Matching Items (3)

Sense of Place, Place Attachment, and Student Perceptions of Sustainability in the Salt River Valley

Description

The purpose of this study was to investigate undergraduate sustainability students' engagement with sustainability in relation to their sense of place in the broader Salt River Valley community. The study

The purpose of this study was to investigate undergraduate sustainability students' engagement with sustainability in relation to their sense of place in the broader Salt River Valley community. The study was guided by two research questions 1) How do undergraduate Sustainability students explain their sense of place in the Valley with relation to their perceptions of sustainability? 2) Does residency in a different city, town, or state prior to entering the Sustainability program influence students' sense of place in the Valley? The study consisted of two distinct parts. In the first part, twenty students were interviewed using a narrative inquiry process to understand their perceptions of sustainability, their sense of place in the Valley, and how those two components influenced their engagement with sustainability in their communities. In the second part, these narratives were analyzed, synthesized, and samples of the stories were placed into a creative nonfiction collection to express an overall picture of sustainability in the Valley. Results showed that students generally relied on academic, professional, and social factors to identify places in which they could practice or engage with sustainability. Regardless of previous residencies, students expressed similar frustrations or limitations in expressing their sense of place, as related to sustainability, in the Valley.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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A phenomenological, qualitative study of place for place-based education: toward a place-responsive pedagogy

Description

This dissertation examines people's place experiences more fully than has been done by others in the field of education, and in doing so, it opens new ways of thinking about

This dissertation examines people's place experiences more fully than has been done by others in the field of education, and in doing so, it opens new ways of thinking about place in place-based education. Place-based education, in its effort to connect educational processes with the local places in which students and teachers carry out their daily lives, has become an increasingly popular reform movement that challenges assumptions about the purpose and meaning of education in a rapidly globalizing world. Though the scholarship on place-based education describes, justifies, and advocates for turning the educational focus toward local places, it does not necessarily bring forth an explicit understanding of how people experience place.

Grounded in phenomenology, this qualitative study explores the place experiences of five individuals who were born and raised in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona. Experiential descriptions were gathered through three, in-depth, iterative interviews with each participant. Documents considered for this study included interview transcriptions as well as photographs, observations, and descriptions of places in the White Mountains that were deemed significant to the individuals. A phenomenological framework, specifically Edward Relph's explications of place and insideness and outsideness, structured the methodological processes, contextualized participant narratives, and facilitated and informed an understanding of participants' place experiences.

Through the coding and analyzing of interviews for common themes and subthemes, as well as through the crafting of individual profiles, participant place experiences emerged as a dialectical relationship between insideness and outsideness and consisted of Part-of-Place (play-and-exploration, cultivation-of-place, stories-of-place, dangerous-endeavors, and care-of-place), Place-Sensations (remarkable-moments, sensory-triggers, and features-marked-in-time), and Ruptures-in-the-Place-World (pivotal-moments, barriers-borders-boundaries, drastic-changes, and injuries).

While the research was exploratory and only investigated a limited number of place experiences, the findings, coupled with theoretical and conceptual understandings of place anchored in phenomenological perspectives, strengthen a discussion in place-based education of place, how place is experienced, and how these experiences matter in people's lives. Furthermore, the findings of this dissertation support a proposed pedagogical method that blends place-based education and culturally relevant practices into a place-responsive pedagogy.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Building a Sense of Place Research Program: A Study of Conservation Volunteers in Scottsdale, Arizona

Description

This dissertation addresses empirical, applied, and theoretical issues in the place literature through an ethnographic study of the volunteer stewards in the nonprofit McDowell Sonoran Conservancy (Scottsdale, Arizona).

The first

This dissertation addresses empirical, applied, and theoretical issues in the place literature through an ethnographic study of the volunteer stewards in the nonprofit McDowell Sonoran Conservancy (Scottsdale, Arizona).

The first phase of study explores Conservancy stewards’ phenomenological place meanings through participant observation, a photovoice protocol (N=18), and life-history interviews (N=53). Findings indicate that being a steward fosters deep, identity-based place meanings within the conservation land (the McDowell Sonoran Preserve) and City of Scottsdale.

The second phase of study measures stewards’ psychometric place attachments to the Preserve and broader community using the Place Attachment Inventory (PAI) survey. New stewards’ (N=29) PAI scores—collected before attending orientation and one year after—demonstrate a rise in Preserve place attachment and place identity in the first year of service. Established stewards’ (N=275) PAI data suggests no correlation between place attachment and volunteer intensity. These findings are complemented by phase I results and suggest that stewards experience a rise in place identity after earning the identity of an environmental steward, regardless of engagement.

The third phase of study experimentally combines the data from established stewards who participated in phase I and II (N=48) to test the hypothesis that those with identity-based place meanings would possess higher place identity scores. Data analysis found no significant differences in place identity scores between those with and without a Predicted High Place Identity. The outcomes of this experiment suggest construct validity issues with the widely used place attachment and place identity constructs.

While it is established that volunteers arrive at an organization with a strong sense of place, this study demonstrates empirically how place attachments increase and place meanings deepen further after joining a volunteer organization. Communities and organizations can learn from the Conservancy’s practices that help stewards easily establish and perform a place-based steward identity. Finally, the experimental mixed methods findings suggest a sense of place research program that measures attachment to a place’s meanings rather than attachment to a place. This shift will allow place meaning and place attachment to be studied concurrently, advancing the sense of place construct and broader place theory.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020