Gardening is something that we do: practices we learn and knowledges forged in practice. Even still, gardens are not always made according to human plans—and certainly not only by human hands. Gardens are composed with a host of nonhuman others, including the plants themselves, critters, soils, and elemental forces. With this in mind, my thesis queries the relationship between gardening as a practice and education as a process of "collective world-making" (Snaza & Singh, 2021). This work proceeds as a series of reflections grounded in the gardens that have marked my own social, political, and botanical formation. In the garden, one turns; and I propose "turning" as a method for research. Turning is a description of study: turning a conceptual object around and around, viewing it from all sides, paying careful attention to what becomes apparent through returning. While gardens are frequently closed-in spaces, this thesis works toward a style of garden storytelling that pays attention to what exceeds, spills over, or burrows beneath the garden walls. My hope is that such encounters with gardens can offer modes of critical engagement—not only as spaces where education happens but also as sites from which to reimagine what education can be and do.
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Thesis advisor: Chinnery, Ann
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