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Formal and informal outdoor education of young children

Zala Fister (2019) Formal and informal outdoor education of young children. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    More and more Slovenian educators, teachers and others who work with children are aware that nature provides important experience in all seasons and in any weather. They educate children with this in mind. According to foreign literature, teachers claim that a large part of curricular goals can be achieved outdoors. Through qualitative research, I explored what forms of formal and informal outdoor education exist in Slovenia. The main goal was to investigate the practice of these institutions. I invited preschool teachers, teachers and others, who work with younger children (informants) to participate in the survey. I created semi-structured interviews and carried out the interviews with 26 informants from 21 formal and informal institutions. I researched their views on the subject and experiences. There are institutions in Slovenia that enable teachers in formal institutions to network, educate and promote outdoor education. Some informal institutions offer and promote leisure activities outdoors during the afternoon, during weekends and during holidays. Some offer day care for young children in natural environments. During their work with young children informants give priority to free play before structured activities, although most prepare also guided activities. Informants have confidence in the children to take care of their own safety and value risky play. Children in informal institutions can climb trees without an adult in the immediate vicinity, use a knife, burn a fire, etc. These children have a broader scope of opportunities than children enrolled in formal institutions. Institutions are faced with various obstacles in their efforts. Informants propose legal measures to enforce a minimum amount of outdoor education in formal institutions. Informants from informal institutions propose forming a legislation that would allow and regulate forest preschools, forest schools and adventure playgrounds. Participants encourage educators, principals and local community representatives to engage and enable children to experience genuine learning. Outdoor education has a great importance for everybody involved and should become a daily practice in all nursery schools and schools. This is how we pass to children a loving and responsible care for nature.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: learning experience, outdoor play and learning, outdoor pedagogy, forest pedagogy, school garden, adventure playground, practitioners' views
    Number of Pages: 129
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Gregor TorkarMentor
    doc. dr. Marjanca KosComentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/12490313
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5801
    Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2019 11:30
    Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 11:30
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5801

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