La Trobe
37934_SOURCE01_4_A.pdf (3.36 MB)

Uncharted waters: an outdoor environmental education rhizocurrere

Download (3.36 MB)
posted on 2023-01-18, 16:46 authored by Alistair James Stewart
Submission note: [A thesis] submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the Faculty of Education - Outdoor & Environmental Education, La Trobe University, Victoria.

During the past decade, a number of researchers in outdoor environmental education have questioned previously taken-for-granted universalist approaches and emphasised the significance of specific contexts and locations of practice. Complementary developments in outdoor education research have addressed the role of place in outdoor environmental education pedagogy and curriculum. This thesis is enacted as rhizocurrere, a term I have coined to name a concept of poststructuralist curriculum autobiography that maps my attempts to develop and promote Australian outdoor environmental education practices that are inclusive of, and responsive to, the places in which they are performed. Rhizocurrere joins rhizome, a philosophical concept created by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, with currere, William Pinar’s autobiographical method for curriculum inquiry. Enmeshed with/in rhizocurrere are other Deleuzo-Guattarian concepts such as becoming, plateau, deterritorialisation and lines of flight, which have informed and illuminated my inquiries. Through rhizocurrere, I (re)consider the interrelated concepts, contexts and complex conversations (with colleagues, students and others) that have shaped my approach to curriculum, pedagogy and research during the past ten years. As rhizocurrere, this thesis enacts and assembles my thinking in eleven plateaus and six pauses between them. Four plateaus provide a context for the thesis and seven plateaus respond to different aspects of natural and cultural history and my efforts to develop a place-responsive pedagogy. The pauses between plateaus include contemplations of less public aspects of my life that have shaped my pedagogical endeavours. Determining conclusions is not the intent of this autobiographical curriculum inquiry. Rather, this thesis emphasises the complexity of developing curricula that engage, in a respectful and generative way, with the natural and cultural history of the Australian continent. My rhizocurrere enacts my attempts to think differently about the cultural, curricular and pedagogical understandings that inform the practice of Australian outdoor environmental educators.


Center or Department

Faculty of Education.

Thesis type

  • Ph. D.

Awarding institution

La Trobe University

Year Awarded


Rights Statement

This thesis contained third party copyright material which has been removed. The thesis author retains all proprietary rights (such as copyright and patent rights) over all other content of this thesis, and has granted La Trobe University permission to reproduce and communicate this version of the thesis. The author has declared that any third party copyright material contained within the thesis made available here is reproduced and communicated with permission. If you believe that any material has been made available without permission of the copyright owner please contact us with the details.

Data source

arrow migration 2023-01-10 00:15. Ref: latrobe:37934 (9e0739)

Usage metrics

    Open Theses


    No categories selected



    Ref. manager