The Importance of Place in Shaping Worldviews

What factors go into shaping an individual worldview?

First is family and local culture

  1. Where do your ancestors come from, i.e. what country or part of the world?
  2. Where were your grandparents born (all four of them)?
  3. Where were your parents born (if this is different from where grandparents were born, examine why)
  4. Where were you and your siblings born?
  5. What place in the world do you identify with in terms of identity?

What are the nonhuman influences in your life?

  1. What is your favorite place in the world?
  2. Where is your favorite tree, body of water, place to relax, etc.?
  3. Where was your favorite place to play (or hide) when you were 5 years old? 10 years old? 15? Today?
  4. Who were the most important animals in your life?
  5. Where did you see the most interesting, unusual, or otherwise, animal you have ever seen?

Spiritual Elements and beliefs help shape your thinking

  1. Where are the spots that are sacred to your beliefs located?
  2. Where are your personal sacred places?

You can use the questions above to help you map how you conceive of your worldview in terms of space. We provide directions for how you might do this using Google Earth below.

This exercise was prepared by Dr. Raymond Pierotti with technical assistance from Dr. Cynthia Annett and Ron Hall.