File(s) under permanent embargo
Earth-based spirituality in Australian outdoor & environmental studies
journal contributionposted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by Kathryn Riley
Australian Outdoor & Environmental Studies (OES), under the curriculum framework of Health and Physical Education (HPE), is influenced by dominant discourses of androcentric perspectives of wilderness. As such, inherent adventure hegemonies impact the type and depth of relationship that can emerge with nature. Through an eco-feminist lens, I will draw on the stories of three adolescent students and their encounters with spiritual pedagogy, namely meditation practices within Australian OES. These student stories, collected during a 5-day hiking expedition in a remote coastal environment in southern Victoria, demonstrated that ideas of ‘femininity’ are subjugated and inferiorised to ideas of ‘masculinity’ in the outdoors. Therefore, I call for OES pedagogical approaches to work towards a more robust integration of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ psyches towards values of deep ecology. In this paper I will draw on Merleau - Ponty’s emotional embodiment theories and Jung’s psychological theories, to argue for a reshaping of OES pedagogical approaches that more thoroughly include spiritual and emotional inquiry, in order to create deeper connections to the natural world in the context of contemporary global environmental challenges.