3 Comments

  1. Hey Gavan,

    You seem to be doing some great things on here. Good critical point of view and great of you to engage the world in thinking about all of the topics you bring up from many sides.
    I love it whenever people are looking critically at the world around them. I’d love to learn more about what you’re up to with the birding based PhD, and what kind of naturalist endeavours, education based projects and such that you’re into.
    I’d also love to know if you had any other recommendations for ways to connect kids/adults with nature that integrate the changing nature of our world and environment that are proving successful? Any practices that you’ve found that reflect the modern state of education and our contemporary cutlure that work? I’m always game to learn more ways to connect and gain tools, so to speak.
    Anyhow, thanks for participating in the dialogue.
    Be in touch,

    Andrew

    • Thanks for the comment Andrew.

      Just to sketch possibilities, and without being too prescriptive, if we’re talking building a connection between the human and the more-than-human, we’re talking about raising awareness; the possibility that there is something to the world beyond ourselves and our own experiences. More provocatively, I’d love to work to expand the social so that it includes the more-than-human.

      But talking specific ideas, I would suggest activities that have some combination of the following characteristics:

      -first-hand experience
      -occurring close to home
      -where something is crafted, and then shared (And I use the term crafted not in an “art & craft made out of natural objects” sense, but an object that can be shared with others—talking technology here, a blog posting, photos uploaded to Flickr, an audio recording. I’m not afraid of the digital, ephemeral nature of what is created.)
      -happens with a mentor (And by mentor, I mean someone who is willing to share their knowledge of the more-than-human)
      -ideally, occurring over time

      Nothing really revolutionary there. But I didn’t say explicitly that these experiences had to happen outdoors. And while the idea of the indoors may not be that appealing, it’s not without prescient (ranging from tending indoor plants to video games). A quick word on video games, though. I believe that there are real possibilities to expand this notion of the social. Take WolfQuest or even Deadly Creatures. Playing games where you become other animals holds promise to expand awareness that there are beings beyond ourselves.

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