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Title: In Situ Conversation: Understanding Sense of Place through Socioecological Cartographies
Author: Knowlton Cockett, Polly Lee
Advisor: Shapiro, Bonnie Lee
Keywords: Education--Curriculum and Instruction;Education--Social Sciences;Urban and Regional Planning
Issue Date: 23-Dec-2013
Abstract: With geological, anthropological, pedagogical, and linguistic analogies, this study reflects on socioecological notions of place and place-making as explored through conversations and cartographies about static and dynamic moments and journeys in a context of native biodiversity conservation within a remnant urban prairie in northwest Calgary, Canada. Through collaborative stewardship and place-based ecopedagogy, the local community and schools have come to know more about one another and the heritage of the landscape in this shared space. Using their own names, teachers, students, parents, scientists, artists, and neighbours who have engaged in school- and community-based environmental initiatives, such as grassland reclamation and interpretive signage, were interviewed using methods adapted from autobiography and currere. As a fellow participant in these projects, the researcher is place-literate and deeply embedded. Four themes emerged during analysis of emplaced s’entrevois conversations: context, approach, resolve, and transformation; each theme has a set of four alliterative subthemes. Context involves conversation, collaboration, community, and celebration. Approach derives from awareness, action, analogy, and attachment. Resolve – bringing into greater resolution or commitment – stems from reflect, remember, restore, and revision. Transformation is enacted through trust, tension, tenacity, and time. From these arose a CARTographic framework which was used to further examine the data. As well, tetrahedral constructs based on silicate mineralogy’s [SiO4]4- ion as a metaphor for in situ connectivity, were developed along with the CARTs to represent results, as well as organize this dissertation. Each participant’s data was sorted into one of twelve cartographies: multivoiced illustrative discussions of place and place-making. In presenting the data, each cartography was set in one of four refrains involved in developing a sense of place: stewardship, pedagogy, interrelationship, and heritage. One cartography was illuminated per refrain, and each included two narratives based on reflective conversations with one or more participants. Thus, socioecological cartography has evolved as a form of place-based portraiture. Encountering, elucidating, encouraging, and emplacing are connectivity processes leading to an understanding of self, others, and place. With an ethic of care inherent in these place-based engagements comes a development of sense of place and increased ecological mindedness.
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