PEASE is a collective of faculty, staff, and students investigating the enactment of sustainability policies in various institutions and locations. The PEASE project is specifically concerned with the dynamics of sustainability policy and the places, people, non-humans, and times through which policy flows. While consisting of various case studies that focus on different sites of sustainability education (e.g. Post-Secondary, Secondary/Elementary, Early Childhood), the projects of PEASE have in common the aim of mobilizing local partners by inquiring into the “actor-spaces” of their local, regional, and transcaler networks (Murdoch & Marsden, 1995). PEASE offers an educational policy analysis that is sensitive to the Great Lakes Bioregion in which all our praxis is embedded. We are asking critical questions, including:
- What might it look like to think of policies as active, living, and evolving objects that influence and organize various bodies and communities?
- What kinds of ecologies–cultural, natural, and institutional–do sustainability policies and educational strategies call forth?
- How do “we” embody sites of policy? Whose bodies (human, non-human, more-than-human) are included in such enactments and engagements?
- Who are the community members enacting sustainability policies in various educational field sites? To what extent do those actors meaningfully interact with each other, and whose voices may be highlighted/backgrounded/silenced? How is power negotiated in this micro or macro level discourses and engagements?
The focus of PEASE is not a traditional narrative driven policy analysis, but rather is on policy performances and dynamics, specifically, the “translations” (Latour, 2005), “praxiography” (Mol, 2002), and “political ontologies” (Law & Urry, 2003) of policy, which come into being through rationalities and networks of exchange that span human-other-than-human relationships, as well as space and time. Using a variety of conceptual and methodological frameworks inspired by models of ecology, we are shaping two initiatives: 1) an inquiry into the “ecologies of our networks” through participating partners and collaborators, and 2) studies of “ecologies of comparisons” between York University and Lakehead University. These paired initiatives will allow us to begin creating representations of policy networks, which are complex, dispersed, dynamic, performative, political and topographical. Methods will be used to create maps, representations and inscriptions of policy dynamics; such acts will serve to help guide other forms of analysis, engagement, and mobilization within associated pedagogies.