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ERIC Number: ED438136
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Oct
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Crafting as Environmental Education.
MacEachren, Zabe
This paper explores the ways in which "crafting" experiences shape our relationship to and understanding of the natural world. Crafting is defined as the process of making an item that is useful and aesthetically pleasing. Crafting not only involves some handiwork, but it also has the potential for encouraging environmental awareness. Although early youth camping programs explicitly associated handicrafts with nature study, today few programs emphasize the connection. The current focus on technology has distanced us from our artifacts and from the real world. A solution resides in the return of sensory-based experiences and full bodily involvement. Crafting activities are dependent upon sensory-rich engagement and attention to the materials used. For crafters, the deepest connection with nature seems to come from walking into the natural world and using natural materials to create a useful item. Even in an urban environment, a well-developed crafting curriculum can provide a context for environmental awareness to occur and for issues like sustainability to be felt and experienced directly through the body. Eight "guideposts" are offered for examining aspects of the environment via crafting activities. The guideposts cover "origins" (whether or not to make something), seeking materials, harvesting materials, resonance of repetitive bodily movements, design and sensory involvement, utility and use, community celebration (cultural connections), and perceptions of scraps or remnants. Questions for reflection accompany each guidepost. (SV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A