Capstone Project Title
A Sense of Place in Environmental Education: A Forest Ecology Curriculum
Melissa Erikson, Tia Clasen
This project discusses the definition of a sense of place as it pertains to environmental education to present the influence of people-to-place relationships in developing environmental stewardship and pro-environmental behavior. Researchers across the fields of geography, environmentalism, and psychology have long identified places as being important to how people see the world and how they act in different places. Fostering place attachment and place meaning within environmental curricula can advance environmental understanding and responsibility through the use of local ecology and problem solving of environmental issues. The curriculum unit within this project focuses on invasive species and uses this environmental issue to achieve the learning goals outlined in the Minnesota Academic Standards in Science – 2019 while also fostering a positive sense of place for forest ecosystems. Place-based educational frameworks in environmental education can be the gateway to developing critical problem solving skills and promoting environmental stewardship while making the learning process relevant and empowering to students and teachers. Overall, this project answers the question “How can a sense of place help environmental education create stewards of the environment?”
Community Building, Environmental Studies, Interdisciplinary Teaching, Teachers/ Teaching
Selter, Samantha, "A Sense of Place in Environmental Education: A Forest Ecology Curriculum" (2022). School of Education and Leadership Student Capstone Projects. 871.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects