Fanfare to AARE (read this with a touch of Italian accent) – by Anna
Once upon a spacetime, Pauliina and Anna found themselves in a Melbourne-based conference dedicated to research in education (for becoming hummus with Pauliina squeeze yourself through these letters). Anna’s academic journey began from greeting waters that wash the Australian Terra, listening to the eucalyptus bark in Geelong and engaging with fantasticdeephumidpositivelydistinct air of local but global atmosphere.
Following the Educational Theory and Philosophy session, where jetlagged Anna couldn’t make sense of seeing life as misery but through a paradigm of overcoming the problems, the session on Qualitative Research Methodologies was quite a disappointment: early stage researchers discovered the need for being attentive in narrative inquiry.
Yet, Anna’s pain was soothed in no time by the group of immensely talented researchers from the Poststructual Theory SIG. Mindy Blaise and Catherine Hamm shared with everyone the potentiality of bark movements across space and between different bodies. By decentering a child, they questioned how bark is being viewed in relation to the child. Touching, smelling, throwing bark and following the traces of water on it enables generation of shifting pedagogies: we no longer concentrate on children, but on their entanglement with the moving bark.
The next day Anna had a privilege of presenting together with 7 other scholars of the Emergent Literacies for World Naming collective: Annette Woods, Abigail Hackett, Pauliina Rautio, Margaret Somerville, Iris Duhn, Sarah Powell and Sarah Crinall. The session attracted many researchers/educators what initially indicated public interest in or, probably, critical stance on the post-theories movement. The group of presenters received a lot of positive feedback.
Apart from being deeply dedicated to the poststuctual theory symposiums, Anna decided to check out what was happening in the Environmental and Sustainability Education SIG. Debbie Bradbery introduced her Doctoral research about teachers’ perceptions of commitment and efficacy of teaching for a sustainable future in the context of Australia. Another paper was discussing how ready teachers are for the enactment of sustainability practices. Australia is investing a good bulk of money into developing those practices, yet schools are reluctant to implement “brand new” courses and “redesigned” curriculum. Teacher professional development in this filed is lacking any governmental effort and teachers on site have no idea in their majority that sustainability is not only about “protecting nature”. Yet, schools are quite busy and efficient with “hands-on” activities.
Another session worth remembering was named “In defense of the dark arts: merging theory and method to transfigure education research”. Anna borrowed from the second presentation by Robin Bellingham some very useful and “delicious” references in regards to the “cognitive passion, which is bound up in bodies, in curiosity, and in horror” (Daston & Park, 2001), to the depravity of junky arts, in which we try to make familiar strange and strange familiar and to the dirty, messy, filthy and not at all perfect world.
Finally, Anna praises all researchers involved in making the session “Disruptive thinking through creative methods” possible. Sue Collins, Angela Foley, Sarah Crinall and Abby Davis under supervision of Margaret Somerville did almost impossible: they surprised a very knowledgeable audience, they made people cry and they brought up a discussion which remains strange, creative, unknown, but, nevertheless, very important. Each work of each woman of the Space Place Body group naturally deserves an award. Anna especially would like to thank Sarah Crinall and Abby Davis for making her thinking to disrupt. Sarah’s unique style of thinking, writing and speaking, Abby’s redefinition of death and life everted what is supposed to be Anna.
But what makes Anna the most proud researcher in the world is that every single person blessed the talent of her supervisor Pauliina Rautio, who, as a true Nordic person, was humbled by the numerous references, compliments and appreciations of her work. Way to go Pauliina!
Fanfare to AARE for uniting all kind of minds!