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Connecting with Nature - Wk 2 Values of nature 2013

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How do humans value nature? An overview of Kellert's Biological basis for human values of nature (1993)

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Connecting with Nature - Wk 2 Values of nature 2013

  1. 1. OEEDU5003 Connecting with Nature Week two What is nature, valuing nature.
  2. 2. • Art Gallery visit next week. We leave during class. Who is on the bus? • Collaborative learning reflections, today – TK, Dave, Hendo • PDFs on Moodle • Add paper title on PDF.
  3. 3. Last week… Framing behaviours through language and metaphor
  4. 4. Nature as Friend • Implies: – A relationship with a subjective other (emotional) – Based on lived personal experiences with other. – Closeness but separate (a relationship with) – Co-operative and caring outcomes sought – Developmental – grows or diminishes
  5. 5. Museum & Resource store Cathedral Close Friend Part of self Nature as an object Nature as a subject Playground & Gymnasium Perspectives of Nature (Martin 1996)
  6. 6. Implications?
  7. 7. (Relationship with place or individual?) Initial attraction/aesthetic. Positive experience. Builds over time with the same entity. Grows with increasing trust for safety. Comfort, non-threatening. Skills to be outdoors. Emotional bond initially. Information from stories of other lived experiences? Recognition of the Other in nature. Receptive to what the Other has to communicate. Displacement of self-interest to the other.
  8. 8. Today: Meanings of nature Environmental life history research findings Meanings of nature How nature is valued
  9. 9. Enviro life history - retrospective (Chawla) (emotional connections) 1. Childhood experiences of nature 2. Experiences of enviro loss or destruction 3. Pro-enviro values of family
  10. 10. Enviro life history - retrospective (Chawla) (emotional connections) 4. Pro-enviro organisations 5. Role models (friends, teachers) 6. Education
  11. 11. The word “nature’ means… Silent round robin 1.Write down as many meanings of ‘nature’ as you can in one minute 2.Pass you sheet on to the next person 3.Add on any new words 4.Repeat.
  12. 12. The word “nature’ means… Nature is an abstraction, one of humanities oldest ideas Multiple meanings and more interpretations.
  13. 13. Nature is the material world – everything is of, or from, nature (including humans and all their works…). Nature – 4 meanings
  14. 14. Nature is the material world – everything is of, or from, nature (including humans and all their works…). Nature as wilderness (separate from people and culture). Nature – 4 meanings
  15. 15. Nature is the material world – everything is of, or from, nature (including humans and all their works…). Nature as wilderness (separate from people and culture). Nature as the natural order of things (Naturally so…the laws of nature excludes humans and culture). Nature – 4 meanings
  16. 16. Nature is the material world – everything is of, or from, nature (including humans and all their works…). Nature as wilderness (separate from people and culture). Nature as the natural order of things (Naturally so…the laws of nature excludes humans and culture). What things are made of – their nature The nature of rock is hard, his nature is caring etc etc. Nature – 4 meanings
  17. 17. As an adjective nature becomes ‘un-natural’ Write down the words you would use to describe the opposite or contrasting of ‘natural’ ie un- natural.
  18. 18. As an adjective nature becomes ‘un-natural’ What emotional responses do we usually assign to these words? Who determines what is unnatural? Conclusions?
  19. 19. Nature and what is natural or un-natural are socially defined – as is our relationship to it. Often politically shaped. (people of colour, homosexuality). It varies between peoples. It varies over time - in the same cultures in different eras (environmental amnesia?).
  20. 20. Nature is held as an ultimate way of being
  21. 21. natural, in balance.
  22. 22. BUT!
  23. 23. Darwinian nature is selfish, ruthless uncaring. Short term gain for the individual. (sex feels good!) Guided by nature we compete and feed self first (natural forces are hardwired!). Balance is achieved through boom bust cycles.
  24. 24. But – humans have more power than nature now, so boom bust cycle is disrupted? Sustainability, then must be brain driven from an emotional response (foresight).
  25. 25. Nature relatedness scale Relative relationships. – Draw a set of 4 concentric circles. – Write “ME” in the centre – Place the following entities in the circles in relation to yourself. ME
  26. 26. • Your best friend • Pet (if you have one) • The beach near Torquay • The Bogong High plains • The Murray river • Uni of Ballarat • Borhoneyghurk common • 3 natural places you can think of… Important things go close in, less important aspects further out.
  27. 27. A ‘special’ place in nature? • Last week = a special place (your inner circle?) – Share that description (place) with person next to you . – Try to identify the VALUE (worth) of that place to the person. • Why do you think this place is seen as special?
  28. 28. Value = to identify worth • Values guide behaviour • Many values are implicit in our society and unexamined. • For what/why are your special places valued? • (Culturally/politically when assessing the value of environmental action or choice, economic and social aspects dominate, not triple bottom line?)
  29. 29. Valuing nature? Biophilia asserts a biologically based human need to affiliate with nature - that human identity and fulfillment depend on our relationship with nature (Wilson, 1984; Kellert 1993).
  30. 30. Valuing nature? Humans value nature for what it can provide for material, physical, psychological and spiritual well being.
  31. 31. Valuing nature? • A typology of nine differing values people have towards nature (Stephen Kellert). • Derived from extensive research commencing with ways in which people developed affinity for animals and the natural world. Part of being human??
  32. 32. Utilitarian • The physical or material benefits derived from nature. – E.g. food, clothing, tools, firewood. • Also the ‘hidden’ values associated with intact ecosystemic roles. (all values are utilitarian?)
  33. 33. Naturalistic • Satisfaction from direct contact with nature. • Wonder, fascination. – E.g. through bushwalking or nature study we gain a sense of awe as we explore. We understand more as we experience with curiosity. • Mental benefits in stress release. • Physical benefits in fitness and skill acquisition.
  34. 34. Aesthetic/humanistic • Physical beauty is appreciated and promotes human well being. (Physiological responses evident.) • Natural scenes preferred over built environments. (landscape architecture, gardens, water features etc.) • Reflects deep attachment to nature eg. Pets.
  35. 35. Ecological -Scientific • Urge for precise study of nature. • Nature can be understood through empirical study. • Recognises patterns and structure in nature. • Satisfaction derived from understanding the complexity of nature. (benefits derived such as medicines)
  36. 36. Symbolic • Nature as a means to facilitate thought and communication. (Natural metaphors?) • Eg?
  37. 37. Symbolic • Nature as a means to facilitate thought and communication. (Natural metaphors?) • Much language and understanding is founded on natural metaphors (brilliant, pig, dead, fresh, fox) • (or… “the sky was the colour of a television tuned to a dead channel..” “Can I scan this?”… “or hit delete.”)
  38. 38. Moralistic • Affinity, ethical responsibility for and from the natural world. • Spiritual meaning, order and harmony in the natural world. Nature as a guide for life. • Romantic poetry. • Indigenous ways of knowing/valuing nature (living right by Country.) • “A good act is one that enhances the wellbeing of the planet”
  39. 39. Dominionistic • Desire to master the natural world • Explorers and adventurers appreciate nature for the challenge. • Able to be a hero in nature, overcome the beast!
  40. 40. Negativistic • Fear and aversion to nature • Apathy towards the natural world. – eg. Fear of snakes and spiders is evolutionary based • Desire to rid the world of the nuisance of nature. Pests! Dirt!
  41. 41. Figure 1, taken from The Value of Life (Kellert, 1996, p. 41), values towards living diversity in American Society. The data represent over 3000 interviews in 49 states of the U.S.
  42. 42. "people never used to go just hunting especially, they used to go walking around and see what might happen. They walked for their energy, or to make their body feel good, or to brighten their spirit, just walking around on country." pg 150 Iwenhe Tyrerrtye –on what it means to be an aboriginal person. Margret Kemarre Turner IAD Press 2010
  43. 43. Assessment Task 2 50%
  44. 44. Environmental Connections Program 1. Develop and implement a Place Connection journey. 2. Research paper on a connections topic. 3. Presentation of a connections activity.
  45. 45. Place Connection Journey • In groups of at least four students you are to conceive, plan and undertake an outdoor journey that is at least 2 days duration. • The aim of the journey is to explore how practical experiences can help develop and critically examine our connections to the natural world.
  46. 46. Connections Research Paper • The question of whether humans are connected or separate from nature is receiving more attention now than in any time in our collective history. • A minimum 3000 word research paper exploring your topic.
  47. 47. Connections Activity • Teachers don’t always have the benefit of being able to conduct extended outdoor journeys. Often, learning needs to take place in school grounds or local areas. • You will conduct an activity (or section of) with your UB classmates during tutorial or field work time.

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