Advertisement

Phenomenology with Children: My Salamander Brother

  • Adonia F. PortoEmail author
  • Janice Kroeger
Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to investigate young children’s perspectives of nature while exploring a deciduous forest as an extension of their early childhood classroom in a University Lab School. This work was framed theoretically on the premise of ethical listening and doing curriculum and research with children in efforts to gain a phenomenological understanding of children’s prereflective and reflective experiences of nature. Children’s prereflective and reflective experiences were captured through methods adapted from the Mosaic Approach and video methodology as part of a dissertation research project. Children spent a minimum of 2 h per week in a natural environment with their teachers over the course of a school year. Key findings highlight how children’s extended nature experiences led them to conceptualize how they can be (in) nature, that they can manipulate nature, resources in a natural space, and how they are nature themselves. Significant Life Experience (SLE) literature is drawn upon to show implications for early childhood practice and research with children.

Keywords

Children Nature Phenomenology Interpretive Phenomenologial Analysis Ethical listening The Mosaic Approach 

References

  1. Campbell, C., & Jobling, W. (2012). Science in early childhood. Melbourne, VIC: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Carr, M. (2000). Seeking children’s perspectives about their learning. In A. Smith, N. J. Taylor, & M. Gollop (Eds.), Children's voices: Research, policy and practice (pp. 37–55). Auckland, New Zealand: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  3. Chawla, L. (1998). Significant life experiences revisited: A review of research on sources of environmental sensitivity. The Journal of Environmental Education, 29(3), 11–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chawla, L. (1999). Life paths into effective environmental action. The Journal of Environmental Education, 31(1), 15–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chawla, L. (2007). Childhood experiences associated with care for the natural world: A theoretical framework for empirical results. Children, Youth and Environments, 17(4), 144–170.Google Scholar
  6. Chawla, L., & Cushing, D. F. (2007). Education for strategic environmental behaviour. Environmental Education Research, 13(4), 437–452.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13504620701581539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clark, A. (2004). The Mosaic Approach and research with young children. In L. Vicky, K. Mary, R. Chris, F. Sandy, & D. Sharon (Eds.), The Reality of Research with Children and Young People (pp. 142–161). London, UK: Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Clark, A. (2007). A hundred ways of listening. Young Children, 62, 76–81. NAEYC.Google Scholar
  9. Clark, A., & Moss, P. (2005). Spaces to play: more listening to young children using the Mosaic approach. London, England: National Children’s Bureau.Google Scholar
  10. Clark, A., & Moss, P. (2008). Listening to young children: The mosaic approach. London, England: National Children’s Bureau.Google Scholar
  11. Clark, A., & Moss, P. (2011). Listening to young children: The mosaic approach. London, England: NCB.Google Scholar
  12. Dahlberg, G., & Moss, P. (2005). Ethics and politics in early childhood education. Oxfordshire, UK/New York, NY: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dahlberg, G., Moss, P., & Pence, A. (2007). Beyond quality in early childhood education and care: Postmodern perspectives (2nd ed.). London, England: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  14. Davies, B. (2014). Listening to children: Being and becoming. Oxfordshire, UK/New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Dockett, S., Einardottir, J., & Perry, B. (2009). Researching with children: Ethical tensions. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 7(3), 283–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Einarsdóttir, J. (2007). Research with children: Methodological and ethical challenges. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 15(2), 197–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Farrell, A. (2005). New possibilities for ethical research with children. In A. Farrell (Ed.), Ethical research with children (pp. 176–178). New York, NY: Maidenhead.Google Scholar
  18. Finlay, L. (2008). A dance between the reduction and reflexivity: Explicating the “phenomenological psychological attitude”. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, 39, 1–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hacking, E. B., Cutter-McKenzie, A., & Barratt, R. (2013). Children as active researchers: The potential of environmental education research involving children. In The handbook of research on environmental education (pp. 434–454). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Kellert, S. R. (2002). Experiencing nature: Affective, cognitive, and evaluative development in children. In P. Kahn & S. Kellert (Eds.), Children and nature: Psychological, sociocultural and evolutionary investigations (pp. 117–152). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  21. Kernan, M., & Devine, D. (2010). Being confined within? Constructions of the good childhood and outdoor play in early childhood education and care settings in Ireland. Children & Society, 24, 371–385.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1099-0860.2009.00249.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kollmus, A., & Agyeman, J. (2002). Mind the gap: Why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior? Environmental Education Research, 8(3), 239–260.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13504620220145401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Laird, S., McFarland-Piazza, L., & Allen, A. (2014). Young children’s opportunities for unstructured environmental exploration of nature: Links to adults’ experiences in childhood. International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education, 2(1). NAEYC.Google Scholar
  24. Lenz Taguchi, H. (2009). Going beyond the theory/practice divide in early childhood education: Introducing an intra-active pedagogy. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. MacNaughton, G. (2003). Shaping early childhood: Learners, curriculum and contexts. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Mannion, G. (2007). Going spatial, going relational; why “listening to children” and children’s participation needs reframing. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 28(3), 405–420.Google Scholar
  27. Mawson, B. (2014). Experiencing the ‘wild woods’: The impact of pedagogy on children’s experience of a natural environment. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 22(4), 513–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Merewether, J., & Fleet, A. (2013). Seeking children's perspectives: A respectful layered research approach. Early Child Development and Care., 184, 897.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2013.829821CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Moss, P., & Petrie, P. (2002). From Children’s services to Children’s spaces. London, England: Routledge Falmer.Google Scholar
  30. Nedovic, S., & Morrissey, A. M. (2013). Calm, active and focused: Children’s responses to an organic outdoor learning environment. Learning Environments Research, 16, 281–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. O’Brien, L. (2009). Learning outdoors: The forest school approach. Education, 37(1), 45–60.Google Scholar
  32. Pramling Samuelsson, I. & Johansson, E. (2009). Why do children involve teachers in their play and learning? European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 17(1), 77–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rinaldi, C. (2006). In dialogue with Reggio Emilia: Listening, researching, and learning. New York, NY: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Samuelsson, I. P., & Johansson, E. (2009). Why do children involve teachers in their play and learning? European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 17(1), 77–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sellers, M. (2013). Young children becoming curriculum: Deleuze, Te Whariki and curricular understandings. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Smith, J., Flowers, P., & Larkin, M. (2009). Interpretive phenomenological analysis: Theory, method and research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  37. Sobel, D. (2008). Childhood and nature: Design principles for educators. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.Google Scholar
  38. Sobel, D. (2012). Look, don’t touch–The problem with environmental education. Great Barrington, MA: Orion.Google Scholar
  39. Staempfli, M. B. (2009). Reintroducing adventure into children’s outdoor play environments. Environment and Behavior, 41(2), 268–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tanner, T. (1980). Significant life experiences: A new research area in environmental education. Journal of Environmental Education, 11(4), 20–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tovey, H. (2007). Playing outdoors: Spaces and places, risk and challenge. Maidenhead, UK: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  42. van Manen, M. (1984). Practicing phenomenological writing. Phenomenology + Pedagogy, 2(1), 36–69.Google Scholar
  43. van Manen, M. (1990). Researching lived experience: Human science for action sensitive pedagogy. New York, NY: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  44. van Manen, M. (2014). Phenomenology of practice: Meaning-giving methods in phenomenological research and writing. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.Google Scholar
  45. Waller, T. (2006). “Don’t come too close to my Octopus tree”: Recording and evaluating young children’s perspectives on outdoor learning. Children, Youth and Environments, 16(2), 75–104.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Teaching, Learning & Curriculum StudiesKent State UniversityKentUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Debra Flanders Cushing
    • 1
  • Robert Barratt
    • 2
  • Elisabeth Barratt Hacking
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Design, Creative Industries FacultyQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.The Eden ProjectCornwallUK
  3. 3.Department of EducationUniversity of BathBathUK

Personalised recommendations