Returning Wilderness: Centre for Environmental Education
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We live in a time when much of the natural world is lost in the wake of human agency. No place on earth today remains untouched by human influence. This thesis is an attempt to find wilderness in the Anthropocene. To urbanised people most importantly children, the source of food and the reality of a deeper nature are becoming more abstract. Lacking direct experience with nature, children begin to associate it with fear and catastrophe rather than joy and wonder. Public education is enamored, even mesmerized, by what might be called silicon faith: a myopic focus on high technology as salvation. In the presence of these ideologies, it is imperative that we rethink school nature programs beyond the classroom and field trips. We must deploy natural preserves for a hands-on learning method with schools designed for environmental and ecological education. The Leslie Street Spit, with its abundance of ecological diversity is a befitting location for such an intervention. It exists as a unique form of wilderness in the city of Toronto and an example of anthropogenic character of our contemporary world. It is well suited to serve as an informative playground and education tool for children to discover their environment in its most natural form. Experiential education and nature-based experiences provide individuals of all ages with a unique and powerful opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural world in a constructive and beneficial manner. It allows them to explore several relationships including connections to oneself, connections to others, and connections to the land. These relationships, especially when created at a young age, have the potential to significantly increase personal wellbeing by providing an avenue for healthy development and exploration, fostering interpersonal relationships, and instilling core environmental values. Connecting children and youth to our natural world is therefore essential.
Cite this version of the work
Snober Khan (2018). Returning Wilderness: Centre for Environmental Education. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/13891