Connecting in the coulee: a hermeneutic study of young children’s place-based experiences

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Patten, Lisa Marie
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education.
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
This study is a hermeneutic inquiry into the questions, How do place-based experiences cultivate a child’s sense of place? and How do place-based experiences impact student engagement? It explores student perspectives of place-based experiences and interprets how these opportunities foster the development of sense of place. Grade three and four students engaged in place-based learning at a local coulee near their school were interviewed about their experiences and learning in relation to the coulee. Through a hermeneutic lens, conversations were analyzed through reading, building understanding and expanding interpretations. The findings demonstrate how meaningful and intentional place-based experiences nurture a multidimensional sense of place. The complexity of the topic is examined through providing insights into different components of the concept. The study further explores the potential of place-based learning in creating a meaningful curriculum and offers opportunities for continued discourse around sense of place.
education , curriculum , place-based education , sense of place