33 SES 16 A, Transdisciplinary Feminism as Powerful Knowledge: Re-thinking Educational Research on Gender
In 2021, we are living in a world grappling with the challenges that a small piece of matter existing on the border between living and non-living has wrought. Over 100,000,000 cases of Covid-19, 2 million humans dead and multiple living organisms are suffering from the disease. In 2020, bushfires and wildfires across multiple continents focused the world’s attention (again) on climate change, the death of billions of animals, and the extinction of ecosystems and species. In Australia, dust storms following the fires provided evidence of both soil destruction and air degradation. These horrific events urge science education researchers to accept that understanding does not come from standing apart but from engaging with the material in the world. This paper argue that science education research must (re)connect, (or in actuality begin) to use posthumanist theories, such as material feminism, to frame research questions that recognize that matter is agentic, and that nature and humans are entangled is certain and unpredictable ways. Historically the practices of modern science are built upon a humanist perspective of life which separates culture, the actions of humans, from nature, all other parts of the universe, so that nature and culture could be examined separately from each other with culture being placed in a superior separateness. The development of ideas such as anthropozoic, anthropogenic, anthropogene, and anthropocene have challenged scientists to acknowledge that humans are not simply passive observers of the Earth but active participants in its becoming. Higgins, Wallace and Bazzul (2019) critique science education’s failure to engage with posthumanist and new materialist theories. They propose three ways to trouble science education through (a) slow science; (b) minor inquiry; and (c) disruption. Drawing on Stengers (2018), they suggest science education needs to incorporate hesitation to allow for the ‘mights’ which ‘provides necessary conditions for the emergence of different beings, ethics, and ways of living’ (p. 162). This presentation works with Barad’s (2007) view that the material world and humans work through practice to construct phenomena. We draw on the ecological impact of COVID-19, wildfires and the ongoing saga of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, to explore how slow science can provide a strategy for both agency of the material world and other living things to impact humans. We show how these ‘mights’ could be used in science education research to create an ontoepistoethical vision for science education research in the 21st century.
Barad, K. M. (2007). Meeting the universe halfway: Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Durham, USA: Duke University Press. Higgins, M., Wallace, M. & Bazzul, J. (2019). Staying with the trouble in science education: Towards thinking with nature -a manifesto. In C. Taylor & A. Bayley (Eds) Posthumanusim and higher education: Reimagining pedagogy, practice and research (pp. 155-164). Chaim, Switzerland: Palgrave MacMillian. Stengers, I. (2018). Another science is possible: A manifesto for slow science. Cambridge: Polity Press.
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