Cardiff Metropolitan University
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A loss of ‘cynefin’ – losing our place, losing our home, losing our self

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-06-07, 11:35 authored by Dylan Adams, Gary Beauchamp

 Overwhelming evidence suggests we are currently facing a climate crisis due to human impacts on essential planetary processes. At the same time, Wales is currently implementing significant curriculum reform. As part of the reform, the Welsh word, cynefin, appears in the Curriculum for Wales guidance. This paper analyses how an over-emphasis on limited epistemo-logical  and  ontological  viewpoints  in  education  has  helped  to  create  an  impoverished view of the self that has exacerbated our unhealthy relation-ship  with  nature.  It  is  proposed  that  the  word  cynefin  could  be  used  conceptually  to  point  towards  alternative  states  of  being  and  ways  of  knowing that involve an enhanced sense of self. It is suggested that chil-dren can engage with the natural world through heightened ontological perspectives whilst exploring ways of knowing that are normally margin-alised  in  the  mainstream  classroom.  This  is  much  needed  as  creating  opportunities for children to attune to their interrelated participation with the more-than-human world could nurture a replenished and restorative relationship  with  nature.  Moreover,  it  could  enable  the  experience  of  expanded existential understandings. 


Published in

Wales Journal of Education


University of Wales Press


  • VoR (Version of Record)


Adams, Dylan and Beauchamp, Gary (2022) ‘A loss of “cynefin” – losing our place, losing our home, losing our self’, Wales Journal of Education, 24/1, DOI: 10.16922/wje.24.1.2

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy

Cardiff Met Authors

Dylan Adams Gary Beauchamp

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  • © The Authors


  • en

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