Matthew Zylstra was lead author on the recent publication: “Integrating multiple perspectives on the human-nature relationship: A reply to Fletcher 2017”
The article comprised three sections:
1. Responding to to Fletcher’s (2017) article which critiqued the concept of “connection to nature” and, in doing so, used the earlier review by Zylstra et al. (2014) on connectedness with nature to support his criticisms, but which we felt quoted us out of context and were therefore somewhat misguided;
2. Locating where misunderstandings and uncertainties do arise in education (praxis and perception) when one reflects on – speaks of – their sense of “connectedness with nature”; and
3. Proposing an Integral Ecology framework as a more inclusive and impartial way of mapping perspectives on the human~nature relationship.
The article abstract follows:
“The concept of “connectedness with nature” is increasingly used in environmental and sustainability discourse. However, this construct has also been critiqued and proponents charged with harboring an ambivalence that paradoxically reinforces a sense of separation from “nature”. We respond to one critique by demonstrating that whilst problematizing aspects of “connectedness with nature” has merit, selective use of examples misconstrues efforts in this field, undermines common ground and conflates theoretical conceptualizations with practical implementation. In addressing problems of perception and praxis, we emphasize the primacy of direct experience in shaping ways of knowing and recommend integral ecology (based on Wilber’s integral theory) as an inclusive framework for attending to multiple perspectives on the human-nature relationship”.
(2019). Integrating multiple perspectives on the human-nature relationship: A reply to Fletcher 2017,The Journal of Environmental Education, 50:1,1-10, View article.
See also: Zylstra, M. J., Knight, A. T., Esler, K. J., & Le Grange, L. L. L. (2014). Connectedness as a Core Conservation Concern: An Interdisciplinary Review of Theory and a Call for Practice. Springer Science Reviews, (2), 119–143. DOI: 10.1007/s40362-014-0021-3. View article.