The Educational Values of Trees and Forests - CNR Home

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The Educational Values of Trees and Forests - CNR Home
The Educational Values of
Trees and Forests
Terry L. Sharik
Departments of Wildland Resources
and
Environment and Society
College of Natural Resources
Utah State University
Logan, UT 84322-5215
February, 2009
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
1
Context
When we think about the benefits provided by
trees and forests, we tend not to think about how
they contribute to enhanced learning ability,
despite the mounting evidence (MEA 2005).
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
2
Linkages between ecosystem services and human well-being (MEA 2005).
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
3
Conceptual
framework of
interactions
between
biodiversity,
ecosystem
services, human
well-being, and
drivers of change
(MEA 2005).
S
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
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Provisioning Services
Products obtained
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Food
Fiber
Fuel
Genetic resources
Biochemicals, natural medicines, pharmaceuticals
Ornamental resources
Fresh water
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Regulating Services
Regulation of ecosystem processes
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Air quality regulation
Climate regulation
Water regulation
Erosion regulation
Water purification
Disease regulation
Pest regulation
Pollination
Natural Hazard Regulation
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Supporting Services
Necessary for the production of all other services
•
•
•
•
•
Soil formation
Photosynthesis
Primary production
Nutrient cycling
Water cycling
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Cultural Services
Non-material benefits
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Cultural diversity
Spiritual and religious values
Knowledge systems
Educational values
Inspiration
Aesthetic values
Social relations
Sense of place
Cultural heritage values
Recreation and ecotourism
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Objective
To review the literature on this topic with
the intent of stimulating further research
on the educational values of trees and
forests, and fostering the application of
this knowledge in the learning environment
relative to natural resource/ecosystem
management.
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
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Approach
• Complexities of the learning process
• Links of this process to nature, including
ways of interacting with nature
• Role of trees and forests
• Conclusions
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
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COMPLEXITIES OF THE
LEARNING PROCESS
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Molecular
Neural
Reflex
Perceptual
Physiological
Learning/Memory
Emotional
Cognitive
Symbolic
E nv i r o n m e n t
E c o s ys t e m s
Mediating Systems in Human
Behavior (modified from Rue 2005)
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Learning/Memory Systems
(Rue 2005)
• Experiential promotion of changes in neural structures
that conserve the effects of experience across time.
• Virtually all higher behavioral functions depend on
neural systems modulated by learning.
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Object recognition
Concept formation
Emotional experience
Anticipation
Planning
Problem-solving
Comparing and contrasting
Decision-making
Language use
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Three Major Modes of Learning
(Kellert 2002)
1. Affective or Emotional
– Focuses on the formation of emotional and feeling capacities.
– Typically precedes cognition or intellect as a basis for maturation
and learning.
2. Cognitive or Intellectual
– Stresses the formation of thinking and problem-solving skills.
3. Evaluative
– Emphasizes the creation of values, beliefs, and moral
perspectives.
– Emerges from a synthesis of affective and cognitive perceptions
and understandings.
Additional References: Iozzi 1989a, 1989b
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Three Major Modes of Learning
(Kellert 2002)
1. Affective or Emotional
2. Cognitive or Intellectual
3. Evaluative
Additional References: Iozzi 1989a, 1989b
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Emotional Systems
(Rue 2005)
A temporary subjective feeling that arises during
the process of determining the narrative meaning
of an event, i.e. during a period of cognitive
appraisal.
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Emotional Systems
(Rue 2005)
PRIMARY
Presuppose minimal
self-concept
fear
disgust
anger
desire
happiness
sadness
TERTIARY
SECONDARY
interest
anxiety
frustration/
consternation
affection
gratitude
sympathy
resentment
contempt
Presuppose explicit
self-concept
hatred
outrage
shame
guilt
envy
jealousy
pride
grief
resignation
admiration
wonder
compassion
alienation
humility
amusement
love?
agape
"aesthetic
emotions"
hope
nostalgia
fago (Ifalukia)
Laiya (India
and Nepal)
"religious
emotions"
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Affective or Emotional Mode
Kellert (2002)
• There is some evidence that contact with the natural
world, especially during middle childhood (ages 6-12), is
important in a person’s emotional responsiveness and
receptivity.
• Seems to be due to its “dynamic, varied, often unique,
surprising, and adventurous character.”
• Elicits such responses as satisfaction, delight, joy,
excitement, and curiosity.
References: Cornell 1977, Cobb 1977, Kellert 1985, Kellert 1996, Derr 2001,
Ratanopojnard 2001, Sabal 1993
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Affective or Emotional Mode
Kellert (2002)
• Interactions with natural settings reduce
stress or elicit positive feelings and
thereby enhance cognitive functioning,
creativity, and performance, especially
regarding higher order tasks.
References: Olmsted 1865, Kaplan and Talbot 1983, Isen et al. 1985,
Kaplan and Kaplan 1989, Isen 1990, Hartig et al. 1991, Ulrich et al.
1991a, Ulrich 1993, Kaplan 1995, Wells 2000, Wells and Evans 2003,
Am. Institutes for Research 2005
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Affective or Emotional Mode
Kellert (2002)
• Attention Restoration Theory has been utilized to
explain the restorative aspects of contact with
nature following a period of directed or forced,
focused attention and associated mental fatigue
(Kaplan 1995).
• There is both psychological and physiological
evidence for the restorative value of nature.
• Results in cognitive clarity and reflection, thereby
enhancing creativity.
Additional References: Ulrich 1981, Ulrich and Simmons 1986, Ulrich et al.
1991b, Chang and Pergn 1998, Chang and Uan 1999, Hartig et al. 2003,
Hammitt 2007, Chang et al. 2008.
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Three Major Modes of Learning
(Kellert 2002)
1. Affective or Emotional
2. Cognitive or Intellectual
3. Evaluative
Additional References: Iozzi 1989a, 1989b
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Cognitive Systems
(Rue 2005)
• Internal representations of external affairs
• Ability to assimilate a diversity of information and process it in
new ways
• Performing a wide range of operations on a wide range of
mental objects (including perceptions, memory images, and
concepts)
• Process of:
– Encoding information representing the external world and the
organism’s vital interests
– Integrating these two forms of information to devise appropriate
behaviors
• Operators on mental objects include:
– Reality (facts)
– Valance (values)
– Executive (outcomes)
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Cognitive or Intellectual Mode
Kellert (2002)
• Evidence that experiential contact with
nature can have a positive impact on
cognitive development comes from a
number of sources.
• Bloom et al.’s (1956) taxonomy of
cognition has been used to frame this
relationship (Table 2).
Additional References: Altman and Wohwill 1978, Ulrich 1993, Kahn 1999,
Ratanapojnard 2001, Kellert 1997, Kellert 2002, Burdette and Whitaker 2005,
Taylor and Kew 2006
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Cognitive or Intellectual Mode
Name of Cognitive
Ability
Definition
Enhancing Activity in
Nature
Knowledge Acquisition
Assembling facts and
figures
Identifying and
classifying various
aspects of the natural
world
Comprehension
Interpreting and
understanding empirical
realities
Translating specific
knowledge of nature into
categories of related
functions and processes
Application
Putting knowledge to use Distinguishing one
in various situations
environmental feature
from another
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Cognitive or Intellectual Mode
Name of Cognitive
Ability
Definition
Enhancing Activity in
Nature
Analysis
Teasing apart elements
or patterns nested within
an overall structure
Dissecting elements in
nature
Synthesis
Integrating distinctive
elements into an overall
whole
Integrating elements and
processes in nature
Evaluation
Discerning worth and
importance
Judging the relative
significance of particular
aspects of the natural
world
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Cognitive or Intellectual Mode
• Borrowing from the work of Mednick
(1962), it has been argued that higher
order cognitive functioning, which involves
integration or association of diverse and
seemingly unrelated information or
concepts in novel ways, is likely enhanced
by exposure to nature (Ulrich 1993).
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26
Three Major Modes of Learning
(Kellert 2002)
1. Affective or Emotional
2. Cognitive or Intellectual
3. Evaluative
Additional References: Iozzi 1989a, 1989b
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Evaluative Mode
• Kellert (1996) formulated nine values of
the natural world that contribute
significantly to human well-being (Table 3).
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Stage of
Prominent
Development
(yrs.)*
Name of
Value
Definition of
Value
Dominionistic
Urge to master
and control
nature
Safety and protection;
independence and
autonomy; the urge to
explore and confront the
unknown; and willingness to
take risks, be resourceful,
and show courage
3-6
Negativistic
Avoidance,
fear, and
rejection of
nature
Avoiding harm and injury;
minimizing risk and
uncertainty; and respect and
awe for nature through
recognizing its power to
humble and destroy
3-6
Benefits
*The three age classes correspond to early, middle, and late (adolescent)
childhood, respectively.
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Stage of
Prominent
Development
(yrs.)*
Name of
Value
Definition of
Value
Utilitarian
Material and
commodity
attraction of
the natural
world
Physical and material
3-6
security; self-confidence and
self-esteem through
demonstrating craft and skill
in nature; and recognition of
human physical dependence
on natural systems and
processes
Aesthetic
Physical
attraction and
appeal of
nature
Perceiving order and
organization; developing
ideas of harmony, balance,
and symmetry; and evoking
and stimulating curiosity,
imagination, and discovery
Benefits
6-12
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Stage of
Prominent
Development
(yrs.)*
Name of
Value
Definition of
Value
Humanistic
Strong affection
and emotional
attachment to
nature
Developing intimacy,
companionship, trust, and
capacities for social relationship
and affiliation; and enhancing
self-confidence and self-esteem
through giving, receiving, and
sharing affection
6-12
Symbolic
Nature’s role in
shaping and
assisting human
communication
and thought
Classifying and labeling abilities;
language acquisition and
counting; resolution of difficult
aspects of psychosocial
development through story and
fantasy; and enhanced
communication and discourse
through the use of imagery and
symbol
6-12
Benefits
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
31
Stage of
Prominent
Development
(yrs.)*
Name of
Value
Definition of
Value
Scientific
Empirical and
systematic study
and
understanding of
nature
Intellectual competence; critical
thinking; problem-solving
abilities; enhanced capacities for
empirical observation and
analysis; and respect and
appreciation for natural process
and diversity
Moralistic
Ethical and
spiritual affinity
for nature
13-17
Sense of underlying meaning,
order, and purpose; the
inclination to protect and treat
nature with kindness and
respect; and enhanced sociability
from shared moral and spiritual
conviction
Benefits
6-12, 13-17
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Name of
Value
Definition of
Value
Naturalistic
Desire for close
contact and
immersion in
nature
Benefits
Stage of
Prominent
Development
(yrs.)*
Inclination for exploration,
13-17
discovery, curiosity,
inquisitiveness, and
imagination; enhanced selfconfidence and self-esteem
by demonstrating
competence and adaptability
in nature; and greater calm
and coping capacities
through heightened temporal
awareness and spatial
involvement
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33
Most Important Values to Learning
Those that contribute most strongly to the
development of learning skills include the
aesthetic, naturalistic, and scientific, and
to a lesser extent the symbolic − the latter
mostly through the development of
language skills.
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34
Multiple Intelligences
(Gardner 1999)
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Linguistic
Logical-mathematical
Spatial
Bodily-kinesthetic
Musical intelligence
Interpersonal
Intrapersonal
Naturalist
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Importance of Naturalist
Perspective
Gardner’s (1999) inclusion of naturalist
intelligence among the eight multiple
intelligences he formulated to represent
the entire spectrum of human cognition
lends support to the importance of the
naturalist perspective as a fundamental
way of learning.
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36
WAYS OF INTERACTING WITH
NATURE CAN MAKE A
DIFFERENCE
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Three ways in which (young) people’s
experience of nature occurs
(Kellert 1996, 2005)
•
Direct
– Actual physical contact with nature in a spontaneous
and unstructured way, including play
•
Indirect
– Actual physical contact with nature, but more
structured and planned. e.g., zoos, arboreta, botanical
gardens, science museums, and nature centers; contacts
with domesticated plants and animals; [outdoor lab
instruction ? (TLS)]
•
Vicarious or symbolic
–
–
Representations or depicted scenes of nature
Principally through the mass media (classroom? TLS)
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Direct Experience of Nature
• Considerable conceptual and empirical support for the
argument that direct experience of nature plays a
significant role in affective, cognitive, and evaluative
development in humans that is not replaced by indirect
and vicarious experiences, which are on the rise.
• Attributed to diversity and variability in space and time
of the natural world, together with its unpredictiveness
and challenges.
References: Searles 1959, Kaplan and Talbot 1983, Moore 1986, Kaplan and
Kaplan 1989, Sebba 1991, Pyle 1993, Sobel 1993, Nabhan and Trible 1994,
Kellert 1996, Kellert 2005, Burdette and Walker 2005
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Reduced Contact with Nature
Considerable evidence that children (and adults) are
spending increasingly less and less time experiencing
high quality natural environments.
–Due to a number of factors, including habitat destruction,
species loss, environmental contamination, natural resource
depletion, urban sprawl, human population growth, “videophilia,”
and fear of violence.
References: Barney et al. 1980, Wilcox et al. 1991, Groombridge 1992, Wilson
1992, Myers 1994, Heywood 1995, Savage 1995, Kellert 2002, Pergams and
Zaradic 2008
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Reduced Contact with Nature
Parental concern for the health and safety of their
children, in turn related to increased violence in our
society, real and imagined, is an increasingly important
factor.
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Nature-Deficit Disorder
• Louv (2005) labeled the health syndrome associated
with this diminished experience of nature in children
today as “nature-deficit disorder” as a way of creating
heightened awareness of the problem.
• Has had a major impact on the development of
impending federal legislation on “no child left inside.”
Additional References: Clements 2004, Karstan 2005, Farmer 2005, Veitch et al.
2006, Jackson and Tester 2008
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Nearby Nature
• Key point concerning children’s direct contact
with nature is that it be ongoing and highly
accessible, which in turn implies that it be
“nearby.”
• Has important implications for regional and
urban planning.
References: Quantz 1897, Kaplan and Kaplan 1989, Sobel 1993, Kaplan et al.
1998, Wells 2000, Kellert 2002, Taylor et al. 2002, Wells and Evans 2003, Bell
and Dyment 2006
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CONTRIBUTIONS OF TREES
AND FORESTS TO LEARNING
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Dendro-Psychoses
• The first scholarly treatment of the origins of the
fundamental relationship between trees and
people was that of the psychologist J. O. Quantz
(1897).
– Created the term “dendro-psychoses” to represent
this relationship.
– Provided several lines of biological and psychological
evidence of an adaptive nature to support the
argument that the earliest humans dwelled in trees.
– Examples of psychological evidence included the
fear of wild animals, thunder and lightning, high
winds, and falling; “hide and seek” games; rocking
babies to sleep.
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A Central Role
•
•
•
•
•
•
There is considerable evidence that trees have
played a central role in everyday life throughout
human history, including:
Source of food and shade
Safe sleeping and eating places
Vantage points for surveying the landscape
Escape from predators
Provision of shelter, weapons, tools, and medicine
Inspiration (TLS)
References: Bourliere 1963, Lee 1979, Isaac 1983, Shipman 1986, Heerwagen
and Orians (1993).
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
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Perception
ƒ Process of attaining awareness or
understanding of sensory information
(Wickipedia 2008)
ƒ Information enhancers integrate active
sense data with memory to produce a
coherent perception (Rue 2005)
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
47
Tree Forms
A
B
C
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
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Tree Forms
A
B
C
D
E
Reference: Sommer and Summit 1996
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
49
Tree Forms
Orians (1980) hypothesized that tree forms that were most
important in the survival of early humans in African savannas
should be most preferred by humans today from the
standpoint of aesthetics.
– Referred specifically to the “acacia” form, with
canopies broader than tall, trunks terminating and
branching considerably below half the height of the
tree, small leaves, and layered branching.
– Argued that such trees are easy to climb and their
canopies offered greater protection from sun or
rain.
– Hypothesis was tested on preferences of
Americans for trees cultivated in Japanese gardens
and for various dimensions of the dominant East
African tree, Acacia tortilis.
• Hypothesis was not rejected.
Additional References: Orians 1986, Heerwagen and Orians 1993
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Acacia Tree Form
Preference for the acacia tree form over
other tree forms was subsequently
investigated by utilizing college students
from all major continents except
Antarctica.
References: Sommer and Summit 1996, Sommer 1997
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51
Tree Forms
eucalyptus
oak
conifer
palm
acacia
Reference: Sommer and Summit 1996
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
52
Tree Forms
Sommer and Summint (1996)
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Acacia Tree Form
– In all cases, students preferred the acacia
form over other forms (eucalyptus, oak,
conifer, and palm).
– Moreover, they tended to prefer the most
common tree experienced in their respective
childhoods more so than students who grew
up with other tree forms as most common,
indicating that experience also shapes one’s
preferences of tree form.
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
54
LANDSCAPE-LEVEL
PREFERENCES
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
55
Landscape-Level Preferences
A
C
B
D
E
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
56
Landscape-Level Preferences
• At the stand or landscape level, the evidence suggests
that people prefer natural environments over built
environments and savanna-type natural environments
over other natural environments (Ulrich 1986, Kahn
1999).
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
57
Landscape-Level Preferences
Balling, Falk. Mean Preference
Scores for Each Biome as a Function
of Age Group (1982).
Balling, Falk. Mean Preference Scores for Each Biome
Under Both “Live” and “Visit” Instructions (1982).
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
58
Landscape-Level Preferences
(Balling and Falk 1982)
– Young children (age 8-11 years) from the eastern U.S.
preferred East African savannas over mixed hardwood forest
(their home environment), boreal forest, rain forest, and desert,
while older children showed an equal preference for savannas
and mixed hardwood forest.
– Suggests the influence of both genetics and environment
(familiarity) in such preferences.
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59
Savanna-like Environments
• Preference for the savanna-like environment seems to
be the result of being able to acquire new information
(mystery) without becoming disoriented or lost (legibility).
References: Kaplan and Kaplan 1989, Kaplan 1992
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
60
Savanna-like Environments
• May help explain the appeal for closed-canopy forest
stands that have been thinned or for urban or suburban
open spaces that are planted with scattered trees in a
grassy matrix, i.e., are park-like.
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
61
Savanna-like Environments
• May also help explain the tendency of European settlers
in North America to open up forested landscapes and
plant trees in prairie landscapes. (Orians 1980)
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
62
Ecological vs. Scenic Aesthetics
(Gobster 1999)
ECOLOGICAL
“…preference for
maintaining and
restoring the
ecological structure
and function of
ecosystems and for
preserving and
enhancing the
health and diversity
of native species
and ecological
communities.”
SCENIC
“…a perceptual,
affective reaction to
the landscape:
preference for
‘scenic beauty’ or
‘visual quality’.”
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
63
Ecological vs. Scenic Aesthetics
(Gobster 1999)
• Fire
• Dead and down wood
• Forest fragmentation
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
64
CONCLUSIONS
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
65
Conclusions
• The development of learning skills, especially in children,
and the realization of creativity and productivity in adults,
seem to be enhanced significantly by direct and informal
contact on a regular basis with natural settings, especially
those that are savanna- or park-like.
• These findings may have important implications for the
teaching and learning process in our society.
• In particular, the notion of less structured and more
emotions- or value-laden environments for learning seem
to run counter to traditional institutional approaches.
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
66
Conclusions
• Visual preferences for trees and forests may
reflect adaptive behaviors in the early
evolution of humans and conflict with the
development of an ecological aesthetic,
which may seem “counter-instinctive” or
“counter-intuitive.”
– Can learning/education remove this disconnect?
(“education of the emotions”)
– The theory of visible stewardship (Sheppard
2001), which emphasizes caring for and
attachment to a particular landscape, suggests it
will be challenging.
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
67
Conclusions
• It is natural that we should learn from
nature.
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
68
Contact Information
[email protected]
T. L. Sharik Mar 2009
69
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