Restricted Access Thesis

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The research question addressed in this capstone is, how does the inclusion of human natural heritage, specifically the impulse to make things add value to curricula? It is an exploration of the origins of the human tendency to create and the value this universal response holds for educators and students. Human natural heritage is the name the author has given to the inherent human impulse to create for survival, pleasure and meaning. Support for the ideas of a genetic/evolutionary component to human natural heritage came from Bruner, Kellert, Wilson and others. Other important influences include Waldorf Education and place-based education. The knowledge of indigenous peoples is also a key influence. The study consists of two sets of interviews conducted with teachers who use HNH activities and with students who make things. Results of the study suggest that teachers value human natural heritage for the way it motivates students, integrates easily into lessons, and connects students to the natural world. Values for students include engagement, personal satisfaction and relevancy.