Scottish Education Research Association (SERA) 2022

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


Special Interest Symposium
Symposium Title: Possibilities of educational becoming(s)
Names: Rosamonde Birch, Dana Yaseen, Kumara Ward and Duncan Mercieca
University of Dundee

Outline of Symposium Theme and Relationships

This symposium aims at conceiving education as being in a constant process of becoming(s). Often education is driven by telos - end goals that are constructed as prescriptive, performative and measurable, thus, not always allowing for a focus on the process and the possibility for newness that might emerge in process. This symposium offers an alternative narrative, where the focus is on the becoming(s) of different actors, as all are engaged within education. Furthermore, becoming is seen as multiple rather then liner, thus the plural of becoming. The three papers presented in this symposium offer examples of this becoming(s), all influenced by the philosophy and work of Gilles Deleuze and his collaborator Felix Guattari. They challenge us, through the use of concepts of place, desire and post human, to see education as offering possibilities that allow for otherness, differences, and uncertainties to be part of the process, thus becoming(s).

Paper One: Becoming Places: Experimenting with emergent arts-based practice as method Rosamonde Birch

The paper draws on research into contemporary process-orientated arts-based practice and outdoor learning with a focus on how these approaches are (s)places of emergent pedagogy that contribute to the increasing interest in outdoor and walking based education research methods. The Art Earth Walk method has emerged through my background in Earth Education's 'Earth Walks' (Van Matre, 1990) as a sensory and immersive inquiry with ecosystems and habitats, alongside an experience of Shinrin-yoku (Li, 2018), with slow sensory creative inquiries nurturing wellbeing and nature-connection. A short selection of pages from my own Art Earth Walk journaling will be shared, exemplifying these as ‘agential cuts’ (Barad,2007) and symbol conceptualisations (Yunkaporta, 2019) to explore ‘thinking’ and ‘storying’ of subjective experiential nature encounters through walking and arting. The sketch book pages will also offer provocations into themes around becoming places and futural survival, especially foregrounding that ’to think-with is to stay with the naturalcultural multispecies trouble on earth’ (Harway 2016, p.40) and that place-conscious land/art methods do inherently embody eco-social justice.

Paper Two: “‘De-Lose’ Yourself!” A Deleuzian-Guattarian Framework for Becoming-Researcher
Dana Yaseen

The literature suggests that the purpose of the PhD and the dominant discourse in higher education has shifted towards a vision of the academic as a source of economic change (Clegg, 2010). The concept of becoming, within different theoretical frameworks, has inspired investigations of the complexities that an individual undergoes during their becoming(s) in academia (Savva & Nyhaard, 2021). While studies using the Deleuzian-Guattarian conceptualisation of ‘becoming’ have pushed for nuanced understandings in different fields, the focus continues to plot a picture of individualistic key moments of variables in a ‘metaphor’ of becoming with the ‘real’ being the end-product, which can be rendered incongruent with the Deleuzian understanding of the Subject. I argue that a Deleuzian–Guattarian ontology of desire offers a framework with the potential to make sense of the flux of relations in becoming-researcher especially relating to questions of bodies (space) and time. Using “the fourth person singular tense” – a subjective mode of writing - this paper aims to contribute to the development of research methodologies that align with Deleuzian-Guattarian philosophy (Coleman and Ringrose, 2013). Becoming as a flow of desire can be a creative alternative from the linearity of individualistic desiring what one might lack or want to become, typically embedded within neoliberal discourses. Such a practice, I argue, considers a fresh approach to engaging with becoming that cut through unity-multiplicity and individual-social debates in researcher identity, aiming to make a novel contribution to studies on researcher identity and further engage with Deleuzian-Guattarian scholarship.

Paper Three: Desire and agency in the more than human world: post human perspectives in becoming teacher on a wounded planet
Kumara Ward

Becoming teacher in this paper is investigated retrospectively through the lens of post human perspectives. My practice as a young teacher in the1990s, of recognising the agency of the natural world (Barad, 2007) and reimagining the experience of being in it through the arts, is examined through contemporary arts-based research approaches (Ward, 2017), by tuning into the collective resonances of human and more than human worlds (Widdop Quinton, Ward, K., Ahearn, & Carapeto. 2020) and through the shaping force of Deluezian desire (Colebrook, 2002). This paper asks, who is desiring and what is shaping whom? If the more than human world is curriculum for learning in a world in desperate need of regenerative paradigms, then what is teaching and how is the teacher shaped? These reflections of becoming teacher through these lenses emerge as potential frameworks for relationship to the more than human world, based on recognition of the collective temporal, social, scientific and moral dimensions of desire.
Period24 Nov 2022
Event typeConference
LocationAyrShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational