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)


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.


Children Nature Phenomenology Interpretive Phenomenologial Analysis Ethical listening The Mosaic Approach 


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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

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