The positive aspects of the natural environment in shaping the regional identity of young people
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The relations between man and nature constitute an immemorial subject of the geographical research. Man, while striving to understand the surrounding world and its secrets, simultaneously alters and transforms it. The importance of knowing the rules of rational functioning in the natural environment, especially in the modern, globalized world is proven by it being a subject of schooling at all education levels. The purpose of the students gaining knowledge on the natural environment and the rules of its normal functioning in order to provide a balanced development thereof, is also meant to shape appropriate attitudes, consciousness and responsibility for the natural environment, both in the global and local aspects. Therefore, an attempt to determine the significance of the natural environment in shaping the sense of local identity in young people has been made. Studies on the local and regional identity have been conducted with the high schoolers from the Łódź voivodeship using the survey method. The results of the research allowed to determine the level of knowledge on the natural environment in the area of the students’ places of residence, including the areas protected by law. A high importance of natural values in shaping the pride of a person’s place of residence was also proven. Moreover, it turned out that the advantages of the natural habitat are in a high position in terms of areas considered “magical places”. The natural environment values are more likely to shape local identities in students residing in rural areas, in a direct neighbourhood of protected areas, forests or rivers.
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