiality of practices. This new go-to text offers a demonstration of how the latest research and theoretically engaged thinking (thinking through theory) on STEAM education can be put to work in practice.

Contributors are: Ramsey Affifi, Sofie Areljung, Chris Brownell, Pamela Burnard, Kerry Chappell, Laura Colucci-Gray, Carolyn Cooke, Kristóf Fenyvesi, Erik Fooladi, Cathy Francis, Lindsay Hetherington, Anna Hickey-Moody, Christine Horn, Tim Ingold, Riikka Kosola, Zsolt Lavicza, Elsa Lee, Saara Lehto, Danielle Lloyd, James Macallister, Caroline Maloney, Tessa Mcgavock, Karin Murris, Lena Nasiakou, Edvin Østergaard, Anne Pirrie, Hermione Ruck Keene, Ruth Sapsed, Diana Scherer, Pallawi Sinha, Margaret Somerville, Keiren Stephenson, Carine Steyn, Jan Van Boeckel, Nicola Walshe, Olivier Werner, Marissa Willcox, and Heather Wren.

Abstract

This chapter explores the mattering of science and art creativities for future-making education through the transnational project Naming the world: Enhancing early years literacy and sustainability learning. Set in the context of the new geological age of the Anthropocene, the project was informed by posthuman and new materialist theorising, and the proliferation of ways these have been applied in early years learning. It is based on the belief that children of the Anthropocene will grow into a different future than the one we now know, so we need to learn with them and from them, in their everyday worlds. Through researching in collaboration with these children Naming the world seeks new ways of being, knowing and doing, and emergent creative pedagogies for future-making education. It troubles power politics and policy by transforming the power dynamics between university and practitioner researchers and through engaging with young children as a source of knowledge production and decision making.

The project was implemented in two phases: in the first phase university researchers collaborated with young children (0–5 years), through a process of deep hanging out. In the second phase children and educator researchers developed creative pedagogies in response. The chapter outlines the methodological and theoretical underpinnings of Phase 1, in “posthuman” and “new materialist approaches”, and Despret’s “curious practice”. The difficult transition in between is explored as a liminal space of unknowing, a necessary space to enable transformative practices to emerge. The chapter also explores the emergent creative pedagogies that came into being through one of the projects from Phase 2: What can we see outside? (Becoming Bird Project). Through this project, new configurings emerged when Australian Indigenous eco-philosophies came into play, emphasising the necessity of emergence from unknowing for future-making education.

In: Why Science and Art Creativities Matter

Abstract

The world is willed and wild, as are human contributions to it. Scientific and artistic practices are imbued with both dimensions in somewhat different ways. A dominant trend in the evolution of science has been to resist the wildness inherent in human and natural processes. But assuming things are or should be orderly is a hopeless and destructive premise. It often leads to increasingly forceful attempts to control, followed by ever wilder side effects. Science education is destined to serve destructive ends until its practitioners better understand and interrogate the relationship between these two very different, yet complementary, aspects of scientific knowledge and practice. On the other hand, some art forms invite a more integrated experience, appreciation and participation. As such, art holds important ontological, epistemological and ethical lessons for sustainable science education. This chapter explores how dialogue with art can help science educators uncover some of these lessons and foster more graceful complementarity between our will for order and our response to chaos.

In: Why Science and Art Creativities Matter

Abstract

This chapter explores the entanglement of research and practice, offering an account of science|arts practice in which research-driven “features of creative pedagogy” were used within an action research project to engage young people with the problem of ocean plastics. Thinking with Barad’s theory of agential realism, we explore the ongoing emergence of new matter and meaning for the young people, teachers and researchers engaged in this transdisciplinary practice-research.

One component of a large H2020-funded project exploring creativity in science/arts transdisciplinary practices across Europe was a study of action research in six UK secondary schools with science/art teacher pairs. This chapter draws on research conducted within one school in which the issue of plastics in the ocean was explored with 52 students aged 14–15 within an “arts-science project”, to develop the young people’s ideas about environmental responsibility understood, explored and expressed together through science and art.

An approach to researching emergent and creative pedagogies which brings agency to the fore within a material-dialogic, intra-active understanding of (post)human creativity was used. Data gathered through mixed methods, including questionnaires, interviews and photographs, and selected via “glow moment” assemblages, were analysed with and through theory using diffractive analysis to iteratively unfold data, theory, research and practice. This stance embodies a material-dialogic approach, with research, theory and “data” in dialogue.

In the chapter, a sequence of diffractions is described, responding to initial questions posed by the book editors: “When/where/how do objects/subjects of inquiry, and embodiment, come to matter in STEAM (re-)configurings in practice?” These diffractions unfold the emergence of matter and meaning through intra-active material dialogue in a science|art practice, raising questions from/for practice about the concept of ethics, trusteeship and responsibility in environmental education.

In: Why Science and Art Creativities Matter

Abstract

Confronted with the multiplicity of environmental and social issues which are exploding around the globe, ideas and practices of scientific research have come under scrutiny. While the complexity of current problems is defying conventional, reductionist approaches, new readings of science and technology are emphasising the embodied and situated nature of knowledge, with greater attention to disciplinary integration, multi-modal communication and dialogue amongst different perspectives. This chapter positions STEAM at the intersection between competing and complementary discourses in science and technology, the descriptive and the performative, operating as part of an extended ecology of material, affective and cognitive relationships.

Adopting a relational and posthumanist ontology, the chapter will discuss scientific and artistic creativities as emerging at the intersection between mind and nature, and thus integral to the ways in which as individuals we “attend to” the world. This position foregrounds ‘aesthetic perception’ – the ‘A’ in STEAM – as a prime form of knowing, entangled with the lives of others, humans and non-humans, and recovers the ethical dimension in science and technology education. Drawing on the experience from a course in science education involving prospective primary teachers, the chapter will illustrate the pedagogical tenets of this approach and its implications for educating to act in a world in ongoing transformation.

In: Why Science and Art Creativities Matter

Abstract

This chapter draws upon Arne Naess and Ronald Hepburn to think through some limitations of approaching environment and sustainability education via knowledge from science and technology alone. Naess thought that ecologists instinctively understood what many others struggle to – that the equal right to live and blossom is a normative value that should be granted to all living things and not just humans. Nonetheless, Naess held that ecology is a limited science. It is limited because scientific methods can generate descriptive facts about the world but not values to guide action in the world. For the formation of personal ecological values that guide action, or what Naess calls an “ecosophy”, systematic philosophical thinking about self-realisation and nature is needed. Those who develop their own “ecosophies” recognise that human and non-human life are intrinsically interconnected and that, as such, all of life suffers when humans think and act as if they are not interconnected. Hepburn also saw serious limits to scientific knowledge. For Hepburn, scientific method requires the stripping away of all the embodied experiences that make people human. This chapter argues that from Hepburn and Naess we can learn that a balanced education is not confined to inculcating scientific knowledge or skills. Instead it also involves the exploration of ecological values as well as serious aesthetic appreciation. The chapter concludes by discussing how Ciro Guerra’s film Embrace of the Serpent might be educational. It is claimed that the film offers viewers an opportunity to think about human–environment relations in alternative and more ecophilosophically fruitful and aesthetically serious ways. Embrace of the Serpent illustrates how and why arts and especially film-based educational interventions can come to matter.

In: Why Science and Art Creativities Matter
In: Why Science and Art Creativities Matter
In: Why Science and Art Creativities Matter