Singing the Spaces: Artful Approaches to Navigating the Emotional Landscape in Environmental Education

Jocelyn Burkhart


This paper briefly explores the gap in the environmental education literature on emotions, and then offers a rationale and potential directions for engaging the emotions more fully, through the arts. Using autoenthnographic and arts-based methods, and including original songs and invitational reflective questions to open spaces for further inquiry and experiential engagement, several approaches are presented to foster emotional resilience as a preparation for mature adulthood and soulful action in the world, for both students and educators. Embodied, contemplative, and creative practices enable the exploration and expression of feelings, needs, desires, and experiences of being in relationship—with ourselves, each other, and the natural world; through direct experience and non-judgemental observation, potential arises for fresh insight, leading to creative and innovative solutions, and actions motivated by awareness, courage, and compassion.

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Copyright © Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (CJEE) ISSN 1205-5352