Re-searching and Re-storying the Complex and Complicated Relationship of Biophilia and Bibliophilia

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Bai, H., Elza, D., Kovacs, P. & Romanycia, S. (2010). Re-searching and re-storying the complex and complicated relationship of biophilia and bibliophilia. Environmental Education Research, 16(3), 351-365

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Holistic education
Children's literature

All of us are serious bibliophiles and biophiles. What initially drew us together to carry a sustained conversation, which has resulted in writing this paper, is a discovery that in our respective lived experiences of parenting we tried to cultivate in our children biophilia through bibliophilia, imagining that there was a direct and straightforward connect, almost a causal connection, between the two. Our parenting experience “taught” us otherwise; and now, through this collaborative conversation and writing, we are unpacking, with theoretical aids from the literature, the complex and complicated, not to mention practically challenging, biophilia-bibliophilia connection.

This paper captures a reflective exploration and collective sharing of our own life experiment, seeking to create ripples of provocation as well as resonation in the reader. Given this intent, it is fair to declare from the outset that our narrative inquiry work here does not aim to prove, disprove, or even recommend any generalizable pedagogic thesis, if indeed such research intent is possible today in a postmodernity burdened with the understanding that “[t]here can never be a final, accurate representation of what was meant or said—only different textual representations of different experiences” (Denzin, 1997, p. 5). The kind of research, such as ours, that re-searches lived experience to glean insights and further illuminate and animate personal experience is best offered, we believe, as an invitation to the reader to enter into a textual field of resonance and see how the text evokes, provokes, illuminates, and animates

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