上海协和国际学校

The Bronx is very far from Shanghai, but I think that high-school students in Shanghai liked my presentations about the research project on sense of place and environmental education in New York City. I have conducted several classes at the Concordia International School (上海协和国际学校) about my research during my trip to Shanghai, China. One of the most fun activities I did was inspired by a learning session organized by an educator in the Bronx.

To introduce students to the idea of environmental place meaning, I asked groups of 4-5 students to give five descriptive nouns for three places, including Shanghai downtown, community around their school and a national park. Then each group calculated how many nouns for each place were natural. For example, trees is a natural noun, and skyscrapers is not, while some nouns such as parks describe something half-natural. Different student groups gave different natural scores for the same places, but there were some common patterns. This exercise helped us to discuss how people assign different place meanings to the same places, and what are implications of place meaning.