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Kindergarten children's introduction

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emily redwin

on 16 September 2016

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Transcript of Kindergarten children's introduction

Nature Play -
Lucy, Emily and Ally

Kindergarten children's introduction to sustainability through transformative, experiential nature play
Chris Haas and Greg Ashman , 2014
Nature Play
Nature play is defined as "frequent periods of uninterrupted time spent in nearby nature in outdoor natural settings which have multiple and varied natural elements" (Ashman & Hass, 2014, p. 22).

Nature play is:
open ended
child initiated

"Research shows that children's early experiences of nature have a positive lasting effect" (Fleer, 2013)

Key points:
The development of global citizens in preschool
Implementing global education and emphasizing sustainability
Nature play is essential for young learners on their journey to becoming global citizens
The world we live in today is a global world and education should prepare children for this
Early Years Learning Framework :
Outcome 1.4 -
Requires children to learn to interact in relation to others and the natural world with care, empathy and respect

Outcome 2 -
Intends for children to Become socially responsible and show respect for the environment
The research study:

Recommendations from the research
Greg Ashman

Chris Haas

The research study:

results were recorded through
detailed observations
field notes
children's and volunteers' comments
verbal and artistic responses
video interviews
these were all compared against readings in the field
of global education and ECEFS
Further research:

The research study:

Results of the study

Nature play is essential for child development and learning. However children should also be exposed to other forms of play based learning.
Article only shows one perspective
The research article does not give suggestions for students in areas where there may not be suitable natural playspaces nearby
The notion of nature play in the classroom is not covered in depth, i.e. bringing the outdoors into the classroom when weather is unsuitable.

The research study:

Integrate outdoor and nature-based experiences throughout curricula
Integrate participatory pedagogies into practice
Blur boundaries between indoors and outdoors
Convert playgrounds to playspaces with natural elements
Collaborate with grounds staff to maintain natural playspaces and ensure that loose parts are available for play
Educate and involve families in nature play
Publicise local child-friendly naturalised spaces
Educate pre-service teachers about nature play
Theories that contributed to this research:
Dewey and Piaget - believed children learn best when they are allowed to actively explore in their environment
Froebel - experiential play in nature is essential to a child's development
The Reggio Emilia approach - recognises the environment as the third teacher
Gardner - naturalistic intelligence should not be overlooked
Nature play has a vital role in the early years for laying foundations for future global citizens
When the educators performed this initial investigation to determine the class understanding of nature they came to the conclusion that children are spending more time in front of a tv then they are outside involved in and learning about nature
This emphasised to the educator how important the nature play program was and they believed it would enrich the children's lives whilst contributing to transformative education
Investigation by the classroom teacher -
Critical reflection
Discussion and Question time
The researchers observed a transformative effect. Through spending time in the natural play environment they noted benefits to all domains of children's development
social and emotional
: increase in fairness, decrease in 'dobbing', no-one reported being 'left out', more dependent on one another, engaged in teamwork and supportive behaviours, strengthened relationships, wider friend groups, intense and meaningful social interactions
result of leisurely pace of unstructured play and involvement in risky play.
physical and motor
: physical capabilities and children's confidence to use these abilities improved.
result of challenging, risky and natural play environment.
Cognitive and linguistic
children interacted and communicated with others in meaningful ways
: t
he environment encouraged them to work together. Theorists believe children learn best in these environments where they are surrounded by opportunities and stimulation, allowing them to develop complex ideas. Vygotsky supports this premise claiming the construction of knowledge is a social act.
Imaginative, creative....:
increase in attention capacity, moments of peacefulness, reflection, creativity and enjoyment.
University of Tasmania - LOTE and global education

Mount Stuart Primary School Kindergarten
Kindergarten in a middle class suburb in Hobart, Tasmania.
: 25 children (and their parents)
: document the effect of the increased incorporation of nature play and concepts of sustainability in an early learning setting
: discovering the impact of increased exposure to a natural play environment (Providence Valley Reserve and Knocklofty Reserve)
The educator's role was to 'remove hazards that the children do not see, not the risk within play.'
Children visited weekly or fortnightly, weather permitting
The research study:
Can anyone think of any negatives that might be associated with nature play ?
Can you think of any ways you could incorporate nature play into an ECC in an inner city area with few parks ?
How would you plan learning experiences to overcome weather conditions ?
What makes learning environments effective?
They are designed with play and learning in mind.
"[they] are vibrant and flexible spaces that are responsive to the interests and abilities of each child. They cater for different capacities and learning styles and invite children and families to contribute ideas, interests and questions" (EYLF, 2009, p. 15)
Outdoor play spaces incorporate natural elements, encourage discovery and help children to develop a connection with the natural world.
They are welcoming, inclusive, intriguing, sensory, aesthetically pleasing, flexible and challenging.
They have a wide variety of open-ended materials that are well-maintained and can be used again and again in various play scenarios.
Nature play encourages children to develop a sense of agency and hone their problem-solving skills. (Caimann & Lundegard, 2014.)
"Risky experiences, and reflection on what they have to offer and what they have taught each individual, are crucial in recognising how risk and challenge influence early years education and children's development" (Buchan, 2015, p. 4)
Children who do not get sufficient time to play outdoors are at risk of developing 'nature deficit disorder' (Whittle, 2016)
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