Schools in the United States often emphasize making children competitive in a global economy while neglecting the importance of developing citizens who are ecologically responsible. Problems of climate change, loss of biodiversity, mass extinctions and degradation of the natural environment, are often ignored. Some researchers have suggested that children lack unstructured play time in nature, have an increased amount of screen time, lack mindfulness, and are insulated from the natural world. Many children rarely have significant experience with nature's wildness. It is common for people to experience a sense of placelessness in the hyper-mobility of present times where "globalizing" agendas limit a sense of place or community. Teachers can also feel constrained by the physical confines of school and the intellectual confines of ordinary school curriculum. As a response to my students' lack of significant experiences with nature, my own dissatisfaction with ordinary teaching, and my sense that school curricula neglect ecological issues and restricts teaching innovation, I created a summer mountain wilderness art workshop designed to give 6th, 7th and 8th grade students an immersive alternative art education experience. This study explored the affordances and limitations of an alternative classroom focused on outdoor experiences, walking, art/ecological studies, and my own experiences in attempting to change the conditions of teaching and learning. This research uses qualitative methodologies including action-based research, elements of a/r/tography, arts-based research, and an ecological arts-based inquiry that involves questions about ecology, community, and artistic heritage.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications; Art
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Stewart, Priscilla Anne, "So . . . We're Going for a Walk: A Placed-Based Outdoor Art Experiential Learning Experience" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 7543.
place-based education, nature, wilderness, curriculum theory, walking