Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2018 Issue »

    Beyond Magic Carrots

    Garden Pedagogies and the Rhetoric of Effects

    Kate Cairns

    In this essay, Kate Cairns considers the implications of assessing garden pedagogies, arguing that a rhetoric of effects assumes an essentialist conception of the child-as-educational-output and bolsters a neoliberal vision of social change rooted in personal transformation. Drawing from ethnographic research with youth gardens in Toronto, Ontario, and Camden, New Jersey, she highlights contextualized experiences of learning and labor that exceed the boundaries of an effects framework. Cairns argues that garden pedagogies must be understood in relation to specific dynamics of racial, economic, and ecological injustice. The essay closes with reflections on how feminist theories of social reproduction might reimagine pedagogies of the garden in a way that attends to young people’s participation in life’s work.

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    Kate Cairns is an assistant professor of childhood studies at Rutgers University–Camden. Her work brings a feminist perspective to the politics of childhood, with particular focus on how young people are constructed as the promise or threat of collective futures. She has investigated this dynamic across multiple realms, including neoliberal education reform, maternal foodwork, and urban agriculture. She is coauthor, with Josée Johnston, of Food and Femininity (Bloomsbury, 2015) and has published articles in venues such as Gender & Society, Theory and Society, Antipode, Gender and Education, Children’s Geographies, Journal of Consumer Culture, and Agriculture and Human Values. She teaches courses in children’s geographies, girlhood studies, introduction to childhood studies, and gender and education.

  2. Winter 2018 Issue


    The Quandary of Youth Participatory Action Research in School Settings
    A Framework for Reflecting on the Factors That Influence Purpose and Process
    Gretchen Brion-Meisels and Zanny Alter

    Book Notes

    Uneasy Peace
    Patrick Sharkey

    When Grit Isn’t Enough
    Linda F. Nathan

    The Experience of Neoliberal Education
    edited by Bonnie Urciuoli

    The Newcomers
    Helen Thorpe

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