I Walk In Nature More Confidently

Using Photoessays to Understand Ecological Mindfulness in Prospective Teachers
  • Young Ae Kim
  • Gretchen D. Perkins
  • Heather A. Rudolph
  • Debra Mitchell
  • Deborah Tippins
Part of the Bold Visions in Educational Research book series (BVER)


In the context of an elementary science teacher preparation course, eco-mindfulness can be characterized by the sustainable practices a person develops and then teaches to his/her students or the mindful actions that he/she takes in his/her daily life in his/her environment. In this study, we investigated prospective elementary education students’ level of eco-mindfulness and how it evolved during a teacher preparation course that centered on the use of photoessay experiences. Students were interviewed about their conceptions of eco-mindfulness and the photoessay they created while reading Richard Louv’s 2005 book, “The Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.” Students were found to be more self-aware about the role of nature in their lives and had made a shift toward environmental stewardship by the end of the course. Our study blends environmental wellness with student wellness and science learning to investigate which characteristics increased as elementary prospective student teachers learn from participating in eco-mindfulness activities to incorporate into their future classrooms and lives.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Natural World Prospective Teacher Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptom 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., Hopkins, J., Krietemeyer, J., & Toney, L. (2006). Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness. Assessment, 13(1), 27–45. Retrieved from Scholar
  2. Chawla, L. (2006). Learning to love the natural world enough to protect it. Barn, 2, 57–58.Google Scholar
  3. Corbett, J. B. (2006). Communicating nature: How we create and understand environmental messages. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  4. Louv, R. (2005). The last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books.Google Scholar
  5. Martusewicz, R. A., Lupinacci, J., & Schnakeberg, G. (2010). Ecojustice education for science educators. In D. J. Tippins, M. P. Mueller, M. van Eijeck, & J. D. Adams (Eds.), Cultural studies and environmentalism: The confluence of ecojustice, place based (science) education and indigenous knowledge systems (pp. 11–27). The Netherlands: Springer. Retrieved from Scholar
  6. McEwen, B. S. (2008). Understanding the potency of stressful early life experiences on brain and body function. Metabolism, 57(2), 11–15. Retrieved from Scholar
  7. Meiklejohn, J., Phillips, C., Freedman, M. L., Griffin, M. L., Biegel, G., Roach, A., … Saltzman, A. (2012). Integrating mindfulness training into K-12 education: Fostering the resilience of teachers and students. Mindfulness, 3, 291–307. Retrieved from
  8. Powietrzynska, M., Tobin, K., & Alexakos, K. (2015). Facing the grand challenges through heuristics and mindfulness. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 10, 65–81. Retrieved from Scholar
  9. Prosser, J., & Schwartz, D. (1998). Photographs within the sociological research process. In J. Prosser (Ed.), Image-based research: A sourcebook for qualitative researchers. London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  10. Sherman, D. J. (2008). Sustainability: What’s the big idea? A strategy for transforming the higher education curriculum. Mary Ann Liebert, INC., 1(3), 188–195. doi: 10.1089/SUS.2008.9960Google Scholar
  11. Simons, H. (2009). Case study research in practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Stake, R. E. (1995). The art of case study research: Perspectives on practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  13. Walker, R. (1993). Finding a silent voice for the researcher: Using photographs in evaluation and research. In M. Schratz (Ed.), Qualitative voices in qualitative research (pp. 72–79). New York, NY: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  14. Wang, C., Yi, W. K., Tao, Z. T., & Carovano, K. (1998). Photovoice as a participatory health promotion strategy. Health Promotion International, 13(1), 75–86. Retrieved from Scholar
  15. Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods (4th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Sense Publishers 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Young Ae Kim
  • Gretchen D. Perkins
  • Heather A. Rudolph
  • Debra Mitchell
  • Deborah Tippins

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations