Objective: Natural world to be valued
Outcome: Natural world is valued
Measure: Natural world valued
By value of the natural world we mean that its connection to us is recognised, understood and appreciated.
Full description and underpinning theory
This outcome is about how cultural engagement can facilitate a valuing of the natural world. By natural world we mean the plants, animals, and ecosystems that exist and are not created as a result of human action. An appreciation of the natural world is important as experiences with nature are beneficial for human wellbeing both physical and mental. A healthy and sustainable natural world is essential to support human existence and a valuing of the natural world may result in positive action to preserve the environment.
Theory underpinning this outcome
The natural world in essential for human physical and mental wellbeing. People with access to green spaces report having better health, while environmental degradation has been linked to poorer physical and mental health (Russell et al, 2013.)
It is important to nurture a value of nature from a young age, A number of scholars argue that Children have a greater degree of naturalist intelligence than adults (Wilson 1997) . Naturalist intelligence refers to the ability to recognise and classify elements of the natural world such as animals and plants. Failure to nurture this intelligence from a young age can result in increased levels of biophobia, the view that the natural world as nothing more than a resource (Hyun, 2000). Combining ecological art with play can encourage an appreciation for nature in young people, as well as an understanding of it value and importance for human wellbeing (Song 2008)
Urban natural spaces can provide opportunity to increase connection to nature but these need to be well maintained to encourage use (Bell, Graham and White 2018). A positive attitude to nature can be facilitated by aesthetic experiences (Rolston 2002, Brady 2006)
Evidence that this outcome occurs
In early childhood settings, incorporating content about the natural world via arts-based teaching led to an increased “sense of connection with, belonging to and responsibility for, the natural world” (Ward, 2013., p177).
Environmental arts festivals that situate events in the natural environment can encourage a greater value in the natural world. Community members attending a long running environmental arts festival reported a greater awareness and appreciation of natural and unspoilt environment (Marks, Chandler, and Baldwin, 2016)
By provoking emotion writers and the act of writing can promote a great appreciation of the natural world (Jacobson, and Monroe, 2007). Students who were involved in an activity where they were encouraged to keep a journal about a favourite place found that the process of writing resulted in a greater affection for a piece of land (Rous, 2000).
Activities contributing to this outcome
As of April 2021, there was 1 completed activity in Takso selecting this outcome with 323 people responding to the evaluation question. The activity type selected was:
- Exhibitions: of arts and objects in all forms
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not at all and 10 the most imaginable, respondents reported an average pre activity level attainment of 7.2 for this outcome and an average post activity experience of 7.8.
Natural world valued
1 activities / 323 responses / Pre activity average 7.2 – Post activity average 7.8
The natural world is valued
Bell, S., Graham, H., & White, P. (2018). The role of managed natural spaces in connecting people with urban nature: A comparison of local user, researcher, and provider views. Urban Ecosystems, 21(5), 875-886.
Brady, E. (2006). Aesthetics in practice: Valuing the natural world. Environmental Values, 15(3), 277-291.
Hyun, E. (2000). Ecological Human Brain and Young Children’s” Naturalist Intelligence” from the Perspective of Developmentally and Culturally Appropriate Practice (DCAP).
Jacobson, S. K., & Monroe, M. C. (2007). Promoting conservation through the arts: outreach for hearts and minds. Conservation Biology, 21(1), 7-10.
Marks, M., Chandler, L., & Baldwin, C. (2016). Re-imagining the environment: using an environmental art festival to encourage pro-environmental behaviour and a sense of place. Local Environment, 21(3), 310–329. https://doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2014.958984
Rolston, H., (2002). From Beauty to Duty: Aesthetics of Nature and Environmental Ethics . In A. Berleant (ed.), Environment and the Arts: Perspectives on Environmental Aesthetics. Aldershot and Burlington: Ashgate. Pp. 127-42
Rous, E. W. (2000). Literature and the land: reading and writing for environmental literacy. Boynton/Cook Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Russell, R., Guerry, A., Balvanera, P., Gould, R., Basurto, X., Chan, K., Klain, S., Levine, J., & Tam. J. (2013) “Humans and Nature: How Knowing and Experiencing Nature Affect Well-Being.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 38(1): 473-502.
Song, Y.I.K. 2008. Exploring connections between environmental education and ecological public art. Childhood Education: Journal of the Association for Childhood Education International, 85(1): 13–19
Ward, K. (2013). Creative Arts-Based Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education for Sustainability (EfS): Challenges and Possibilities. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 29(2), 165–181. https://doi.org/10.1017/aee.2014.4
Wilson, R. (1997). The wonder of nature: Honoring children’s way of knowing. Journal of Professional Development, 9(2), 6–9. Early childhood News, March/April