A Case Study on Middle School Students’ Visions of Nature

Başer Kanbak C., Şahin E.

World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC), Praha, Czech Republic, 14 - 18 March 2022, pp.1

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Unpublished
  • City: Praha
  • Country: Czech Republic
  • Page Numbers: pp.1
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Introduction: Since the alteration in nature experiences of children might influence their future and ultimately the planet, investigating the visions of young people towards nature become more of an issue. Based upon the ‘Visions of Nature’ framework, this study aims to examine middle school students’ images of nature, values on nature, images of human-nature relationship.

Research Questions: In accordance with the purpose three main questions guided the study: How do middle school students view nature?, How do middle school students value on nature?, What are the views of students related to images of relationship?

Methodology: Using qualitative case study design, data were collected from Turkish middle school students through semi-structured interviews along with the techniques such as guided-imagery and photo-elicitation.

Findings: Interviews revealed that students perceive nature as distanced from city-life, away from crowd and technology. Highlighting the values towards nature, majority of students found nature indispensable more of an anthropocentric (instrumental) perspective. Regarding images of human-nature relationship, students dispositioned themselves in different typologies by emphasizing mostly the stewards of nature typology.

Conclusion & Recommendations: Students’ images of nature, values on nature and images of human-nature relationship have been detected as interrelated with each other. Implications of need of revising school curricula from multi-perspective is highlighted in this study. Alternative implications such as outdoor education programs are also emphasized to help students for being in touch with nature, value nature and increase their experiences with it.

Keywords:  Visions of nature, human-nature relationship, worldviews, values, qualitative