Developed by John Kinsella, the School of Environmental Poetics and Creativity has as its founding concept: 'To create an alternative place of tertiary study concentrating on the arts and environmental/ethical issues. To be internationalist in scope, but regionalist in its immediate geography -- that is, in tune with its physical surroundings and reflecting on the issues of its specific locations -- the school will seek to further a practical application of study to benefit life in general.
'Pedagogically, it will both complement existing tertiary education, and exist entirely outside such structures. Criteria for success are the benefits brought by individual and group study to the greater goals of environmental preservation and conservation, non-violent and peaceful dialogue, the furthering of self-achievement through collective action. The school itself would be spread around the world, but, as indicated, the particular environmental, 'social', and 'cultural' issues of each specific place of teaching would be integral to the 'language' of that teaching. The original aim is to secure a building in York, Western Australia, and to make use of Edith Cowan University's Landscape and Language Centre as a nexus between 'official' educational institutions. The ability of the new School of Environmental Poetics and Creativity to sustain interest and functionality will rest heavily on such arrangements.
'Further connections with colleges and universities in Britain and America are being developed, with prospects for interactions with others around the world being mapped out. The prime point is to move away from ideas of nations and borders, and think in terms of interactive communities of varying scales: the smallest being as relevant as the largest. Technology will enable these interactions, but technology is not in itself an 'aim' of the school: it's purely a tool towards a less exploited world, and not an end in itself. Crafts of paper-making and traditional printing, with 'enviro-friendly' non-exploitative inks and bindings, are examples of an alternative technology the school will eventually work towards.
'It is the hope of the founders that the school will attract academics and practitioners to participate (out of enthusiasm at first), in ways however small, to give the school the academic legitimacy it will require to persist and bring genuine change to the way we apply learning to the 'real world'. The school is about theory and praxis. In some senses, it is a concept that allows interaction with our pre-existing groups and communities, to increase the flexibility of its teaching and facilities.'
Source: 'School of Environmental Poetics and Creativity', John Kinsella in Crossings vol.10 no.1 2005. Sighted: 04/08/2005