This study examined the processes involved in connecting students with nature during their experience in an adventure program. The primary research question was, What is happening in adventure programming that is helping students connect to nature? The author responded to this question by investigating the High Mountain Institute’s (HMI) Summer Term. Two subsequent questions further informed the research: Does involvement in HMI programs influence a change in participants’ connection to nature? And what role does the instructor play in the process? A pre- and post-survey using the Nature Relatedness Scale and the Environmental Identity Scale, were administered to the Summer Term students before and after their experience. From the analysis of the survey, no significant increase in either of these scales was found. Additional qualitative data was collected in the form of a student focus group, student reflective essays about developing a sense of place, and in-depth interviews with the Summer Term instructors. This research determined that the combination of program aspects of the Summer Term and the actions taken by the instructors helped students develop a wider sense of self and led to the development of ecological consciousness.
|Commitee:||Mitten, Denise, Zazzi, Joanne|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 55/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Environmental education, Teacher education, Secondary education|
|Keywords:||Adventure education, Connection to nature, Environmental identity, Interviews, Sense of place, Sense of self|
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