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ERIC Number: EJ1201425
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1550-5170
Protected or Prepared? Children in a Stormy World
Maclear, Kyo
Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, v15 n2 p127-157 2018
Literary scholar Clare Bradford gives voice to a pervasive anxiety that arises when a child audience meets unsettling ecological narratives. She remarks: "to explain to young children that pygmy hippos are under serious threat or that elephants are still being killed for their tusks or that wilderness areas are disappearing is to construct a dangerous and unstable world in which environmentalist values have largely failed to halt ecological problems" (2003, 112). This paper takes a close look at the issue of introducing children to difficult climate knowledge, and pays particular attention to notions of childhood innocence and maturation that tend to get framed within a utopian/dystopian binary (of "protecting/preparing" children for the messy and monstrous world). I take the question of 'what shall we tell the children?' as a spur for exploring the limits of this binary and turn to the work of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki and the philosophy of new materialism to illuminate other possible pathways. What happens when catastrophe meets whimsy in the work of Studio Ghibli? I don't profess to offer easy answers, but rather reflect upon some of the assumptions embedded in contemporary conversations about suitable knowledge while exploring the role fantasy might play in permitting access to truths that are harder to take in realist modes.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A