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Odorous childhoods and scent(ed) worlds of learning: A sensory history of health and outdoor education initiatives in Western Europe (1900s-1960s)

Thyssen, G Odorous childhoods and scent(ed) worlds of learning: A sensory history of health and outdoor education initiatives in Western Europe (1900s-1960s). The Senses and Society, 14 (2). ISSN 1745-8927 (Accepted)

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Abstract

This paper develops a sensory history of health and outdoor education initiatives which featured (non-)formal schooling, analyzing these as belonging to (a) scent(ed) and more generally sense(d) world(s) of learning. Working with photographs as sensory objects of affect, and using as examples Belgian and Luxembourg open-air schools and associated sanitary and social welfare provisions, the paper explores issues so far under-researched in sensuous scholarship internationally: those of precise educational purposes, methods, processes and effects of sensory engagement, particularly pertaining to “smell”. Sensory practices and experiences and uses of senses generally are thereby traced in/as “situated, embodied” movements inextricably “enmeshed” with symbolism. The paper argues that while the educational goals underpinning the initiatives investigated and the approaches and practices characterizing these have changed, some (un)intended effects still have an impact today, for instance through Forest School as given shape in the United Kingdom. The concept of “odorous”, or rather “sensuous childhoods”, is proposed to denote ways that particular target groups have come to be imagined as in need of explicitly sensorial health and outdoor education.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: MD Multidisciplinary
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: School of Education
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2019 09:15
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2019 10:00
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/17458927.2019.1619313
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10425

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