Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Ecocentric outdoor education: Expanding curricula through the language of ecopsychology
by Lynch, John D., M.A., Northern Arizona University, 2011, 161; 1505022
Abstract (Summary)

The following work explores a more holistic and complete model of outdoor education. It uses the language of ecopsychology to broaden the boundaries of understanding currently scene in traditional outdoor education and explores marginalized aspects of personal growth in outdoor education participants.

This thesis begins with a personal narrative that chronicles my own personal development and growth in nature throughout my life. The first chapter is meant to function in two ways: 1) It details how my own experiences have contributed greatly towards the origin of this thesis; 2) It creates an experiential component that supports the content found in the following chapters.

Chapter two is a literary review that details three important components of this thesis: 1) Evidence for ecospiritual benefits in outdoor education (see p. 56), 2) Traditional Outdoor Education, and 3) Ecopsychology.

Chapter three works to explore the term ecospirituality with the supporting language and theories found in ecopsychology. Logical explanations that increase understanding of nonwestern benefits are detailed to create support for ecospirituality as a valid consideration for outdoor education.

Chapter Four asks what place ecospirituality has in contemporary outdoor education. It also envisions a new model of outdoor education by detailing what ecocentric additions could be implemented into the curricula.

Chapter Five concludes the thesis by suggesting that the lack of understanding in outdoor education, surrounding human development in nature, is an extension of inadequate understanding within the greater western culture. Moreover, it points out that ecocentric processes in outdoor education can be extended towards the greater culture as model for transforming collective minds towards a more mature social system.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schipper, Janine
Commitee: Clark, Stanley, Foti, Pam
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 50/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Environmental philosophy, Environmental education, Sustainability
Keywords: Ecocentric, Ecopspirituality, Ecopsychology, Outdoor education, Soulcentric
Publication Number: 1505022
ISBN: 9781267114945
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