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Promoting social and emotional development of a preschool child in the concept of forest pedagogy

Nika Valentinčič (2019) Promoting social and emotional development of a preschool child in the concept of forest pedagogy. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    The master’s thesis deals with observations and opinions of educators and counselors on the contribution of forest pedagogy to the social and emotional development of a pre-school child. It originates from the theoretical starting points of forest pedagogy, experiential and collaborative learning, and the knowledge of the emotional and social development of the child. In the theoretical part, I described forest pedagogy as an alternative form of the pre-school and school system and its concepts. In the following, I presented the characteristics of the social and emotional development of a pre-school child and the kindergarten environment as one of the factors of development and protective factors for the social and emotional development of a pre-school child. The results of the qualitative research were presented in the empirical part with semi-structured interviews, where I examined the observations and opinions of eight educators and two counselors of a kindergarten, which is included in the Network of forest preschools and schools of Slovenia, with the contribution of forest pedagogy to the social and emotional development of a pre-school child. Through research, I also established which features of forest pedagogy have a positive effect on the social and emotional development, and whether we can talk about forest pedagogy as a protective factor for a healthy social and emotional development. The results showed that forest pedagogy promotes both social and emotional development of a pre-school child; in the natural environment, there are several interactions among children, it is easier to get involved in the group, there is more cooperation and mutual assistance. In the forest, children mainly express positive feelings, there are less emotional outbursts and aggressive behavior than in the playroom, and prosocial behavior is more common. According to the interviewees, the characteristics of forest pedagogy, which show positive effects on children’s social and emotional development, are free play, experiential learning, the natural environment, social learning, cooperative learning and an open learning environment. The study showed, that these characteristics of forest pedagogy calm and relax children, and also encourage their social and emotional development. Therefore, the interviewees also affirm the thesis that forest pedagogy is one of the protective factors for a healthy social and emotional development of pre-school children. The research provides an insight into the observations and opinions of educators and counselors on the influence of forest pedagogy on the social and emotional development of the child and, in this correlation, offers the possibility to create new effective approaches for working with children in kindergartens that promote children's social and emotional development and serve as protective factors.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: forest pedagogy, social development, emotional development, pre-school child, kindergarten, protective factor
    Number of Pages: 83
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Olga Poljšak ŠkrabanMentor
    doc. dr. Simona ProsenComentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/12371529
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5672
    Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2019 12:07
    Last Modified: 05 Apr 2019 12:07
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5672

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