The Chronicles of North Narnia: a scholarly personal narrative of place-based learning on the Lakehead University Thunder Bay campus
Vanier, Mallory D.
Master of Education
MetadataShow full item record
Whether they are large intact forests or small urban greenspaces, places have the potential to captivate, inspire, educate and foster a deep sense of stewardship towards the natural world. Placebased education is a growing field that views places not only as potential centres of academic learning, but also as catalysts for community collaboration and care. Utilising a primarily phenomenological approach, this study focuses on my direct experience engaging with a specific place on the Lakehead University campus, referred to as North Narnia, over the course of nine months. Observations and anecdotes from this immersive experience are represented in the form of a Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN), a form of writing and inquiry that weaves together my personal experience interacting with place with relevant literature. The major themes I address include nomenclature, place engagement practices, seasonal change, emotional connection to place and the specific implications of my experience for individuals, educators and institutions. Through the SPN, I detail the significance and benefits of connecting with place, place engagement practices that learners might use to authentically engage with their surroundings and how institutions can support placebased learning and stewardship through a living laboratory approach. The findings of this study are broadly applicable to individuals and educators looking to connect meaningfully with place, and specifically applicable to Lakehead University’s ongoing efforts to integrate sustainability across the campus.