Im an East Coast Kid: Surfing the Waters of Spirituality and PlaceReport as inadecuate

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Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, v11 n1 p100-111 2006

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.

Descriptors: Environmental Education, Religious Factors, Indigenous Knowledge, Spiritual Development, Place of Residence, Affective Behavior, Cognitive Development, Socialization

Lakehead University and Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication. Lakehead University Faculty of Education, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1, Canada. Fax: 807-346-7771; e-mail: cjee[at]; Web site:

Author: Mueller Worster, Anneliese



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