Tree wisdom : exploring the impacts of learning experiences and biophilic connections to trees
Feschuk, Jennifer Ann
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This thesis explores our relationship with trees. The aim of the study was to determine whether a select group of concerned residents from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, lived significant learning experiences and demonstrated biophilic connections with trees. The data collection took place in a nature conservatory within a city park. 13 self-proclaimed tree lovers volunteered and were invited to step out of the chill of winter and into a controlled tropical forest. Elicited through semi-structured interviews, data was collected and coded into relevant themes. Transformative learning, where experiences lead to lasting behavioural change, and biophilia hypothesis which proposes an innate attraction to the living world, were the frameworks used to organize and analyze the discussions. Results revealed the power of experiential and affective modes of learning, leading to strong ecological identities and biophilic affinities for trees. As well, an aesthetic biophilic response to trees was seen as consistent throughout the data.
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