how do we know Land?
Western education and research approaches, particularly representation of research, often do not allow space for many of the very forms of knowing that much environmental education practice often aims towards: place-based (e.g. Smith, 2002b), embodied and multi-sensory (e.g. Abram & Jardine, 2000; Bell, 1997), and sometimes spiritual (e.g. Beringer, 2006; Berry, 1999) ways of knowing the world. For instance, if both research and teaching practices privilege the human intellect as the primary way of knowing and words as the primary way of communicating, then non-human Others are at high risk of continuously being left out of both conversations. And if work is continually conceived as that which happens in front of the computer, then images such as the one on this page will become increasingly rare.
Yet academic research can also work against the grain to make visible ways in which human/nature dualism is (re)inscribed in notions of what counts as academic work as well as everyday speech, action, and physical spaces. Such is the double bind of this work and the value of poststructural analysis turning back on itself (St. Pierre, 2000) to make visible its own ways of producing dominance.
As Davies (2000b) puts it, "academe must be made to comment on itself directly" (p. 268) and "one form of knowing can be used to trouble another" (p. 169).