Young children learning for the environment: Researching a forest adventure

Gambino, Agatha, Davis, Julie M., & Rowntree, Noeleen E. (2009) Young children learning for the environment: Researching a forest adventure. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 25, pp. 83-94.

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Field experiences for young children are an ideal medium for environmental education/education for sustainability because of opportunities for direct experience in nature, integrated learning, and high community involvement. This research documented the development - in 4-5 year old Prep children - of knowledge, attitudes and actions/advocacy in support of an endangered native Australian animal, the Greater Bilby. Data indicated that children gained new knowledge, changed attitudes and built a repertoire of action/ advocacy strategies in native animal conservation as a result of participating in a forest field adventure. The curriculum and pedagogical features that supported these young children’s learning include: active engagement in a natural environment, learning through curriculum integration at home and at school, anthropomorphic representations of natural elements, making connections with cultural practices, and intergenerational learning. The paper also highlights research strategies that can be usefully and ethically applied when conducting studies involving young children.

Impact and interest:

10 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 30140
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: field education, active citizenship, environmental education, early childhood
ISSN: 0814-0626.
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Education and Extension (050203)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Australian Association of Environmental Education Inc.
Deposited On: 31 Jan 2010 22:14
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:06

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