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Chesney Fenella Ward-Smith

 Chesney Fenella Ward-Smith

Chesney Fenella Ward-Smith

Education: Constantia Waldorf (Cape Town), B.soc.sci Psychology (University of Cape Town), B.hons Psychology (Rhodes University).

Dissertation working title:  Exploring the nexus between participants’ socio-cultural and historical positionings and the socio-materiality of nature-based activities of Hobbiton, towards engendering connectedness-with-nature.


Research focus:  my research is on the cusp between Ecopsychology and Environmental Education. I have been working with Hobbiton-on-Hogsback ,an outdoor-education NPO,  in Hogsback to understand how children’s socio-cultural and historical positionings function to mediate their perceptions of nature, as well as their connectedness-with-nature. Equally, my research seeks to understand how the socio-material, embodied and experiential nature-based activities offered at Hobbiton function to mediate children’s perceptions of nature as well as their connectedness-with-nature. In essence this research seeks to understand how both mediating factors (participants’ socio-cultural, historical positionings and the socio-material experiences on the camp) interact to shape participants nature-perceptions and perceived connectedness-with-nature. Through this research I hope to better understand how participants’ environmental value positionings are historically shaped, and how embodied immersion in nature may contribute to shifts in these value positionings. I hope that this research might contribute towards future design of Hobbiton’s approach to environmental learning.

With my background in Psychology and current focus in Environmental Education/Ecopsychology, my future interests lie at the nexus of these interdisciplines. I am particularly interested in the multi-nexus between environmental ethics/wellbeing/mindfulness practices/children.

Supervisors: Lausanne Olvitt, Jacqui Akhurst

Last Modified :Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:09:41 SAST