The current sustainability crisis is born from a specious notion that humans are separate from and in a position of control over nature. In response, this dissertation reconceptualizes education beyond its current anthropocentric model to imagine education as learning through relationality with all that is ‘beyond’ the human. The study leaves behind hegemonic binary distinctions (human
ature, teacher/student, formal
on-formal education) to reimagine education as a multidirectional process of learning as worlding and becoming-with Earth (Haraway, 2016a). It explores what matters in education and how it comes to matter.
This dissertation introduces the concept of storyworlding to describe what occurs when multispecies, multi-mattered assemblages (re)write Earth’s narratives through their relationships with one another. Taking its inspiration from the work of the Common Worlds Research Collective, Donna Haraway, and Isabelle Stengers, storyworlding acknowledges that the relationships between and among all biotic and abiotic forces on Earth make stories through their interactions, and these stories make a pluriverse of worlds.
The study is structured as a natureculture (Haraway, 2003) ethnography. This innovation on ethnography, a traditionally human-centered method, focuses on agential, multispecies/ multi-mattered assemblages rather than the description of human culture. Data is not generated and then labeled as fixed in this study. It is emergent in its assemblages as a co-narrator in sympoietic storyworlding (Haraway, 2016b).
Data generation took place over 6 months in a small, coffee-producing region of Southeastern Brazil. Data generation methods included walking conversations with children and the more-than-human world, participation in a multi-grade, one-room schoolhouse, and the collection of visual and audio data such as drawings, photographs, videos, and audio recordings.
Using an intentionally slow, messy, and fluid diffractive analysis, I follow the data where it leads as I think with the concept of storyworlding (Barad, 2007; Mazzei, 2014). Drawing inspiration from Donna Haraway, Isabelle Stengers, and Iveta Silova, the dissertation concludes with an Epilogue of speculative fabulation (SF) imaginings through which I invite the reader to engage in the thought experiment of reimagining not only what matters in education, but what education, itself, is.