March 7, 2013

Notes from Wildness in the City: the Case for Birding the Patch

Notes from my session, Wildness in the City: the Case for Birding the Patch. As delivered at the 2013 MEES Annual Conference. 

About Alex Dunn

Links, book titles, and references in order from Wildness in the City: the Case for Birding the Patch as delivered on March 6, 2013 at the MEES Annual Conference

Twitch vs. Patch

From Ecophobia to Topophila
  • Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv
  • Beyond Ecophobia, David Sobel
  • Topophilia, YiFu Tuan
  • Becoming Animal and The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram
  • My Green Manifesto: Down the Charles River in Pursuit of a New Environmentalism, David Gressner

Wildness as adventure + magic

Finding Patches in the City and Urban Birding

Resources for Exploring a Patch

History of the Field Guide
  • John James Auduon
  • Alexander Wilson
  • Two Little Savages, Ernest Thompson Seton
  • Blink, Malcolm Gladwell

A Model for Developmental Bird Watching
        Jean Piaget (developmentalism): learning occurs in stages that happen at intervals and can be aided by, but not always pushed to by adults and teachers
        David Kolb (experiential learning): learner must be actively involved in the experience, able to reflect on the experience, possess and use analytical skills to conceptualize the experience, and possess decision making and problem solving skills in order to use the new ideas gained from the experience.
        George Hein (constructivism): knowledge is created by the learner, not pumped in externally
        Abigail Housen (aesthetic development) and Visual Thinking Strategies:

        Stage I – From Not Seeing to Seeing (the Spark bird)
        Stage II – Seeing (the bird feeder)
        Stage III – From Seeing to Watching (the bird watcher)
        Stage IV – Observing (The expert aka I love Confusing fall warblers)
        Stage V – Integration (Ecological thinking)

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is an educator, bird watcher, and writer fascinated by the intersections of place, people, nature, and culture. He works for Mass Audubon and lives in the heart of Massachusetts. For questions or comments please contact:

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