The effect of a short-term nature-based education program on young children’s biophilic tendencies

Simge Yılmaz, Oğuzcan Çığ, Emine Yılmaz Bolat

Abstract


The current research examined the effectiveness of seven-week nature-based education program on young children’s affinity toward nature (biophilia). The sample of the study is comprised of 40 preschools children between the age of 60 to 66 month-old residing in Mersin, Turkey.  Children biophilic tendencies were measured before and after the intervention to gague the effect of their regular interaction with nature and play in such an environment. Children’s biophilia were measured using a visually supported scale that included both biophilic and non-biophilic items. A quasi experimental design with one group pre-test and post-test design were employed to measure the difference in biophilic tendencies before and after the invervention was given. The results showed that  a short-term  nature-based education program in a natural area was effective in terms of increasing children’s affinity toward nature. The improvement in children’s level of biophilia after the implementation of the program was statistically significant.


Keywords


Environmental education program, nature-based education program, early childhood environmental education, affinity toward nature, biophilia, quasi-experimental design, one group pre-test post-test design

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ballantyne, R. R. & Packer, J. M. (1996). Teaching and learning in Environmental Education: Developing environmental conceptions. The Journal of Environmental Education, 27(2), 25-32.

Chawla, L., & D.F., Cushing. (2007). Education for strategic environmental behavior. Environmental Education Research, 13(4), 437–452.

Cincera, J., Kroufek, R., Simonova, P., Broukalova, L., Broukal, V., & Skalík, J. (2017). Eco-Schools in kindergartens: The effects, interpretation, and implementation of a pilot program. Environmental Education Research, 23(7). https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2015.1076768

Clayton, S., & S. Opotow. (2003). Identity and the natural environment: The psychological significance of nature. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Cutter-Mackenzie, A., & Edwards, S. (2013). Toward a Model for Early Childhood Environmental Education: Foregrounding, Developing, and Connecting Knowledge through Play-based Learning. The Journal of Environmental Education, 44(3), 195–213.

Davis, J. (2009). Revealing the research ‘hole’ of early childhood education for sustainability: A preliminary survey of the literature. Environmental Education Research, 15(2), 227–241.

Emmons, K. M. (1997). Perceptions of the environment while exploring the outdoors: A case study in Belize, Environmental Education Research, 3(3), 327-344.

Erdoğan, M., Bahar, M., Özel, R., Erdaş, E., & Uşak, M. (2012). Environmental Education in 2002 and 2006 Early Childhood Curriculum. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 12(4), 3259-3272.

Ergazaki, M. & Andriotou, E. (2009). From “forest fires” and “hunting” to disturbing “habitats” and “food chains”: Do young children come up with any ecological interpretations of human interventions within a forest? Research in Science Education, 40(2), 187-201.

Felonneau, M. (2004). Love and loathing of the city: Urbanophilia and urbanophobia, topological identity and perceived identities. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 24, 43–52.

Fisman, L. (2005). The effects of local learning on environmental awareness in children: An empirical investigation. The Journal of Environmental Education, 36(3), 39-50.

Fjørtoft, I. (2001). The natural environment as a playground for children: The impact of outdoor play activities in pre-primary school children. Early Childhood Education Journal, 29(2), 111-117.

Fjørtoft, I. (2004). Landscape as playscape: the effects of natural environments on children’s play and motor development. Children, Youth and Environments, 14(2), 21-44.

Gunderson, R. (2014). Eric Fromm’s Ecological messianism: The first biophilia hypothesis as humanistic social theory. Humanity & Society, 38(2), 182-204.

Gülay, H., Yılmaz, Ş., Turan-Güllaç, E., & Önder, A. (2010). The effect of soil education project on pre-school children. Educational Research and Review, 5(11), 703-711.

Hadzigeorgiou, Y. (2001). The role of wonder and ‘romance’ in early childhood science education. International Journal of Early Years Education, 9(1), 63-69.

Kahn, P., & Kellert, S. (2002). Children and nature: Physiological, sociocultural, and evolutionary investigations. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Kals, E., & Ittner, H. (2003). Children's environmental identity, indicators and behavioral impacts, in identity and the natural environment. The Psychological Significance of Nature. In Clayton, Susan and Opotow, Susan (Eds). The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Karakaya-Akçadağ, Ç. & Çobanoğlu, E.O. (2018). İnsan ve çevre ünitesi için sınıf dışı öğretim uygulamasının çevre okuryazarlığı üzerine etkisi. İnformal Ortamlarda Araştırmalar Dergisi, 3(2), 1-23.

Karimzadegan, H., & Meiboudi, H. (2013). Effectiveness of Environmental Education on Environmental Knowledge of Kindergarten Children in Rasht City. Journal of Environmentally Friendly Processes, 1(4), 18-25.

Kellert, S.R. (2002). Experiencing nature: Affective, cognitive, and evaluative development, in children and nature: psychological, sociocultural, and evolutionary ınvestigations. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Kesicioǧlu, O.S., & Alisinanoǧlu, F. (2009). The Analysis of Children’s Attitude against the Environment in the Views of Various variables. Ahi Evran Ünviversitesi Kırşehir Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi (KEFAD), 10(3), 37-48.

Littledyke, M. (2004). Primary children’s views on science and environmental issues: examples of environmental cognitive and moral development. Environmental Education Research, 10(2), 217-235.

Manzo, L. (2003). Beyond house and haven: Toward a revision of emotional relationships with places. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 23, 47–61.

Mårtensson, F., Boldemann, C., Sönderström, M., Blennow, M., Englund, J. E., & Grahn, P. (2009). Outdoor environmental assessment of attention promoting settings for preschool children. Health & Place, 15, 1149-1157.

Mayer, F.S., & Frantz, C.M.P. (2004). The connection to nature scale: A measure of individuals’ feeling in community with nature. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 24(4), 503-515.

North American Association for Environmental Education. (2010). Early childhood environmental education programs: Guidelines for excellence. Washington, D.C.

Özdemir, O., & Uzun, N. (2006). Yeşil sınıf modeline göre yürütülen fen ve doğa etkinliklerinin ana sınıfı öğrencilerinin çevre algılarına etkisi. Çocuk Gelişimi ve Eğitimi Dergisi, 1(2), 12-20.

Palmberg, E.I. & Kuru, J. (2000). Outdoor activities as a basis for environmental responsibility. The Journal of Environmental Education, 31(4), 32-6.

Palmer, J.A. (1995). Environmental thinking in the early years: Understanding and misunderstanding of concepts related to waste management. Environmental Education Research, 1, 47-58.

Pearson, E., & Degotardi, S. (2009). Education for sustainable development in early childhood education: A global solution to local concerns. International Journal of Early Childhood, 419, 97–111.

Phenice, L., & Griffore, R. (2003). Young children and the natural world. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 4(2), 167-178.

Price, P. C., Jhangiani, R. S., Chiang, I.A., Leighton, D.C., & Cuttler, C. (2017). Research methods in psychology. BCcampus, BC Open Textbook Project.

Robertson, J.S. (2008). Forming Preschoolers’ Environmental Attitude: Lasting Effects of Early Childhood Environmental Education. Unpublishished Master Thesis. Canada: Royal Roads University.

Schultz, P. Wesley. (2002). Inclusion with nature: The psychology of human-nature relations. In Psychology of sustainable development Peter Schumuck and Wesley P. Schultz (Eds.), (pp. 61–78). Springer.

Sobel, D. (2004). Place-based education, connecting classrooms and communities. Great Barrington, MA: The Orion Society.

Şenocak, E., Aksoy, P., Samarapungavan, A., & Tosun, C. (2013). A study on development of an instrument to determine Turkish kindergarten students’ understandings of scientific concepts and scientific inquiry processes. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 13(4), 2217–2228.

Tanrıverdi, B. (2009). Eğitim programlarında yer alan kazanımların sürdürülebilir kalkınma stratejisi açısından incelenmesi. Eğitim ve Bilim, 34(151), 89-103.

Tilbury, D. (1994). The critical learning years for environmental education. In Environmental education at the early childhood level, ed. R. Wilson, 11–13. Washington, DC: North American Association for Environmental Education.

Yılmaz, S. (2017). Investigation of 5-year-old preschool children’s biophilia and children’s and their mothers’ outdoor setting preferences (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.

Yılmaz, S., & Olgan, R. (2017). Okul Öncesi Dönem Çocuklarının Doğaya Yakınlık (Biyofili) Seviyelerinin Araştırılması (An Investigation of Preschool Children’s Affinity Towards Nature (Biophilia)). Mersin University Journal of the Faculty of Education, 13(3).

Wells, N.M., & K.S. Lekies. (2006). Nature and the Life Course: Pathways from Childhood Nature Experiences. Children, Youth and Environments, 16(1), 1–25.

White R. (2004). Young children’s relationship with nature: It’s importance to children’s development and the earth’s future. Kansas: White Hutchinson Leisure and Learning Group. Retrieved from http://www.childrenandnature.org/downloads/White_ YoungChildren.pdf.

Wilson, R., (Ed.) (1994). Environmental education at the early childhood level. Washington, DC: North American Association for Environmental Education

Wilson, R. (2008). Nature and young children: Encouraging creative play and learning in natural environments. Abingdon: Routledge.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

 ISSN: 1305-3515