“I’m an East Coast Kid: Surfing the Waters of Spirituality and Place

Anneliese Mueller Worster


The purpose of this paper is two-fold: (a) to deepen environmental educators’ understanding of the possibility and process of developing a sense of place in a transient culture, and (b) to encourage all environmental educators to explore their sense of place transformations. A personal anecdote of a rooted New England surfer and educator who transplants to Hawai’i is followed by a thorough description of the three major steps necessary for spiritual, cognitive, and affective learning that lead to a locally based ecological and social identity; a new sense of place. The theory of sense of place, Indigenous ways of developing identities associated with place, and of the spirituality of letting go are interwoven throughout the discussion.

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