Chapter 27: Stepping toward a sense of place: a choreography of natural and social science
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Through the development of critical knowledges and practices related to ecosystem structure and function, biodiversity and sustainability, we address prevailing dualisms between humans-nature, and subject-object through a curriculum designed to invite students to step into experiential outdoor spaces with time enough to develop an affective connection to place and a greater conscious awareness of belonging. Live cases and design examples from Royal Roads University faculty illuminate how natural and social science, when choreographed together for learning, are each critical to establishing a primary motive of ‘relatedness’ as it pertains to an indissoluble unity between people and place. Moving from nature as mere backdrop to co-implicating themselves in a continual process of being in place, students look into rather than merely at the environment and as such deepen their identification to place which can suggest a willingness to protect what has become in essence, part of their own sense of identity.

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