New Publications from EDST’s Dr. Pierre Walter and Allison Earl

Public Pedagogies of Arts-Based Environmental Learning and Education for Adults

by Pierre Walter, EDST Professor and Allison Earl, EDST MEd student

This paper examines how current theorizing on public pedagogy can be used to understand scholarship on creative, arts-based pedagogies in informal environmental education for adults. In particular, the study applies Biesta’s (2012, 2014) typology of public pedagogies to three bodies of literature: arts-based adult learning and education in the environmental movement, eco-art, and Tactical Urbanism, respectively. Each of these is about public art, displayed or performed in public spaces, and connected to environmental learning and education. The scholarship reviewed came mostly from Canada and Australia. In the public, democratic spaces of these countries, we found that arts in the environmental movement and eco-art could be characterized by Biesta’s pedagogy of the public, and partially by a pedagogy in the interest of publicness. The performance of Tactical Urbanism corresponded most closely to pedagogy in the interest of publicness. The paper concludes with a discussion of directions for further theorizing and research on public pedagogy and arts-based environmental learning and education for adults.

European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, Vol.8, No.1 2017, pp. 145-163



Culinary Tourism as Living History: Staging, Tourist Performance and Perceptions of Authenticity in a Thai Cooking School

by Pierre Walter, EDST Professor


This study examined how a cooking school in Thailand acted as a site of living history in its staging and touristic experience of authenticity. The cooking school was one of the oldest, most visited and most comprehensively “staged” cooking schools in Bangkok. Research focused on understanding: (a) the nature of spatial and temporal staging of authenticity in the school, (b) tourists’ perceptions of authenticity and (c) parallels between the cooking school and living heritage sites. Findings showed that the cooking school was carefully designed to transport tourists from the heterogeneous tourist spaces of present-day Bangkok to the idealized, enclavic space of an imagined Thai culinary past. Tourists took on multiple roles, had rich sensory experiences, felt a sense of play and space–time transcendence, and revelled in close social relations with hosts and other tourists. These factors allowed them to nexperience multiple forms of both modernist and post-modernist authenticity. In its scenography, interpretative performance, narrative and rituals, the cooking school did indeed resemble a living history site. However, the school made no particular claim to expertise in Thai history, place or culinary culture, and tended more towards touristic entertainment, and less towards accurate historical and cultural visitor education.


Walter, P. (2017). Culinary tourism as living history: staging, tourist performance and perceptions of authenticity in a Thai cooking school. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 12(4), 365-379.