The effect of forest schools on children's relationship with the natural world

Whitewood, C. (2018) The effect of forest schools on children's relationship with the natural world. Undergraduate theses, University of Chichester.

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Forest Schools develop individuals in several ways; one of which is to build a relationship with the natural world (Smith, Dunhill and Scott, 2017). With the recent resurgence in the number of schools investing in the concept of ‘outdoor learning’, including Forest Schools (Maynard & Waters, 2007), it has become of increasing importance to understand how and why these programmes effect individuals. Smith Dunhill and Scott (2017) explain that there is no evidence, in current literature, to suggest that Forest Schools achieve the second Forest School principle of building a relationship between learner and the natural world (Knight, 2013, pg.17). This study sets out to provide evidence as to whether Forest Schools achieve this and if so, how it is achieved. 24 participants (9±1 years old: 12 males, 12 females) from the rural area of Swanage, took part in a six-week Forest School intervention programme. They answered Cheng and Monroe’s (2012) Connectedness to Nature Index at three-time periods: pre-intervention, post-intervention and six-week post-intervention. Follow up interviews were conducted at the post-intervention stage, using Smith, Dunhill and Scott’s (2017) six proposed connection to nature themes. It was found that despite the participants already having a predisposed connection with nature, there is a correlation between the participants with lower connection to nature at the pre-intervention and having a higher connection at the post-intervention. It was also found that there was a significant difference between male’s connection to nature over time, including their retention capabilities. Finally, there seems to be a large amount of similarity between the interview responses and the proposed connection to nature themes set out by Smith, Dunhill and Scott (2017).

Publication Type: Theses (Undergraduate)
Additional Information: BA (Hons) Adventure Education
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Academic Areas > Adventure Education
Student Research > Undergraduate
Depositing User: Ann Jones
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2019 14:48
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2019 14:48

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