Seminar Series 2024

  1. Date: 18th January 2024 

Waterways and learning: A series of pedagogical tensions for pedagogy

Abstract: As part of a wider pilot project investigating water in, by and for early childhood education curriculum (ECE) across Aotearoa, NZ, Norway and Tanzania, this seminar explores the omnipresence of water in the lives of young children (who are called ‘tamariki’) across Te Wai Pounamu (South Island of New Zealand). Based on several days photographing, talking and walking with learners in and beyond their bicultural ECE setting across sea, river and estuary,  Jayne takes a dialogic look at how water featured in children’s experiences and what  aspects of water (and why) are visibilised as a consequence – by researchers, teachers and tamariki.  A series of tensions arise concerning pedagogies where water is viewed as either a resource for exploration and play, a sustainability burden that is placed on tamariki to solve, or a relational ‘other’ through embodied encounter. Each will be explored through photographs, narratives, assessment records and documents within the wider sociopolitical landscape which orients their respective treatment in relation to learning. 

Speaker: Professor E. Jayne White| School of Teacher Education| Faculty of Education| University of Canterbury


Speaker’s bio: Jayne is a Professor of Early Years at University of Canterbury, in Aotearoa NZ. Her combined interests in visual and dialogic methodologies seek to disrupt the strongholds that limit the ways children are or can be seen. As Chief of Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy, and immediate past President and Fellow of Association for Visual Pedagogy, Jayne leads a visual movement in collapsing the hegemony of text in practice and publishing. She is Fellow of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia and honorary member of OMEP Aotearoa. She edits several book series and early years journals, serving on several editorial boards. Her latest co-authored book on dialogic methodology is soon to be published by Oxford as part of their ‘research on point’ series.

  1. Date: 15th February 2024 

Becoming Animate: Becoming and being human with other animals & Children of the Anthropocene-Atmosphere: Research on the atmospheres of the environmental crisis and multispecies relations

Abstract: The projects we talk about are based in Finland, led by us, and include wider research groups. While being differently constructed, the projects we present have a shared focus on nature-culture relations and both aim at enhancing attentiveness towards multispecies relations, imagining multispecies futures, and rethinking exclusive human agency in society and in education. We employ e.g., multispecies ethnographic, multimodal, atmospheric, and arts-based approaches for highlighting agencies of other species and environments as shared between species. Between our projects we develop multispecies storytelling methods and explore the conceptual framework of multispecies justice in relation to education. In the session, we will discuss experiences from conducting these projects. We will address the troubles and rewards of working with young citizens in different contexts and scholars across disciplines as well as the issues of engaging the wider community and society.


  1. Riikka Hohti (Research Fellow at Tampere University, Finland) 


  1. Pauliina Rautio (Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oulu), Finland. 


Speakers’ Biographies: 

Riikka Hohti has written about multispecies childhoods, atmospheres, materiality and temporality. She has developed participatory and post-qualitative methodologies at the intersections of childhood studies and human-animal studies and education. She is Finnish Academy Research Fellow at Tampere University, and leads the project Children of the Anthropocene – Environmental atmospheres and multispecies collaborations (2022-2025, Kone Foundation, University of Helsinki).

Pauliina Rautio is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oulu, Finland. Her research interests include multispecies education, inclusive ecological citizen science and co-creative methods. Rautio leads a transdisciplinary research group AniMate (est. 2016) and is a PI of three funded projects on multispecies everyday lives. She is an Editor-in-Chief of a peer-reviewed open access journal for human-animal studies Trace, a board member of the Finnish Society for Human-Animal Studies, a vice member of the Farm animal welfare council (Ministry of Agriculture), and runs a wildlife rehabilitation centre for injured wild birds at her home.

  1. Date: 14th March 2024

Towards attentive, playful arts-based methodology with children

Abstract: This paper shares methodological insights from our research (Lomax and Smith, 2021,2022, 2024) which sought to centre children in the production of knowledge during the 2020 global pandemic to consider how this can inform research with children beyond the crisis. Drawing on longitudinal participatory arts-based research with thirty children aged 9-12 during 2020-22, the paper illustrates our response to the shifting research landscape which included navigating social restrictions to develop child-centred ways of working with socially distanced arts-based methods and technologies. The paper sets out key principles focused on foregrounding children’s ways of knowing and attentive seeing which underpinned our reframing of the research encounter from one in which adults are intent on extracting children’s ready-made thoughts to a space in which knowledge generation is recognised as a process of co-construction and engagement with children. Central to this process is our commitment to feminist care ethics and the application of principles from early childhood research and pedagogy which prioritise attentiveness to younger children’s rhythms and pace. Our aim, in setting out an approach which makes a space for playfulness with older children, is to elaborate the potential of slower, attentive methods and to offer a methodological framework to address wider questions about what arts-based methods do.

Lomax, H. and Smith, K. (2024 in press) Open access  ‘Towards attentive, playful arts-based methodology with children’. Global studies of childhood. 10.1177/20436106241233006. 

Lomax, H. and Smith, K. (2022) Open access ‘Seeing as an act of hearing: Making visible children’s experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic through participatory animation Sociological Research Online, 27 (3)

Lomax, H., Smith, K., Walsh, B., Jensen, K., McEvoy, J. & Brickwood, E. (2021) Open access Creating online participatory research spaces: Insights from creative, digitally-mediated research with children during the Covid-19 pandemic. Families, Relationships and Societies:1-19.

Speaker: Prof Helen Lomax (University of Huddersfield) 


Biography: Helen Lomax is Professor of Childhood Studies and Director of Research in the School of Education and Society (HudCRES) at the University of Huddersfield. She has a long-standing interest in the development of participatory, arts-based methods with children and has led and co-led multi-disciplinary UKRI and EU funded projects on landscapes and well-being, children’s digital literacy and childhood well-being in contexts of disadvantage. Helen currently leads (with Barry Percy-Smith) a Nuffield funded participatory action research project with children and young people living in three socio-economically disadvantaged (rural/coastal, post-industrial, suburban). The research upon which this seminar paper is based is drawn from a British Academy funded research project, Back Chat a longitudinal qualitative study led by Helen with Kate Smith which prioritised hearing directly from children about the continuing impacts of the pandemic on their lives. For links to the project methods and resources we developed to research with children visit  and for more information about Helen’s work – LinkedIn

  1. 16th May 2024 

Conspiring with the trees

Abstract: This talk pivots on a particular phrase from the children’s book The Lorax (Dr Seuss, 1972/2012): ‘I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.’ Variations of this phrase have been frequently painted on placards of school strike for climate attendees, particularly during the 2018-2019 mass mobilisations associated with Fridays for Futures and School Strike 4 Climate. The various refracted re-workings of this phrase by students across place and time raise questions of how children and young people, across multiple, variegated and shifting subjec-tivities, speak to, for and with themselves, others, trees, and the world. Questioning whether a school student can ‘speak for the trees’ resonates with long-standing feminist and post-colonial discussions of the ‘problem of speaking for others’ (Alcoff 1991), and whether the ‘subaltern’ can ‘speak’ for themselves (Spivak, 1987). Questioning who speaks for whom raises representational questions – particularly, of how media and academic commentators risk speaking for the multiplicity of the strikers’ bodies, actions and their historical-geographic-scientific-affective-material entanglements. 

The phrase ‘I speak for the trees…’ also raises broader political questions of who can ‘speak for’ the trees and the Earth – particularly in a period where ‘Anthropocene’ universalising discourses risk coming to speak for not only all other human life, but also for the more-than-human and the world itself. As Alexandra Lasczik and Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles (2022: 6) ask, ‘Who can speak for the Earth?’ When a child or young person holds a sign, invoking the Dr Seuss children’s book (and its television and film remakes), there is a risk of invoking the historical, Romantic association of the innocent white child with nature (Yusoff 2018). There is the risk of reifying Hollywood-style environmentalisms still bound up with capitalism (the 2012 film The Lorax grossed a worldwide total of $348.8 million). In settler colonial Australia, there is the risk of the (white/settler) young person usurping the place of First Nations peoples as Traditional Custodians for Country.

This talk will grapple with the complex dynamics of speaking and listening, speaking for and speaking with, and how to form political alliances that do not eviscerate, appropriate or colonise difference. Invoking the term ‘con-spiracy’, I work with anthropologist Tim Choy’s (2016, 2020, 2021) discussions of the political implications of the etymology of the Latin conspirare (com, ‘together’ + spirare, ‘breathe’): breathing-with. I suggest that this concept of conspiracy might invigorate micropolitical movements through the impasses of contemporary education – from reform to regeneration and respair. To respair – to hope again after a period of despair – offers regenerative possibilities for other pedagogical and worldly relations.

Speaker: Dr Eve Mayes (Senior Research Fellow at Deakin University, Australia)


Biography: Eve Mayes (she/her) is a Senior Research Fellow at Deakin University in the School of Education (Research for Educational Impact), living and working on unceded Wadawurrung Country. She is currently leading the project: Striking Voices: Australian school-aged climate justice activism (Australian Research Council, Discovery Early Career Research Fellowship, 2022-2025): a participatory project centring young people’s experiences of climate change, activism and schooling. Eve’s first book The Politics of Voice in Education (2023, Edinburgh University Press) critiques the liberal humanist and late capitalist logics of student voice in educational reform, whilst affirming other possibilities for transformative pedagogical relations in and beyond schooling. She is a co-convenor of the activist-scholar Earth Unbound collective; the collective’s book Planetary Justice: Stories and Studies of Action, Resistance, and Solidarity (co-edited by Michele Lobo, Eve Mayes & Laura Bedford) will be published in July (Open Access) by Bristol University Press.

  1. 20th June 2024 

Nature connectedness through the Arts: Co creating a curriculum to support pupil wellbeing in primary schools.

Abstract: The project aimed to understand how pupils form connections with nature through the arts to support their wellbeing. The project further aimed to understand how these pupils conceptualise the notion of a nature connected curriculum to support pupil wellbeing in primary schools. Finally, the project sought to understand how this work would support pupils to build their eco-capabilities. The project was inspired by the research of Walshe, Moula, and Lee (2022), conceptualising the notion of eco-capabilities. 

A mosaic approach, adapted from Clark and Moss (2011) was used to capture a wide range of data to understand the experiences of the participants across the life of the project.  A pre and post survey was carried out to measure the impact of the project. The project incorporated a living willow sculpture as part of the legacy and focal point of the work. This enabled pupils to incorporate the skills they had developed in their Design and Technology lessons of natural den designs. 

The project findings suggest that the skill development by the pupils through the academic year have long term benefits not just for the individual pupils in the study but also for the wider school community. The project cohort have developed a range of activities that will allow pupils across the school to connect with nature and thus support their wellbeing. Furthermore, the immersion in this project has supported pupils to understand how looking after the natural environment can start locally and with themselves.  The project has highlighted five of the eight eco-capabilities. 

Teachers have considered the impact of nature connection when designing the curriculum, hence supporting their wider thinking of curriculum adaptation to incorporate the natural environment. This has helped teachers to see how curriculum content can be developed to incorporate nature to empower pupils to look after our natural surroundings.

Speaker: Dr Nasreen Majid (Lecturer at Institute of Education at The University College London) 


Biography: Dr Nasreen Majid started her career in education over 25 years ago as a primary school teacher in England, working in urban settings across London and the Southeast of England. She has two years of international teaching experience at the British School in Jakarta, Indonesia. Nasreen was an Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) for Mathematics and Science. She completed her Doctorate at the University of Reading where she explored professional identities of primary teachers becoming specialist teachers of mathematics. 

Nasreen moved to teach in Highter Education in 2011. Her experience in Highter Education is broad and varied. She has led both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, supporting the development of both pre-service and in-service teachers. 

Nasreen’s recent portfolio of work on Climate Change and Sustainability Education (CCSE) has included the development of a framework for preservice teachers. The framework draws together key aspects of pedagogical and content knowledge pre-service teachers can acquire to build CCSE teaching in a connected and authentic way. Nasreen is an Associate Fellow of the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education at UCL. She is part of a team of colleagues developing professional development materials to support teachers in conceptualising and teaching CCSE in a connected and informed way. Nasreen is a member of the MA in Education team at UCL, IOE.