Landscape as Archive: A Critical Analysis of Science and Language Arts Curricula

Andrejs Kulnieks (Nipissing University)

In my paper, I investigate the intersection of Oral and Literary tradition and how this connection can be applied in a critical analysis of science and language arts curricula by conceptualizing landscape as archive through what Chet Bowers (2011) refers to as ecological intelligence.  My research is informed by eco-justice educational theory in my analysis of curricular documents in order to move toward not only a critique of educational practice but also to offer concrete methods that support an ethos of sustainability.  The application of a cultural and linguistic analysis of multiple literacies can help learners develop a deeper understanding of place that is an integral aspect of learning (Bowers, 2003; 2006; Martusewicz, Edmundson & Lupinacci, 2011).  By revisiting the etymology of the language of stories that develop through engagements with particular landscapes and an ongoing engagement with inter-generational knowledge, I consider the importance of including eco-hermeneutic and eco-justice practices in curricula development.  Eco-hermeneutic practices trace the history of words beyond their first usage to their engagement with local culture and place (Kulnieks, Longboat & Young, 2010).  I conceptualize landscape as archive, as ecological – one that holds within it memory of time immemorial.  My research is informed by indigenous cultural practices that encourage the ongoing revitalization of inter-generational knowledge in order to create a dialogue with ancestral knowledge.  I investigate how archived mythopoetic folksongs provide insight towards examining the benefits of using archival technologies to re-examine developing deeper relationships with the places we live.

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