International Journal of Early Childhood

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 37–56 | Cite as

South African children’s concepts of their future environment

Articles
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Summary

This article, which is a revised version of a paper presented at the XXIV World Congress of OMEP conference in Melbourne in July 2004, reports on a study that explored young children’s (5–9 years) vision of their future environment in South Africa-as temporal dimension, illustrating their conceptual understanding of this concept. A sample of 320 young learners from rural and urban areas in the Foundation Phase (five to nine years) was involved in this study. The research examined young learners’ views about their future environment with the aim of finding a way to make them aware of their role in taking care of their environment, while making this concern part of their life world. The research was performed by gathering children’s expressions through visual art, verbally and in writing. By analyzing these expressions certain themes emerged. It was found that educators should take note of issues that concern learners in their life worlds, which include their social environment. Children’s awareness and sensitivity of the environment could be enhanced by offering environmental programmes, but temporal confusion persisted.

Resumen

Este artículo, versión revisada de un trabajo presentado en el XXIV Congreso Mundial de OMEP en Melbourne en julio de 2004, presenta un estudio acerca de un grupo de niños/as de entre 5 y 9 años de edad, sobre la visión que ellos/as poseen acerca del medio ambiente futuro con respecto a Sudáfrica-ello como dimensión temporal, ejemplificando su comprensión conceptual de este planteamiento. En esta muestra participaron 320 jóvenes escolares de áreas rurales y urbanas en la Fase Fundación (de cinco a nueve años). La investigación analizó los criterios de los niños respecto del medio ambiente futuro, con el objetivo de hallar una forma de hacerles conscientes de su función en el cuidado del medio a la vez que se buscaba que esta preocupción forme parte de su mundo vital cotidiano. La investigación se realizó recopilando las expresiones de los niños en artes visuales, manifestaciones verbales y escritas. Al analizar estas expresiones surgieron ciertos temas. Se halló que los educadores deben tomar nota de las cuestiones a que se refieren a estos educandos con respecto a su desarrollo vital, que incluye el medio social. La toma de conciencia de los niños y la sensibilidad ante el medio ambiente pudiera incrementarse a través de programas ambientales, pero persistió una confusión temporal.

Keywords

Environment Education Future perception Young children Children’s drawings South African children 

Résumé

Résumé

Cet article est une version révisée d’un exposé présenté au XXIVe Congrés de l’OMEP á Melbourne en juillet 2004. II rapporte une étude qui explore la vision des jeunes enfants sud-africains (5–9 ans) face á leur environnement futur, comme dimension temporelle illustrant leur compréhension de ce concept. Un échantillon de 320 jeunes écoliers de milieux ruraux et urbains de la phase de fondation (5–9 ans) a été utilisé dans cette étude. La recherche a examiné la vision des jeunes écoliers face á leur environnementfutur avec l’objectif de trouver des facons de les rendre conscients de leur rôle dans la protection de leur environnement tout en mettant cette préoccupation au coeur de leur vie. La recherche a été effectuée en recueillant les expressions des enfants á travers l’art visuel, verbalement et par écrit. En analysant ces expressions certains thémes ont émergé. II a été démontré que les éducateurs devraient prendre note des questions qui préoccupent les écoliers et dans leur vie, y compris leur environnment social. Les connaissances et la sensibilité des enfants face á l’environment pourraient être renforcées en leur offrant des programmes sur lŋvironment, mais une confusion temporelle persiste.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teacher EducationUNISASouth Africa

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