…and… between I and Thou: stretching metaxic space for children as seen from the perspective of my own spiritual journey

Walton, Christopher (2010) …and… between I and Thou: stretching metaxic space for children as seen from the perspective of my own spiritual journey. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the nature of children’s experience of solitude in the
natural world (Magic Spots), during an earth education programme called
EarthkeepersTM over a period of ten years at Ringsfield EcoCentre, Suffolk. It
explores the practice of stretching metaxic space, that is the creative space inbetween
one and another, to enable children to begin a way of learning which in
turn will facilitate ways of being, or better, ways of becoming which can befriend
the planet and not destroy it.
The thesis is also the story of my own process required by the exploration.
I have told this story through the lenses of hermeneutic-phenomenology and
autoethnography while developing a diacritical hermeneutic of my own life and
spiritual journey, which includes multiple ‘horizons’, in order to interpret the
children’s responses. Finding the notion of the hermeneutical circle inadequate I
have developed a dialectical hermeneutical, resonating and oscillating spiral,
which demonstrates that in metaxic space children can be active agents in their
own discovery and creation of self and meaning.
Just like the developing children themselves, the process, the opportunities,
and the space for the process are fragile and precious. It is easy to damage
the spiral, thus the thesis also explores some implications for adults’
relationship with children.
‘…and…’ produces not conclusions but restless anticipations which are a
contribution to the articulation of metaxic space in which children negotiate some
meanings which have an adequate fit for a new way of being or way of becoming
which suggest new directions for relationships with self, Others, the more-thanhuman-
community and the cosmos.
Keywords
children, metaxic space, dialectic hermeneutics, hermeneutic spiral, relational
consciousness, parenthesis, earth education, clowns.

*[N.B.: Music files were attached to this thesis at the time of its submission. Please refer to the author for further details.]

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2014 11:11
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2014 11:11
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/48151
DOI:

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