Patterning in Childhoodnature

  • Shelley HanniganEmail author
  • Anna Kilderry
  • Lihua Xu
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Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


This chapter explores patterning as a transdisciplinary approach to conceptualize childhoodnature through the ways patterns of self and environment interconnect, relate, and resonate. In doing so, we aim to critique the compartmentalization of education through discipline foci, space and time limitations, and separations from nature. We argue that despite trends toward integrated and holistic approaches in education, such as STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics), and inquiry-based learning, a deeper, more aesthetic and ecological approach that encompasses childhoodnature is needed. Analyzing research on patterning in the early years of education and development, it has been noted that patterning is mostly conceptualized and understood through discipline-focused lenses, such as in mathematics, science, and the arts. Putting forward the argument that innate knowledge of patterning has been eroded from our everyday lifeworlds, a holistic concept of childhoodnature is required. We contend that knowledge and learning about patterning could enable children to make complex connections with their selves and environment, as ecological and aesthetically engaged learners. Based on eco-critical perspectives and incorporating Indigenous cultural arts, this chapter reconsiders and reconceptualizes ways pedagogies and curricula in education to encompass a more transdisciplinary approach with a biophilic focus.


Patterning Ecocriticism Childhoodnature Children Education Pedagogy Biophilia STEAM 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education, Faculty of Arts and EducationDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • David Rousell
    • 1
  • Dilafruz Williams
    • 2
  1. 1.Manchester Metropolian UniversityManchesterUK
  2. 2.Portland State UniversityPortlandUSA

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