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Title: Friends as Flowers: How Perspective-Taking and Empathy Transform Children’s Relationships to Science and Nature
Authors: Jen, Tessaly
Lee, Sarah
Cosic, Lana
Askew, Rachel
Daniel, Bethany
Enyedy, Noel
Keywords: Learning Sciences
Issue Date: Jun-2021
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences
Citation: Jen, T., Lee, S., Cosic, L., Askew, R., Daniel, B., & Enyedy, N. (2021). Friends as Flowers: How Perspective-Taking and Empathy Transform Children’s Relationships to Science and Nature. In de Vries, E., Hod, Y., & Ahn, J. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Conference of the Learning Sciences - ICLS 2021. (pp. 155-162). Bochum, Germany: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: While science education has traditionally privileged detached and “settled” inquiry of natural phenomena (Bang & Marin, 2015), in this paper we discuss instances in which children leverage perspective-taking to explore the phenomenon of pollination through a more relational stance. We focus on two days of an eight-day mixed reality (MR) enhanced, embodied modeling curriculum where students play the roles of bees and flowers. We illustrate how the MR inquiry process supported students to take perspectives that they might not have otherwise. These different perspectives demonstrated a range of relationships to science and nature (e.g., friends, protectors, etc.). Our findings indicate that children disrupted traditional third-person views on scientific phenomena by taking the perspectives of and building empathy towards bees and flowers. Implications include the potential to further leverage perspective-taking and empathy-building towards desettling nature-culture relations (Bang et al., 2012) in future designs.
Appears in Collections:ISLS Annual Meeting 2021

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