Research, sustainability and learning
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Research, sustainability and learning
Bridging the gap between science and the practice of learning for nature, the environment and sustainability
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PLOS ONE: Environmental, Institutional, and Demographic Predictors of Environmental Literacy among Middle School Children

PLOS ONE: Environmental, Institutional, and Demographic Predictors of Environmental Literacy among Middle School Children | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

Building environmental literacy (EL) in children and adolescents is critical to meeting current and emerging environmental challenges worldwide. Although environmental education (EE) efforts have begun to address this need, empirical research holistically evaluating drivers of EL is critical.

 

This study begins to fill this gap with an examination of school-wide EE programs among middle schools in North Carolina, including the use of published EE curricula and time outdoors while controlling for teacher education level and experience, student attributes (age, gender, and ethnicity), and school attributes (socio-economic status, student-teacher ratio, and locale). Our sample included an EE group selected from schools with registered school-wide EE programs, and a control group randomly selected from NC middle schools that were not registered as EE schools.

 

Students were given an EL survey at the beginning and end of the spring 2012 semester. Use of published EE curricula, time outdoors, and having teachers with advanced degrees and mid-level teaching experience (between 3 and 5 years) were positively related with EL whereas minority status (Hispanic and black) was negatively related with EL. Results suggest that school-wide EE programs were not associated with improved EL, but the use of published EE curricula paired with time outdoors represents a strategy that may improve all key components of student EL. Further, investments in teacher development and efforts to maintain enthusiasm for EE among teachers with more than 5 years of experience may help to boost student EL levels. Middle school represents a pivotal time for influencing EL, as improvement was slower among older students. Differences in EL levels based on gender suggest boys and girls may possess complementary skills sets when approaching environmental issues. Our findings suggest ethnicity related disparities in EL levels may be mitigated by time spent in nature, especially among black and Hispanic students.

 

Citation: Stevenson KT, Peterson MN, Bondell HD, Mertig AG, Moore SE (2013) Environmental, Institutional, and Demographic Predictors of Environmental Literacy among Middle School Children. PLoS ONE 8(3): e59519. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059519

 

 

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Desettling Expectations in Science Education

Desettling Expectations in Science Education | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

Calls for the improvement of science education in the USA continue unabated, with particular concern for the quality of learning opportunities for students from historically nondominant communities. Despite many and varied efforts, the field continues to struggle to create robust, meaningful forms of science education.

 

We argue that ‘settled expectations’ in schooling function to (a) restrict the content and form of science valued and communicated through science education and (b) locate students, particularly those from nondominant communities, in untenable epistemological positions that work against engagement in meaningful science learning.

 

In this article we examine two episodes with the intention of reimagining the relationship between science learning, classroom teaching, and emerging understandings of grounding concepts in scientific fields – a process we call desettling. Building from the examples, we draw out some key ways in which desettling and reimagining core relations between nature and culture can shift possibilities in learning and development, particularly for nondominant students.

 

Bang M.a · Warren B.b · Rosebery A.S.b · Medin D.c

 

aUniversity of Washington, Seattle, Wash.

bChèche Konnen Center, TERC, Cambridge, Mass.

cNorthwestern University, Evanston, Ill., USA

 

Human Development 2012;55:302–318
(DOI:10.1159/000345322)

 

 

Download the full-text: http://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/345322

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ECO classrooms: teaching environmental literacy in schools (infographic) - EdTech Times

ECO classrooms: teaching environmental literacy in schools (infographic) - EdTech Times | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it
ECO classrooms: teaching environmental literacy in schools (infographic) http://t.co/5QL7AJbD #edtech #education

Via Education 4 Conservation
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Sam Hollings's curator insight, March 25, 2013 8:37 AM

This site explores through an infographic (plus links to supporting evidence) as to how Environmental Literacy is being taught in schools. Also includes some good teaching resources in 'being eco'

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Just out: (Re)views of Social Learning Literature – A Monograph for Social Learning Researchers in Natural Resource Management & Environmental Education

Just out: (Re)views of Social Learning Literature – A Monograph for Social Learning Researchers in Natural Resource Management & Environmental Education | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

Recently a monograph containing (Re)views of Social Learning Literature in the context of Natural Resource Management & Environmental Education was published by the Southern African Development Cooperation (SADC) in conjuntion with WESSA, Rhodes University, Wageningen University and the Environmental Learning Centre. On the cover page it states: "This monograph provides four different reviews on social learning literature. Rather than seeking to be comprehensive, the reviews provide views on the social learning literature, from different perspectives. The papers scope aspects of the social learning literature, providing access to a wide body of literature(s) on social learning. This monograph should be useful for researchers interested in social learning in the fields of environmental education and natural resources management."

 

The monograph was edited by Professor Heila Lotz-Sisitka of Rhodes University and the result of collaboration between Wageningen University and Rhodes with support of SANPAD (the South Africa - Netherlands Partnership for Development funded by the Dutch government) and the UNESCO Chair on Social Learning and Sustainable Development.

 

The full report can be downloaded here:

 

http://transformativelearning.nl/2013/01/16/just-out-reviews-of-social-learning-literature-a-monograph-for-social-learning-researchers-in-natural-resource-management-environmental-education/

 

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EsdeGroot's curator insight, April 20, 2013 1:39 PM

Much social learning literature therefore refers to the importance of bringing together multiple perspectives, values and interests. And the importance of facilitation. Interesting report.

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Children who spend three-quarters of their time in sedentary behavior have up to nine times poorer motor coordination than active peers

Children who spend three-quarters of their time in sedentary behavior have up to nine times poorer motor coordination than active peers | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

American Journal of Human Biology

 

The study, involving Portuguese children, found that physical activity alone was not enough to overcome the negative effect of sedentary behaviour on basic motor coordination skills such as walking, throwing or catching, which are considered the building blocks of more complex movements.

 

"Childhood is a critical time for the development of motor coordination skills which are essential for health and well-being," said lead author Dr Luis Lopes, from the University of Minho. "We know that sedentary lifestyles have a negative effect on these skills and are associated with decreased fitness, lower self-esteem, decreased academic achievement and increased obesity."

 

Dr Lopes' team studied 110 girls and 103 boys aged nine to ten from 13 urban elementary schools. The children's sedentary behaviour and physical activity were objectively measured with accelerometers (a small device that children attach to their waist that quantifies movement counts and intensities) over five consecutive days. Motor coordination was evaluated with the KTK test (Körperkoordination Test für Kinder), which includes balance, jumping laterally, hopping on one leg over an obstacle and shifting platforms.

 

The tests were supplemented with a questionnaire for parents to assess health variables, before the authors compiled the results into three models to calculate odd ratios for predicting motor coordination. These were adjusted for physical activity, accelerometer wear time, waist to height ratio and home variables.

 

Read more http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120815082723.htm

 

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An assessment of schoolyard renovation strategies to encourage children's physical activity

An assessment of schoolyard renovation strategies to encourage children's physical activity | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

Peter Anthamatten, Lois Brink, Sarah Lampe, Emily Greenwood, Beverly Kingston and Claudio Nigg


International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2011, 8:27

 

Children in poor and minority neighborhoods often lack adequate environmental support for healthy physical development and community interventions designed to improve physical activity resources serve as an important approach to addressing obesity. In Denver, the Learning Landscapes (LL) program has constructed over 98 culturally-tailored schoolyard play spaces at elementary schools with the goal to encourage utilization of play spaces and physical activity. In spite of enthusiasm about such projects to improve urban environments, little work has evaluated their impact or success in achieving their stated objectives. This study evaluates the impacts of LL construction and recency of renovation on schoolyard utilization and the physical activity rates of children, both during and outside of school, using an observational study design.

 

 

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CoDeS - Collaboration of schools and communities for sustainable development

CoDeS - Collaboration of schools and communities for sustainable development | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

CoDeS is a Comenius multilateral Network funded by the Lifelong Learning Program from the European Union. It focuses on collaboration between school and community addressing sustainable development. The network’s activities provide a European perspective on learning processes, models, values and tools for successful collaboration. The partners have wide ranging experience and backgrounds in Education for Sustainable Development. The network produces, publishes and disseminates a range of products: case study reports, a tool box, a travelling guide and different types of workshops.

 

The CoDeS Working Conference will take place from May 1-3 2012 in Vienna, Austria. Konekto will assist in the collection and evaluation of the networks output in general, and of the results of the conference in particular.

 

For more information go to: www.comenius-codes.eu

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Researchers outline ways to advance scientific thinking in children

ScienceDaily (Aug. 18, 2011)

 

Science educators aim to nurture, enrich and sustain children's natural and spontaneous interest in scientific knowledge using many different approaches. In a new paper published in the journal Science, Carnegie Mellon University's David Klahr and Jamie Jirout and Illinois State University's Corinne Zimmerman use psychology research to outline ways to advance the science of science instruction.

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Play, naturally: A review of children´s natural play

Play, naturally: A review of children´s natural play | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

The authors provide an extensive review of the literature related to children’s natural play. They begin by examining the human relationship with the natural world and the importance of play and direct interaction with the physical environment to children. Lester and Maudsley then review the important opportunities that natural play provides, such as the creation of special places, and the numerous documented and potential benefits of children’s play in natural settings, including the development of a sense of self and independence.

 

The authors discuss evidence demonstrating a decline in children’s access and opportunities to play in natural spaces and provide a range of suggestions to support children’s opportunities to play in natural settings, such as through the design of effective playgrounds, school grounds, and environmental play projects, as well as ensuring adequate access to parks and nature reserves

 

by Stuart Lester and Martin Maudsley, Playwork Partnerships

Published 2 August 2006, Children's Play Council

 

To download the report go to: http://www.playday.org.uk/PDF/play-naturally-a-review-of-childrens-natural%20play.pdf

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Nature and Sustainability: An Educational Study with Foucault and Rousseau

Nature and Sustainability: An Educational Study with Foucault and  Rousseau | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

This new book by EdD Lili-Ann Wolff gives a historical and philosophical view of education that deals with nature and sustainability and highlights the ethical dilemmas that arise if we expect education to be the main promoter of sustainability. The discussion makes a loop starting from contemporary educational problems and the quest for sustainability and continues to the era of Enlightenment. There it brings forward the thoughts of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and finally it returns to the present time.

 

This study also employs Michel Foucault’s historical research methods, and even brings him in as a speaker with his own voice. Rousseau's writings offer excellent examples of the role of both ethics and education in dealing with sustainability. And Foucault sets the stage for understanding such fundamental ethical and educational issues as matters of power that act in complex networks on both individual and social levels.

 

The conclusion of the discussion between the three voices: the author, Rousseau, and Foucault, is that the sustainability enigma calls for an education that makes a profound difference, in order to be able to bring about mindfully responsible actions. The education has, therefore, to face three basic challenges: firstly, the promotion of self-transformation through self-understanding and self-training; secondly, the development of social relations and collective responsibility; thirdly, the promotion of understanding of the natural world and life on a global scale.

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Student gains from Place-based Education | Fact sheet #2 November 2007

Student gains from Place-based Education | Fact sheet #2 November 2007 | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

Children, Youth and Environments Center for Research and Design

 

Prepared by Louise Chawla and Myriam Escalante, and with contributions from Michael Duffin.

 

Place-based or environment-based education uses the environment as an integrating context (EIC) across disciplines. It is characterized by exploration of the local community and natural surroundings, hands-on experiences of environmental discovery and problem-solving, interdisciplinary curricula, team teaching, and learning that accommodates students’ individual skills and abilities. Research shows that this approach delivers many benefits to students.

 

Download the factsheet: http://www.foresthistory.org/education/Curriculum/StudentGains-Chawla.pdf

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Integrating Environmental Education in Primary School Education in Tanzania | Teachers’ Perceptions and Teaching Practices

Integrating Environmental Education in Primary School Education in Tanzania | Teachers’ Perceptions and Teaching Practices | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

By Lydia A. Kimaryo

Åbo Akademi University (2011)

 

The study focuses on primary school teachers’ perceptions of environmental

education, its integration into primary school education and teachers’ teaching

practices in Tanzania. The thesis is based on empirical research. The theoretical

underpinnings of the study are based on Palmer’s (1998) model of

environmental education. According to the model, meaningful environmental

education should include education about, in or through and for the

environment.

 

Read the rest of the abstract and/or download the entire thesis: https://www.doria.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/67481/kimaryo_lydia.pdf?sequence=1

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Indigenous Environmental Education for Cultural Survival

Indigenous Environmental Education for Cultural Survival | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (CJEE) | 2002

 

Aboriginal Peoples are facing a number of serious and complex environmental issues within their territories. Post-secondary environmental education programs in Canada have been slow to adopt curriculum and develop programs to meet the needs of Aboriginal students and their communities. This manuscript outlines necessary components of successful Indigenous environmental education programs at the postsecondary level based on the author’s participation in three such programs as a program developer/director, curriculum developer and instructor, the current literature and in addition to her experiences as an Anishinaabe student studying western science.

 

by Leanne Simpson

Trent University, Canada

 

Download the full article at: http://new-library.lakeheadu.ca/index.php/cjee/article/view/271

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Fostering Critical Thinking about Climate Change: Applying Community Psychology to an Environmental Education Project with Youth by Livia D. Dittmer and Manuel Riemer, Wilfrid Laurier University in...

Fostering Critical Thinking about Climate Change: Applying Community Psychology to an Environmental Education Project with Youth by Livia D. Dittmer and Manuel Riemer, Wilfrid Laurier University in... | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

Livia D. Dittmer & Manuel Riemer
Wilfrid Laurier University

Peer Reviewed

This article argues for the participation of community psychology in issues of global climate change. The knowledge accumulated and experience gained in the discipline of community psychology have great relevance to many topics related to the environment. Practitioners of community psychology could therefore make significant contributions to climate change mitigation.

 

To illustrate this assertion, the authors describe an education project conducted with youth engaged in a community-based environmental organization. This initiative was motivated by the idea that engaged and critically aware youth often become change agents for social movements. Towards this purpose, rather than using mass marketing strategies to motivate small behavior changes, this project focused intensively on a few youth with the vision that these youth would also influence those around them to rethink their environmental habits.

 

This project was influenced by five community psychology concepts: stakeholder participation, ecological and systems thinking, social justice, praxis, and empirical grounding. In this article we discuss the influence of these concepts on the project’s outcomes, as measured through an evaluative study conducted to assess the impacts of the project on the participating youth in terms of their thinking and action. The contributions of community psychology were found to have greatly impacted the quality of the project and the outcomes experienced by the youth.

 

Global Journal Of Community Psychology Practice, 4(1), 2013.

  
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Child-orientated environmental education influences adult knowledge and household behaviour - IOPscience

Child-orientated environmental education influences adult knowledge and household behaviour - IOPscience | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

Environmental education is frequently undertaken as a conservation intervention designed to change the attitudes and behaviour of recipients. Much conservation education is aimed at children, with the rationale that children influence the attitudes of their parents, who will consequently change their behaviour. Empirical evidence to substantiate this suggestion is very limited, however. For the first time, the researchers used a controlled trial to assess the influence of wetland-related environmental education on the knowledge of children and their parents and household behaviour. They demonstrate adults exhibiting greater knowledge of wetlands and improved reported household water management behaviour when their child has received wetland-based education at Seychelles wildlife clubs. The research team distinguishes between 'folk' knowledge of wetland environments and knowledge obtained from formal education, with intergenerational transmission of each depending on different factors. This study provides the first strong support for the suggestion that environmental education can be transferred between generations and indirectly induce targeted behavioural changes.

 

P Damerell, C Howe and E J Milner-Gulland

Published 12 februari 2013

 

You can download the article at: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/1/015016/article

 

 

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Living sustainable community-school collaboration: Learning for the future

Living sustainable community-school collaboration: Learning for the future | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it
Rebekah Tauritz's insight:

The COMENIUS multilateral network CODES* (organising institution) and its partner RCE Rhine-Meuse (hosting institution) have the pleasure to invite you to the upcoming conference:

 

“Living sustainable community-school collaboration: Learning for the future” Working Conference in Kerkrade, the Netherlands, May 13th to 15th 2013

 

CODES second Conference will gather all stakeholders of school and community collaboration. The aims of the event are sharing experiences, getting a first insight on CoDeS products and having a platform for feedback based on own experiences to the authors groups.

 

Your experience in school and community collaboration is very important for CODES work. We warmly invite you to participate and to contribute to the Conference in Kerkrade.

 

*CoDeS is a large Comenius network funded by the EU. The focus of CoDeS lies on experiences, key elements, methods and conditions of school-community cooperation. CoDeS network aims to include a European perspective on effective models, learning methods and tools as well as aspects of inclusion for a wide range of actors. CoDeS conferences open a forum for collaboration and debate of all stakeholders and the network partners.

 

For more information see: http://www.comenius-codes.eu

 

 

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From the virtual to the real, discovering the world in 4D by leaving our screens behind: the potential of outdoor learning in a digital age

From the virtual to the real, discovering the world in 4D by leaving our screens behind: the potential of outdoor learning in a digital age | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it
Rebekah Tauritz's insight:

A new study reports on the results of a three year longitudinal study of children (age 8‐10) who participated in NatureWise, a nature immersion programme that takes children into the forest under the guidance of a forest ranger three times a year. NatureWise (NW) is a carefully designed programme that requires school‐based preparation for each of the so‐called forest days as well as school‐based reflection on the significance and lessons learnt of each on those days. The programme seeks to develop ‘head’ (development of cognitive understanding of ecological principles and life in and management of the forest), ‘hart’ (development of affective, emotional bonding with nature and associated values) and, ‘hands’ (development of psycho‐motor skills needed to care for nature).

 

An experimental design was created that included 6 primary schools, 3 from urban areas and 3 from more rural areas. In each school for each participating grade a NatureWise‐class was followed as was a control class which did not participate in NW but followed the normal nature education programme that can be considered typical for most Dutch primary schools. Within each class a group of eight pupils was followed more intensively to obtain a deeper understanding of the children’s development. Children’s concept‐maps and activity booklets (in year 1 and year 3 of the study) were analyzed as well as interviews with the eight focus children from each class. In addition all participating teachers (n=24) were interviewed about their understanding of nature education in general and NW in particular (for those who participated in NW) as well as about the changes they observed in the children and about the influence of the children’s home‐situation on their exposure to and connection with nature. In addition classes were observed periodically during lessons about nature. In total 185 children between the ages of 8 and 10 participated in the study. Methodologically the study can be classified as a phenomenological.

 

The research shows that most children, not all, benefit from participating in NW frequently over a 2‐3 year which is expressed in an increase in knowledge of nature, deepened sensory and affective engagement with nature, and more sensitive behaviour towards nature. The added value of NW lies is multiple: children are in a position to establish direct contact with nature, children gain more confidence and interest in nature which helps them understand information about nature that comes to them through the media, children are better positioned to develop empathy towards another species, children come to see the importance of caring for nature, children are given hands‐on opportunities to care for nature, and, finally, children get to enjoy being in nature aesthetically, psycho‐motorically and intellectually. All this combined makes children more inclined to actively seek nature. The research therefore confirms the key premises of experience‐oriented nature education programmes, although it should be noted 10 that not all participating students display such a development and that in the control group some students display a similar development under favourable conditions in the school and/or home environment.

 

See the full report (in Dutch with an English Abstract) for more results.

Toen ik er meer over ging weten werd het leuk: arjenwals.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/toen-ik-er-meer-over-ging-weten-werd-het-leuk-compleet3ukabstract.pdf

 

The study was conducted by a team of researchers consisting of Marlon van der Waal and Dieuwke Hovinga (OVC-Advies & Lector Hogeschool Leiden) – who both did the bulk of the research – and Kris van Koppen (Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University) and Arjen Wals (Education and Competences Group, Wageningen University).

 

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Exploring the Relationship between Digital Nature Photography and Children’s Connectedness to Nature

Exploring the Relationship between Digital Nature Photography and Children’s Connectedness to Nature | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

MSc Thesis by Seth F. Spencer

University of Minnesota Duluth| 2012

 

Digital photography can be an enjoyable and exciting activity for children. It may also increase connectedness to nature levels. Questionnaires were sent to four different Duluth, MN area 4th grade classrooms. The questionnaire was comprised of the Connectedness to Nature Index (Cheng & Monroe, 2010) and one open-ended question. The questionnaire was given as a pretest and a posttest, after two of the schools participated in a program using digital cameras. Eight-five percent (n=99) responded to the questionnaire.

 

Findings of the study revealed that the respondents generally had a strong connectedness to nature before and after their use of digital cameras. While quantitative data showed no significant change between pretest and posttest connectedness to nature levels, qualitative and anecdotal data suggested that the use of digital cameras can influence connectedness to nature levels in children. The results may be used to emphasize the importance of finding new and creative ways to connect today’s children with a sense of connectedness to nature

 

Download the thesis report: http://hdl.handle.net/10792/325 or

http://d-commons.d.umn.edu:8180/jspui/handle/10792/325

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Linda Wilson's comment, August 20, 2012 1:35 PM
Interesting study. I tried to download the pdf but Internet Explorer says it can't download it. Is there another way? Perhaps contact information for Mr. Spencer?
Rebekah Tauritz's comment, August 20, 2012 1:43 PM
Hi lwilson, I don't know why IE can't download the file. I use Firefox, but I thought IE is used more commonly. I added a second link, does this work for you? Or perhaps you can use Firefox..?

Rebekah
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Natural Play. An evaluation of GfL's project work with eight primary schools in Central Scotland

Natural Play. An evaluation of GfL's project work with eight primary schools in Central Scotland | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

A growing body of evidence suggests that play has a significant impact on almost every area of children’s lives. It also suggests that children have significantly fewer opportunities for non-prescriptive ‘free play’ than previous generations have enjoyed.

 

Most children spend at least 2000 hours of their life in a school playground, probably more than in any other outdoor play setting. Despite this, many UK schools do little to create the kind of rich play environments and experiences that we know are important for children.

 

In other parts of Europe, play is viewed as a crucial aspect of school life – and their playgrounds and play practice are radically different from what we know here in the UK. (see for example our case studies on the radical approach taken by schools in Berlin).

 

With support from Inspiring Scotland, we embarked on a 2-year project with 8 Scottish primary schools to explore whether some of these more ambitious European-style ideas could be adapted to a UK context and to assess what the benefits of this approach might be for children.

 

This report summarises the approach we took, the lessons we learned and the impact of these projects on children and schools.

 

January 2012

 

Read more: http://www.ltl.org.uk/pdf/Natural-Play-Evaluation-Report-1332848772.pdf

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Theory of Mind

Understanding that other people can think and feel differently from you is an essential skill in relation to sustainable development. Understanding how other minds work is a competence children master around the age of 4.

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Learning by experiment is all in a day's play : Nature News

Learning by experiment is all in a day's play : Nature News | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it
Rudiments of the scientific method seen in four-year-old children.

by Chloe McIvor

 

Preschool children spontaneously invent experiments in their play, according to research published this month in Cognition. The findings suggest that basic scientific principles help very young brains to learn about the world.

 

Psychologists have been drawing a comparison between cognitive development and science for years — an idea referred to as 'the child as scientist'. But recently scientists have been trying to discover whether this is more than just a neat analogy.

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The Exploratory Behavior Scale: Assessing young visitors' hands-on behavior in science museums | 2010

The Exploratory Behavior Scale: Assessing young visitors' hands-on behavior in science museums | 2010 | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

In this paper, we introduce the Exploratory Behavior Scale (EBS), a quantitative
measure of young children’s interactivity. More specifically, the EBS is developed
from the psychological literature on exploration and play and measures the extent to
which preschoolers explore their physical environment. A practical application of the EBS in a science museum is given. The described study was directed at optimizing parent guidance to improve preschoolers’ exploration of exhibits in science center NEMO.

 

In Experiment 1, we investigated which adult coaching style resulted in the highest level of exploratory behavior at two exhibits. In Experiment 2, we investigated whether informing parents about an effective way of coaching influenced preschoolers’ exploratory behavior at two exhibits.

 

The results of the study demonstrate the added value of the EBS in visitor behavior research: compared to existing global measures of visitor interactivity; the EBS adds information about the quality of the hands-on behavior. Compared to existing detailed measures of visitor interactivity, the EBS has the advantage of being applicable in different museum settings and enabling comparisons between exhibits or exhibitions. In addition, the EBS allows for quantification of unanticipated behavior.

 

Tessa van Schijndel (Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam)

Rooske Franse (Science Learning Center, science center NEMO)

Maartje Raijmakers (Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam)

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Curiosity and learning: The skill of critical thinking by Laura Schulz

Laura Schulz is an Associate Professor of Cognitive Sciences. She works at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Early Childhood Cognition Lab) of MIT.

 

She studies the representations and learning mechanisms that underlie our understanding of the physical and social world.

 

Her research looks at:

1) how children infer the concepts and causal relations that enable them to engage in accurate prediction, explanation, and intervention;

2) the factors that support curiosity and exploration, allowing children to engage in effective discovery and

3) how the social-communicative context (e.g., demonstrating evidence, explaining events, disagreeing about hypotheses) affects children’s learning.

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Teaching in Nature

Teaching in Nature | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

In this project, teachers from primary and secondary schools across a range of subject areas used collaborative action enquiry to plan and execute pupil excursions to local outdoor natural areas. The outdoor areas visited were designated National Nature Reserves (or other local wild places such as areas of Special Scientific Interest).

 

Teachers were entirely free to try any approach they wish. Each group of teacher-researchers worked closely together, sometimes using a theme or focal topic, to visit their site to conduct planning and to design their class visits. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) staff members acted as guides and also advised on where to find local knowledge about the place. Funds were made available to cover for teachers while they engage in planning / attending workshops.

 

Staff of the University of Stirling and the teacher researchers collected a range of evidence of the activities undertaken. Some of these are on the website in the form of video, audio, pupils' work and teachers' plans and commentaries.

 

Visit the website and learn more about the project: http://teachinginnature.stir.ac.uk/

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Intergenerational Place-based Education: Where schools, communities, & nature meet

Intergenerational Place-based Education: Where schools, communities, & nature meet | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

The report is an exploration of the synergies (existing and possible) between intergenerational practice, formal school-linked provisions, and the field of place-focused approaches to education. The focus was to consider intergenerational educational programmes that were connected to schools and at the same time, were concerned with making community-wide connections to some local, outdoor and natural places through outdoor experiences of different kinds. Thus, the key aim of the research was to consider what were the opportunities and issues for intergenerational place-based education, what its effects might be, and what the consequences for other schools might look like.

 

by G. Mannion, C. Adey, & J. Lynch

University of Stirling for Scottish Centre for Intergenerational Practice, 2010

 

Read more: http://www.scotcip.org.uk/files/documents/IG_Place-based_Education.pdf

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