Phillips, L.G., & Finn, R. (2020). Learning with environments: Developing an ecological psychology inspired relational pedagogy. Pedagogies: An International Journal, https://doi.org/10.1080/1554480X.2020.1781639
A disconnect from environments has largely dominated educational discourse and policy. Attention to place and environment in education has gained momentum recently through several relational theories. Application of these theories in education notes the materiality and relationality of pedagogy, though often without specificity as to what the pedagogy is – how it is enacted and what guides such pedagogy. For pedagogical direction in enlivening learning with environments, this paper looks to the potential of ecological psychology theories of affordances and developing specificity via perception and action with environments. To illustrate such, we offer reflections on the pedagogical gap from a teacher education project that attunes preservice teachers to the potential for learning by engaging with spaces produced for children by artists. We then look closely to the pedagogical practices of an artist working with children in a primary school maker space-oriented program. Inspired by ideas from ecological psychology, we identify four pedagogical principles in practices of responsive learning with environments and suggest these as a possible pedagogical framework for eliciting embodied, emplaced, relational, and integrated learning with environments.