Children, Nature and Emotion: Exploring How Children’s Emotional Experiences of ‘Green’ Spaces Shape Their Understandings of the Natural World

  • Lisa Procter
Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)

Abstract

In 2011, the UK government announced its ambition ‘to see every child in England given the chance to experience and learn about the natural environment’ (DEFRA White Paper, 2011, p. 47). This followed the 2010 UNESCO report on Education for Sustainable Development (EfS), which stated that EfS is ‘an important emerging field of educational policy, practice and research’ (p. 8), stimulated by the sustainable schools agenda, which conceived schools as places which should model ‘good practice’ and ‘offer young people the chance to contribute to sustainable living, and demonstrate good practices to others’ (DCFS, 2006, p. 1). Within formal education, this report recognised that formal education supported programmes including ‘sustainable school’, ‘eco school’ and ‘global learning’ (p. 8). At the same time, there is increased provision for children to engage with nature in therapeutic ways, such as the Forest Schools initiative, whereby children access woodland sites during timetabled sessions in mainstream schools (Ridgers et al., 2012). Building on this work, it was hoped that ‘every school in the country [would be encouraged] to put sustainability at the heart of its thinking’ (DEFRA White Paper, 2011, p. 49). These educational opportunities, it is argued, are framed by ‘momentum towards action on learning about climate change nationally and globally’ (p. 8).

Keywords

Beach Bark Photography Milton Oxon 

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© Lisa Procter 2015

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  • Lisa Procter

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