Walking as Attunement: Being With/In Nature as Currere





currere, walking pedagogy, poetic inquiry, relationality


Being physically and spiritually attuned to the world around us forms the loom on which we weave our curricular understandings. Here, we strive to find the extraordinary in the ordinary and make room for a poetic way of attending to the lived curriculum. More than a way of doing research, we regard this way of being as a deep and disciplined presence with/in the world we inhabit. Through our own individual practices of walking the earth, our physicality explores the relationships between flesh and stone, and rain and tears, and the immediacy of the poetic takes form. Our walking practices open up the space not only to mindfulness, but bodyfulness, where the present moment has the capacity for the infinite. This type of active contemplation invites us into an expansive place where we can consider the very nature of education and its potential to foster or impede holistic teaching, learning, living, and being. Through writing together, we lift ourselves and each other out of the metaphorical and literal containment of our current contexts and find an invitation to walk and write into wonder.

Author Biography

Ellyn Lyle, Yorkville University

With deep connections to place, Ellyn embraces metaphor to untangle lived experience as a way to inform teaching and learning as autobiographical experience. She began her career in secondary English classrooms before moving toward adult education and organizational contexts where she championed critical education practices and leadership for social change. She is currently Assoicate Dean in the Faculty of Education. Ellyn’s research interests include: the role of reflexive inquiry in practitioner development; narrative; education for social justice; pedagogies of place; identity; and lived/living curriculum.


Baldwin, L., Block, T., Cooke, L., Crawford, I., Kim, N., Ratsoy, G., & Waldichuk, T. (2013). Affective teaching: The place of place in interdisciplinary teaching. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal, 6(3), 1-20. https://journals.kpu.ca/index.php/td/article/view/1321

Ball, E. L., & Lai, A. (2006). Place-based pedagogy for the arts and humanities. Pedagogy, 6(2), 261-287. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1215/15314200-2005-004

Bartholomaeus, P. (2013). Place-based education and the Australian curriculum. Literacy Learning: The Middle Years, 21(3), 17-23.

Coelho, P. (1993). The alchemist. Harper Torch.

Csíkszentmihályi, M. (1996). Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. Harper Collins.

Csíkszentmihályi, M. (1998). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. Harper Perennial.

Gruenewald, D. A. (2003). Foundations of place: A multidisciplinary framework for place-conscious education. American Educational Research Journal, 40(3), 619-654. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3102/00028312040003619

Hotton, V. (2015). Walking practices in higher education: An inquiry into the teaching, writing and walking practices of five contemporary academics [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Simon Fraser University.

Irwin, R. (2006). Walking to create an aesthetic and spiritual currere. Visual Arts Research, 32(1), 75-82.

Israel, A. L. (2012). Putting geography education into place: What geography educators can learn from place-based education, and vice versa. Journal of Geography, 111(2), 76-81. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00221341.2011.583264

Judson, G. (2015). Supporting ecological understanding through in-depth and imaginative study of a place-based topic or issue. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 20, 139-153. https://cjee.lakeheadu.ca/article/view/1352

Lasczik Cutcher, A. J. (2018). Moving-with & moving-through homelands, languages & memory: An arts-based walkography. Sense. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789463512480

Lyle, E. (2020). Contemplating how the places we dwell, dwell in us. In E. Lyle (Ed.), Identity landscapes: Contemplating place and the construction of self (pp. 1-13). Brill/Sense. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004425194_001

Oliver, M. (2003). Owls and other fantasies: Poems and essays. Beacon Press.

Palmer, P. (2017). The courage to teach (20th ed.). Jossey-Bass. (First published in 1998)

Pinar, W. F. (1994). Autobiography, politics and sexuality: Essays in curriculum theory 1972-1992. Peter Lang.

Pinar, W. F. (2010). Notes on a blue guitar. Journal of Educational Controversy, 5(1), 1-9. https://cedar.wwu.edu/jec/vol5/iss1/18/

Roberts, E. J. (1998). Place and the human spirit. The Humanistic Psychologist, 26(1-3), 5-35. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08873267.1998.9976964

Snowber, C. (2014). Dancing on the breath of limbs: Embodied inquiry as a place of opening. In A. Williamson, G. Bateson, S. Whatley, & R. Weber (Eds.), Dance, somatics, and spiritualities: Contemporary sacred narratives (pp. 115-130). University of Chicago Press.

Snowber, C. (2016). Embodied inquiry: Writing, living, and being through the body. Sense. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6300-755-9

Snowber, C. (2018). Embodied perspectives on creativity. In C. Mullen, (Ed.), Creativity under duress in education? Resistive theories, practices, and actions (pp. 201-214). Springer. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90272-2_11

Sobel, D. (2004). Place-based education: Connecting classrooms and communities. Orion Society.

Springgay, S., & Truman, S. E. (2017). A Transmaterial approach to walking methodologies: Embodiment, affect and sonic performance. Body and Society, 3(4), 27-58. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1357034X17732626

Tait, L. (2016). A scattered people. In J. Latremouille, A. Bell, M. Krahn, Z. Kasamali, L. Tait, & D. Donald (Authors), kistikwânihk êsko kitêhk: Storying holistic understandings in education. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 14(1), 8-22.

Taneda, S. (2003). For all my walking: Free-verse haiku of Taneda Santouka with excerpts from his diary (B. Watson, Trans.). Columbia University Press.

Williams, T. T. (2012). When women were birds: Fifty-four variations on voice. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.




How to Cite

Lyle, E., & Snowber, C. (2021). Walking as Attunement: Being With/In Nature as Currere. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 18(2), 6–20. https://doi.org/10.25071/1916-4467.40514