Occasional Paper Series

Call for Papers

  • Issue #49

    Occasional Paper Series #49: Indigenous Pedagogies: Land, Water, and Kinship

    Students exploring a river

    The 21st century marks an important time in the next evolution of human communities and the core relations between human communities and the natural world if we are to cultivate just, sustainable, and culturally thriving futures. Indigenous communities, leaders, and scholars have increasingly drawn attention to the ways in which Indigenous communities see more than human life as kin and human beings embedded in intricate relationships of respect, responsibility, and reciprocity with the more than human world. These values and ways of knowing are central to how Indigenous communities have and continue to raise and educate new generations and are importantly distinct from forms of life predicated on human supremacy and entitlement. Indigenous pedagogies, which ground educational beliefs and practices in land, water, and kinship, offer an approach to educating children that is emergent from Indigenous knowledges. Understanding approaches to designing and enacting Indigenous pedagogies grounded in land, water, and kinship, conceptualized in networks of relationality, is necessary in the cultivation of thriving childhoods in the present moment and generations to come.

    A central endeavor of the 21st century is grappling with and transforming the routine activities of everyday life that have been created through centuries of violence and extraction predicated on assertions of human supremacy in which non-human life is turned into natural resources for human use. Across human history, logics of human supremacy have also been applied to other human beings, often manifesting in logics of white supremacy, or patriarchy, or heteronormativity, and others, that have created the conditions for societal unfoldings and conditions like colonial expansion, enslavement, or the ongoing erasure of Indigenous peoples on multiple continents.

    Disrupting the intertwining of human supremacy and Indigenous erasure, that is rendering of the more than 370 million Indigenous peoples across the world that speak more than 5000 languages, and who continue to take care of ¼ of the world’s land outside of Antarctica in which more than 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity can be found (Brigitte et al, 2016; Frechette et al., 2018; Garnett et al., 2018; Olney & Viles, 2019; Reytar et al., 2018), as invisible, unknown, or insignificant is central to the transformation of human lifeways that are needed. Indeed, understanding, supporting, and elevating Indigenous values, knowledges, and ways of being offer insights and leadership for how to live reciprocally within ecosystems. For education, this means better understanding the ways in which Indigenous approaches to teaching and learning take form in practice across varying contexts.

    Indigenous pedagogies allow for teaching and learning to occur in nurturing contexts of relationality with and between humans and more than humans across the lifespan. Such intergenerational learning environments allow for children to come to understand their unique roles, responsibilities, and gifts within and across communities. Situating teaching and learning on and with lands and waters offer opportunities for human people to develop reciprocal relations with more than humans (which extends not only to other living beings but also to plants, watersheds, terrains, and atmospheres) that foster perspectives toward sustainable lifeways.

    Significant work has already been done to depict Indigenous knowledge systems and to understand the impacts of settler-colonialism on them. Increasingly scholars are working to expand this scholarship by engaging Indigenous knowledge systems in teaching and learning – that is working to articulate and engage in Indigenous pedagogies. If we are to support and contribute to Indigenous resurgence with children and families, we must understand the pedagogical framings through which educators enact Indigenous knowledges, values, and ways of being.

    Kinship is a central aspect of healthy learning environments. Kinship, for Indigenous and land-, and water-based pedagogies, requires us to uphold extended webs of relationality with our families, communities, and more-than humans. To sustain such relationships as a component of education, we must engage intergenerationally where children may come to understand their roles and responsibilities as they develop throughout their lifespan. VanHorn, Kimmerer, and Hosdoerffer (2021) have offered important contributions to our understanding of kinship across dimensions of being. They articulate “kinship as a verb”, where “Perhaps this kinship-in-action should be called kinning… In this understanding being kin is not so much a given as it is an intentional process. Kinning does not depend upon genetic codes. Rather it is cultivated by humans, as one expression of life among many, many, many others, and it revolves around an ethical question: how to rightly relate?” (p. 3). Being in right relations across generations and species sets the necessary conditions to enact Indigenous pedagogies.

    In Issue #49 of the Bank Street Occasional Paper Series, we seek contributions featuring curriculum design and enacted practices that deepen our understandings of Indigenous pedagogies and depict ways in which educators are committing to right relations.

    This call invites papers addressing the following questions:

    • How are Indigenous knowledge systems learned, taught, and developed across childhood? How are these developments designed for and fostered in practice?
    • What is the relationship between Indigenous knowledge systems and Indigenous pedagogies? How are these relations enacted in practice?
    • How and why are lands, waters, and kinship central in Indigenous pedagogies? How are or how can these foundational relations be enacted in practice?
    • How are children’s developing relationships with lands, waters, and kin central to pedagogical framings and practice?
    • How are families and communities central in/to Indigenous pedagogies?
    • How are educators designing learning with lands, waters, and kin? What curricular or other pedagogical tools are utilized in Indigenous pedagogies?
    • How are educators engaging Indigenous pedagogies with children and families from multiple Indigenous communities and/or as Indigenous educators working and living as visitors to other Indigenous nations?
    • How are these efforts taken up by non-Indigenous educators committed to fostering Indigenous knowledge systems?
    • What forms of teacher learning and preparation support the use and development of Indigenous pedagogies?
    • How can educational and communal leadership support the resurgence and growth of Indigenous pedagogies in educational environments?
    • How do communal needs and theories of social change shape pedagogical approaches? How do sovereignty, decolonization, resurgence, and/or Indigenous wellbeing approaches manifest different pedagogical approaches?

    Manuscripts Due: June 1, 2022

    We are seeking essays ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 words, double spaced, and formatted in APA 7th edition style. Papers lacking APA formatting will not be reviewed. We welcome submissions from researchers, teachers, school administrators, and others. Only unpublished manuscripts that are not under review by other publications are eligible for consideration. For more information or if you would like to discuss ideas, please contact guest editors Anna Lees at leesa@wwu.edu or Megan Bang at megan.bang@northwestern.edu.

    Submit a Paper

  • Issue #50

    Occasional Paper Series #50: Treescapes of the Future

    Young children playing in treesIn this issue of the Bank Street Occasional Paper Series, we will explore treescapes as spaces of connection, belonging, and learning. We use the term ‘treescapes’ to describe a range of tree-related settings including parks, forests, playgrounds, streets with trees on them, or any other place that has trees embedded in the landscape. We see treescapes as spaces of possibility and part of the hope for the future.

    Trees are vital for the present and future health of the planet, its inhabitants, and ecosystems. In this special issue, we hope to hear the voices of children and young people, educators, parents, activists, policymakers, and researchers about the vital importance of treescapes. How can treescapes be understood? Increased? Recognized and appreciated? What experiences do we have to share of planting trees, learning from trees, and becoming entangled with trees? How can educators learn to re-invigorate a focus on trees for the future?

    Recognizing that children and young people have been less visible in discussions about the need for future treescapes, we will highlight the critical need for pedagogy and curricula worldwide focusing on how trees are central to surviving the climate crisis. We note too that urban young people’s engagement with future treescapes is often unacknowledged. We are interested in how a lens that includes migrant/refugee background, socio-economic status, geographic location, linguistic diversity, race, and ethnicity can enhance our understanding of belonging in treescapes.

    Acknowledging the dominance of Global North discourses of treescapes, we hope to hear about connections and a sense of belonging within treescapes from people living across the globe and encourage submissions from the Global South. We recognize that land ownership is contested and would like to know about spaces where treescape work has been innovative and created communal spaces of belonging. We seek essays that focus on activism, creativity, and ways of belonging in treescapes.

    Examples of questions that prospective authors may pursue:

    1. What opportunities and challenges do treescapes offer children and youth for learning, belonging, and hope?
    2. How do children and young people understand and engage with treescapes?
    3. How can the voices of children and young people be amplified within treescape management?
    4. How can curricula and pedagogy support the development of a social justice matrix that supports children’s and youth’s engagement with treescapes, pushes back against norms of land ownership, and/or creates new architectures of belonging?
    5. What stories can we tell each other about treescapes? How can treescapes be storied across generations?

    Manuscripts Due: December 1, 2022

    We are seeking essays ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 words, double spaced, and formatted in APA 7th edition style. Papers lacking APA formatting will not be reviewed. We welcome submissions from children and young people, researchers, teachers, school administrators, and others. We are also interested in short films, audio essays, photo essays, and small-scale artistic products. Only unpublished manuscripts that are not under review by other publications are eligible for consideration. For more information or if you would like to discuss ideas, please contact guest editors Kate Pahl and Samyia Ambreen via Kate Pahl at K.Pahl@mmu.ac.uk.

    Submission Guidelines