Romanticism and Science Education

Nature as a Poem


  • Lee Beavington Kwantlen Polytechnic University


Romanticism, poetic inquiry, science education, arts-based learning, philosophy of education


This philosophical poetic inquiry argues for relational approaches and creative expression in university science education. Poetic inquiry as a methodology can cultivate connection to the other-than-human world that promotes contemplative practice and a reciprocal relationship with life phenomena under study. Throughout this philosophical inquiry I incorporate my own poems and photography, both as a Romanticism-inspired praxis, and to elucidate the vital importance of an ethical-holistic pedagogy in the current era of human-powered climate change, dramatic species extinction, and habitat destruction. Goethean science, where students understand nature inwardly, offers an alternative to Newtonian science by incorporating the intentionality of phenomenological learning and the development of ecological literacy. If we approach the scientific method with wonder and ethical-ecological holism, we might fully acknowledge our moral responsibility toward the biosphere and all earthly beings.

Author Biography

Lee Beavington, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Lee Beavington is a SSHRC scholar and PhD candidate in Philosophy of Education at SFU. He is also an award-winning author and photographer, and has taught a wide range of courses and labs at Kwantlen Polytechnic University including Ecology, Genetics, Expressive Arts, Marine Biology, and the Amazon Field School. His interdisciplinary research explores wonder in science education, poetic inquiry, and arts-based learning across the curriculum. Find Lee reflecting in the forest, mesmerized by ferns, and always following the river. More about Lee at