Archive:

Biophilia

Children Voice Biophilia: the Phenomenology of Being In Love with Nature

By Darius Kalvaitis and Rebecca Monhardt

Drawing from a theoretical framework of Ecopsychology and Biophilia this phenomenological study explored the following research question; What is the meaning of the human-environment relationship for children? This qualitative investigation utilizes data from writing samples and follow up focus group interviews with 68 children providing a robust sample of 6-12 year olds perspectives. Qualitative data analysis software using QSR Nvivo ® 7 & 8 was used to systematically provide topic, analytic, matrix and categorical coding for the 265 pages of textual data. Results indicate that children have a love of nature; a positive deep-seated intellectual and emotional appreciation for nature based on “experiences through” and “affection for” nature. When children expressed their relationship with nature they often did so from a place of positive emotional friendship or unconditional love. This study provides a visual representative diagram based on quantifiable qualitative data illustrating the bonds between children and nature. The biophilic results show that children are “falling in love” with nature and this representation can provide a glimpse into the possibility of “standing in love” with nature as people grow into adulthood.

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The Heart of Sustainability: Big Ideas from the field of Environmental Education and their Relationship to Sustainability Education or What’s love got to do with it?

By Donald J. Burgess and Tracie Johannessen

Two northwest naturalists offer a critical perspective on sustainability education by suggesting that, in order to inspire people enough to make changes in their perceptions and behaviors, sustainability education must embrace the central role of acquiring ecological knowledge through direct and shared experience in the natural world.

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