Making & finding childhoods : forest schooling in the Pacific Northwest

by Stephanie Bustamante

Institution: Oregon State University
Department: Applied Anthropology
Degree: MA
Year: 2015
Keywords: Childhood; Educational anthropology  – Northwest, Pacific
Record ID: 2062679
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1957/55767


East School is a private, forest schooling program in the Pacific Northwest. This ethnography focuses on student engagement with teacher led efforts to "educate" them within an emergent social system depending on new subjectivities. I ground this premise in a reflexive analytical framework, unpacking an implicit ethnotheory of perception as a kind of knowing seeing and knowing intervention. Seeing "childhood" as a practice of personhood by adults on young people, I reframe the teacher-student relationship without reinscribing a teacher's implicit and unexamined onto-epsitemological influence. This thesis focuses on the school’s "media policy" as a highly visible confrontation initiated by East School's emergent local politics of culture. Students, parents and teachers are currently navigating and reconfiguring daily life within a "technological transformation." Articulating newly formed critiques of Information and Computer Technologies within a discourse of social, individual and environmental health, East School represents a distinct educational system. By contextualizing East School, this thesis illuminates new dependencies and new subjectivities being made and found in young people in late-capitalism.