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Outdoor Learning and Play

Pedagogical Practices and Children's Cultural Formation

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2021

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  • Outlines how nature forms a part of children’s cultural formation
  • Contains research material from Australia, Brazil, China, Poland, Norway and Wales
  • Presents various conditions for children’s cultural formation outside regular school approaches
  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

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Table of contents (12 chapters)


About this book

This Open Access book examines children’s participation in dialectical reciprocity with place-based institutional practices by presenting empirical research from Australia, Brazil, China, Poland, Norway and Wales. Underpinned by cultural-historical theory, the analysis reveals how outdoors and nature form unique conditions for children's play, formal and informal learning and cultural formation. The analysis also surfaces how inequalities exist in societies and communities, which often limit and constrain families' and children's access to and participation in outdoor spaces and nature. The findings highlight how institutional practices are shaped by pedagogical content, teachers' training, institutional regulations and societal perceptions of nature, children and suitable, sustainable education for young children. Due to crises, such as climate change and the recent pandemic, specific focus on the outdoors and nature in cultural formation is timely for the cultural-historical theoretical tradition. In doing so, the book provides empirical and theoretical support for policy makers, researchers, educators and families to enhance, increase and sustain outdoor and nature education.

Editors and Affiliations

  • KINDknow Kindergarten Knowledge Centre for Systemic Research on Diversity and Sustainable Futures, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, Norway

    Liv Torunn Grindheim

  • VIA University College, Aarhus, Denmark

    Hanne Værum Sørensen

  • Institute of Education and Humanities, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Carmarthen, UK

    Angela Rekers

About the editors

Liv Torunn Grindheim is a Professor in Early Childhood Pedagogy at Kindergarten Knowledge Centre for Systemic Research on Diversity and Sustainable Futures, at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. She received her PhD in social studies of childhood from Norwegian centre for child research, Norwegian University of Science and Technology/Norway. Her research interests are play, conditions for children’s exploration, cultural formation, children as citizens and sustainability in ECE. Her research has been published in Journals such as Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, and European Early Childhood Education Research Journal. She has also published chapters in scientific anthologies at Springer and Brill.   

Hanne Værum Sørensen is an associate professor at VIA University College, Aarhus. She holds a MA in Child Psychology and a BA in Social Education. Her research interests focus on conditions for children’s outdoor playtime, children’s explorative activities, and children’s readiness for school. She is an experienced teacher in early childhood teacher education in Denmark since 2001, and in Norway, where she has four years of experience from doing research and teaching within the area of ECE education. Hanne has published articles in Danish, Nordic and International Journals as well as book chapters in Danish, English and Norwegian. 

Angela Rekers, PhD, is a lecturer on Health, Social and Childhood Studies at Neath Port Talbot Colleges Group, Wales. Angela holds an MSc in Environmental Education for Sustainability and has worked in the field of experiential and outdoor learning for 20 years. Her research interests include education for social and ecological justice, multimodal literacies, inclusive participation and inclusive research methodologies. 

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Outdoor Learning and Play

  • Book Subtitle: Pedagogical Practices and Children's Cultural Formation

  • Editors: Liv Torunn Grindheim, Hanne Værum Sørensen, Angela Rekers

  • Series Title: International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2021

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-72594-5Published: 21 July 2021

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-72597-6Published: 21 July 2021

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-72595-2Published: 20 July 2021

  • Series ISSN: 2468-8746

  • Series E-ISSN: 2468-8754

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XV, 201

  • Number of Illustrations: 15 b/w illustrations, 22 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Early Childhood Education, International and Comparative Education, Education, general

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