Community-led biocultural digital storytelling: exploring a research methodology across educational contexts

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Gardens have been a part of Australian educational sites and programs since the 19th Century (Whitehead, 2018) and are recognised for their potential to develop connection to land or Country (see Whitehouse, et al. 2004), with plantings and biodiversity that can connect community to traditional food systems, healing plants, land-based food practices and biocultural knowledge of food and fibre (Dawe, et al., 2020; Mirella, et al., 2009; Welch & Leahy, 2018). While there is a long history of gardens as sites of place-making, community building, spatial justice and environmental benefit, addressing plant blindness, securing food
shortage risks and diversifying the food system (Mann, 2018; Krishnan, 2019), these purposes are not widely implemented or enacted via policy and practice. Systematic research on school gardens is absent partly because gardens are decentralised, spatialised and temporal with undocumented or ad hoc localised implementation. The the challenge is to capture, investigate and map the complex social, policy, formal and informal curriculum formations that occur in school garden sites and the ways in which community links strengthen learning about and care for them. This presentation will explore how pedagogy is an “inherently spatial practice” (Acton, 2017: 1), and with Land as ‘teacher’, it enacts seasons, winds, tides, light and sun that extends beyond the cultural backgrounds of students. Both gardens and landscapes provide a space where students, teachers, parents and community can come together for collective responsibility and move beyond cross-cultural differences or epistemologies that are often at the centre of learning (Harrison & Skrebneva, 2019). The method of community-led digital story telling co-produces knowledge and educational experience in an innovative and participatory co-produced way to better understand complex human-nature relations. This presentation outlines a method of conceptualising the role of local voices of students, educators and community members that are doing the knowledge sharing and teaching in local urban and regional educational sites.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2023
EventUrban Agriculture Forum 2023: Feeding the Future. Nourishing Country - National Centre of Indigenous Excellence and Online, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 17 Nov 202319 Nov 2023
Conference number: 4th


ConferenceUrban Agriculture Forum 2023
Abbreviated titleUAF 2023
Internet address

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