Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Weaving Meaning: Terrapsychological Inquiry and the Historic Industrial Placefield of Lowell Massachusetts
by Leetch, Amanda, M.A., Prescott College, 2017, 447; 10689196
Abstract (Summary)

Places are expressive, dynamic, and responsive beings voicing themselves at different scales of emergence. Placefields are the sites of research at the complex nexus of peoples, cultures, geography, experience, mythology, and place history in terrapsychology. Children are open and receptive to these expressive qualities of place, understanding these place emanations through the context provided to them by place-based educators and other adults. This four-month study at Lowell National Historical Park utilized terrapsychological inquiry to explore youth connection to the historic industrial placefield of Lowell, Massachusetts as experienced by learners and educators, reproduced through youth placefield encounters, and iterated through self, community, and as culture across scales. The arts-based research method of terrain weaving empowered this research to connect with complex pattern languages of Lowell, surfacing the symbolic repertoire of place, the somatic and psychological components of youth place encounter, the deep patterns of place that rise through the researcher, and the expansive states of consciousness that are catalyzed through complex place relationships. The difficult histories placefields perform reproduce their traumatic and historic woundings in the visiting psyche. At the same time, the underlying resilience, strengths, and gifts of places with difficult histories are vital assets to be liberated. The experiential and embodied elements of field trips make them powerful intersections for troubling the ways historic narratives are constructed. This research concludes it is possible to radically redesign field trips and recontextualize histories to provide a nourishing, regenerative place encounter by adopting complex, expansive, and agential understandings of place.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hauk, Marna, Sharp, Lloyd
Commitee: Chalquist, Craig
School: Prescott College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Metaphysics, Environmental education, Education philosophy
Keywords: Field trip, Infrastructuralism, New materialism, Place, Place attachment, Terrapsychology
Publication Number: 10689196
ISBN: 9780355684025
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