This study considered how youth relate, connect, and identify with Nature by exploring how Girl Scouts describe their ecological identities. The purpose of this project was to introduce reflection on ecological identity as a reflective tool for living in Nature, to learn about youth connectedness to and identification with Nature, to utilize arts-based research, and to contribute to the scholarly field of girls in adventure education. Thirty-four youth aged 14 to 16 participated in the pilot and research project phases of the study. The study was a descriptive and exploratory research project, utilizing the methodologies of case study and action research. Data collection methods were anecdote circle, survey, and art creation. Survey results indicate that development of the ecological self can be grown. Three themes emerged from artistic cartography on special places in Nature, including coming of age, earth grief or loss, and summer camp. A feminist, reflexive lens guided the work, culminating in the formulation of a four-point transformation agenda for ecological identity at camps. The four recommendations are that camp administrators and educators: (1) promote a participatory relationship with phenomena through direct experience, (2) expand perceptual experience for reflection, (3) interrogate power and marginality, and (4) advance bioregional thinking and active community citizenship. Future research could investigate the efficacy of implementations of the agenda at camps. New studies should recruit for greater participant diversity and examine how Nature connectedness is defined and developed for individuals without access to green spaces and places.
|Commitee:||McKenney, Priscilla, Mitten, Denise|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Environmental Studies, Education, Gender studies|
|Keywords:||Action research, Arts-based research, Case study, Ecological identity, Girl Scouts, Nature connectedness|
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