Pre-service teachers’ experiences of affective nature connection through intentional pedagogies on an extended expedition

David Hayward, Heidi A. Smith*, David Moltow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Emotion plays a significant role in the human experience. Nevertheless, emotion (as an attribute of the affective domain), is often side-lined in formal learning environments (including Higher Education) in favour of a focus on the cognitive. This paper shares findings of a research project involving pre-service outdoor education teachers as they affectively experienced connections with nature on an extended expedition, while exposed to intentional nature connection pedagogies. It achieves this through the lens of the current shifts in outdoor education practice and pedagogy specifically, and curriculum and educational policies more broadly. The research was conducted as a case study, within a constructivist paradigm. The collection of data involved in-field observations on a six-day expedition, participant interviews, and researcher reflective journals. The data was analysed inductively which revealed a novel framework: the Affective Nature Connection Matrix. Through this matrix, the affective nature connection wave and heartbeat emerged. This theoretically derived and practice informed model highlighted the collective similarity of the expedition experiences, while acknowledging that these experiences were individually subjective. All participants experienced a rise and fall of affective nature connection, the wave, within individual and collective critical moments, the heartbeats, in response to intentional learning experiences which directly impacted and resulted in a deepened connection to self, others and nature.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Outdoor and Environmental Education
Early online date6 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jun 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • affective domain
  • emotion
  • higher education
  • intentional pedagogies
  • nature connection
  • Outdoor education

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