need a methodology
While many suggest the need for other languages (e.g. Abram, 1996; Abram & Jardine, 2000; Dunlop, 2002; Turner-Hospital, 1995), and the need to include 'nature' among "rising tide of voices" (Lincoln & Denzin, 2005, p. 1115, italics in original) in research (e.g. Fawcett, 2000; Haraway, 2004a, 2004b; Russell, 2005), there is insufficient discussion of research methods or methodologies that might enable nature's many voices to be included in academic research texts (see Cole, 2002; Harvey, 2006b; Harpignies, 2007, as well as Dillard, 2006a for openings to this possibility*).
Work in fields outside education do provided some helpful leads. For instance, Harvey (2006b) has recently suggested that conversations with animists could provide important insights in the context of research that supports increased "understanding [of] animals, humans and the world we coinhabit" (Harvey, 2006b, p. 9).
Conducted in the margins of acceptable Western science, Sheldrake's (1999, Sheldrake & Smart, 2000) research on human-animal telepathic communication is also encouraging. However, since research on animal intelligence, cognition, and intentionality has been subject to major taboos from the scientific community for a long time (Bekoff, Allen, & Burghardt, 2002; Fawcett, 2000), these ideas are just starting to gain more widespread interest and acceptance (e.g. Griffin, 2001). Research on human-plant communication is helpful, but is on the edge of acceptable science as well, partly because of the difficulty finding appropriate methodologies, methods and technologies to conduct the research, but more likely because the possibility of plants having communicative agency falls outside of normative scientific paradigms (see for example Cleve Backster's research as noted in Tomkins & Bird, 1973; Harpignies, 2007).
Phenomenological studies (e.g. Abram, 1996), arts-based (e.g. Lipsett, 2001), narrative inquiry (e.g. Bell, 2003; Fawcett, 2006) and actor network theory can also provide openings to engage with the voices of animate Earth, yet even in these contexts, it is difficult to acknowledge the contributions of the more-than-human world as research partner until methodologies are more fully developed, described, and theorized. Research being done in transpersonal psychology (e.g. Braud, 2004; Clements, 2004) can also provide helpful starting places, yet it still marginalizes the more-than-human natural world in the process of knowledge production. Increasing recognition of indigenous methodologies (e.g. Kovach, 2009; Wilson, 2008), and ongoing discussions about animism in ways that transcend Indigenous/non-indigenous binaries (see Stuckey, Barrett, Hogan & Pete, 2009) should be helpful. Research from quantum theory can also assist.
This hypertextual research provides one more piece in what is to be a much longer journey towards development of decolonized research methodologies that can offer spaces to simultaneously invite in and re-present insights from the more-than-human world in research processes and texts. This will require attending to, and most likely reconfiguring, academic protocols (Harvey, 2006b).