The way we see place is the way we see ourselves. Our thoughts, values and identities are shaped by how we perceive place and our relationship to it. Shift in perspective about place can result in a shift in our way of perceiving ourselves - from being isolated to place to being connected. The purpose of this study is to understand the conditions that lead to a sense of place or a sense of connection to our inner self. Research participants were 10 college professors from various disciplines who engage their students in meaningful learning by connecting them to natural ecosystems. The shift in research paradigm - from an observer's point of view to a participant's point of view resulted in a change in perception of place and self. The perspective of place in this study evolved into three stages: first as a concept, second as a process, and third as a relationship. In the first stage, transcribed interviews were analyzed using the Systematic Grounded Theory of Strauss and Corbin. In the second stage, a reflective method of analysis gradually developed. At the third stage, the reflective analysis affected the systematic analysis. The study shows that there is a relationship between our perception of place and perception of self. Direct meaningful experiences through nature-centered learning can develop an intimate connection between our inner self and place.
Rhoda Tayag, St. Scholastica's College, Philippines
Stream: Ethics; Religion; Philosophy
This paper is part of the ACERP2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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