A loss of ‘cynefin’ – losing our place, losing our home, losing our self
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 inWales Journal of Education
PublisherUniversity of Wales Press
VersionVoR (Version of Record)
CitationAdams, 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
Cardiff Met Affiliation
- Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy