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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Listening to children : perceptions of nature and biophilia at Mountain Explorations Burgess, Donald James


Biophilia provides a critical framework to assess the themes and impacts of an environmental education program. The intent of this exploratory study is to investigate children’s perceptions and experiences of nature during a residential outdoor environmental education program. The study intends to contribute to an understanding of how nature experiences arouse biophilia (love of life and living things). Using qualitative interviews, naturalistic observation and artifact collection, I studied children’s responses to nature during and following their participation in a residential environmental education program known as Mountain Explorations. I explored how biophilia can help researchers and educators focus on the vital intersection between individual, environment and action. Since biophilia demands a consideration of what it means to include the larger biotic community in our discussion of educational reform, this research will contribute to our evolving understanding of the relationship between people and the natural world.

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