Walking With Place: Storying Reconciliation Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education
Knowing and understanding the land with Aboriginal cosmologies requires seeing much deeper than the surface. It involves feeling those deep connections that have existed for thousands of years and understanding trees, rocks, and rivers. Drawing on Vanessa Watt’s concept of place-thought and Latour’s emerging common world framework, I explore the notion of country in a specific place in the Australian context. This paper pays attention to the stories of Australia’s colonial pasts, presents, and futures as I set out to generate new reconciliation pedagogies and engage with place during an experiential learning exercise: place-thought-walk. I argue that place-thought pedagogies that are inclusive, respectful, and reconciled to people of the local Aboriginal group can be put to work as a decolonizing practice. This practice exposes the layers of colonial inscription in the landscape, creating space for the land to be reclaimed and reinscribed with Aboriginal knowledges as the central frame.