Voices from many disciplines agree that the time has come to radically address the profound alienation between modern humans and the natural world. The predominant worldview in most modern western societies engenders and encourages a false sense of disconnection between people and nature leading to epidemic ecological destruction, personal ill health, and social injustice amidst large segments of the world's population. The thesis looks to education as a means to restore and re-story the contemporary relationship between humans and nature. In search of the essential components of an education that can elicit humankind's innate tendency towards connection and relationship with self, others, and the natural world, this "education for our times" looks to foster the holistic development of individuals and communities capable of responding to today's complex world. Drawing on literature, case study material, and personal experience, the thesis presents a concept of "relational education," and explores some of the possibilities and limitations therein. The findings illuminate four foundational components of relational education: Connection to nature, promotion of healthy, holistic development, community context, and fostering an innate love of learning.
|Commitee:||Mitten, Denise, Stuckey, Priscilla|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 52/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Cultural mentoring, Human-nature relationship, Nature connection, Relational education, Rites of passage|
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