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Topophilia (Love of Place)

Love of place—topophilia—can be defined as “the affective bond between people and place or setting.” Although it is a notion that has a long pedigree in the Western philosophical tradition, it has been drawing renewed attention among educational theorists and curriculum developers, as will be outlined below.

Current scholarship in the area has devoted much of its attention toward defining “place” or “sense of place” and its presence, absence, significance, and positioning in our social, political, and ecological worlds (Gruenewald, 2003a, 2003b; Gruenewald & Smith, 2008). The result of this effort has seen the definition of place move from a concrete, situated locale to a more nuanced, complex system of relationships found within some loosely bounded area. Yet less attention has been paid to our subjective ...

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