Middle Grade Students’ Perception of Their Connectedness to Nature: Application and Analysis of a Talking Circle Model

Gary Padgett, Kaylen Bishop


The purpose of this study was to explore how middle grades students percived their connectedness to nature.  This study identified a middle grades population in Southern Appalachia and analyzed how the percieved nature and their role in it.  The exploratory question that guided this study was, under what conditions can a talking circle model help illuminate how middle grade students perceive their connectedness to nature?  The methodolgy used is a case study (Janesick, 2004; Rubin & Rubin, 2005).  The four competencies, as developed by the Center for Ecoliteracy (2009), are Head, Hand, Heart, and Spirit and were used in the organizatioin, coding, and analysis of the data.  This study found that throughout the school year the students developed awareness of the role in the environement and what they can do to encourage sustainable practices.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.51383/jesma.2021.12