Waikato Journal of Education
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Keywords

quantam-physics
climate change
Karen-Barad
realism
ontology
epistemology

Abstract

The climate emergency mandates a refocusing of society and education on the relationship between humans and the more-than-human world. Emerging from decades of social constructionism that openly promoted climate science denial, social and educational theorising now engages with new materialist philosophies and the agency of matter. Physicist Karen Barad’s book Meeting the Universe Halfway, cited over 13,000 times, offers an ontological foundation for new materialism based on her idiosyncratic application of quantum physics. While critically reviewing Barad, I found myself unexpectedly “sliding back down” into the terrain of my physicist pastime, rereading quantum mechanics in depth. I reflect here on how this “ontological detour” empowered me to “climb up a ladder” towards the theoretical foundation for my PhD project in climate change education. I argue that ontological grounding and cross-disciplinary engagement are vital for advancing research and gaining perspectives through lateral connections.

https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v27i2.919
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