Feminist materialist and agential realist approaches in (environmental) education

Nicola Fairchild, Hannah Hogarth, Charlotte Hankin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The Anthropocene epoch is used to describe the impact of human activity on Earth’s ecosystems. A focus on (environmental) education is a pressing need as sustainability and climate change are brought into sharper focus. Feminist materialist and agential realist theories are built on the premise that all bodies are connected and relational, offering new ways to consider our relationships with the world. This chapter illuminates research and scholarship that focuses on reconceptualising the child-in-relations, the different methodologies that can be employed, and examples of the different types of research undertaken. This scholarship highlights how relational ethico-onto-epistemological encounters provide deeper understandings of how young children experience their environments. It also considers what this might mean for rethinking (environmental) education in ECEC. This chapter argues that future (environmental) education research needs to continue with thinking-with relationality as a mode of refiguring ECEC (environmental) education to develop new understandings of hope-full futures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Bloomsbury Handbook of Critical Perspectives in Early Childhood
EditorsSarah Michael Luna, Brian L. Wright, Marek Tesar
PublisherBloomsbury Professional
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 2 Jan 2024


  • child-in-relations
  • (environmental) education
  • relationality
  • materiality
  • childhood nature
  • feminist materialism
  • agential realism
  • sustainability

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