Child-nature encounters in Canadian forest schools

Presenters

Abstract

Forest school programs are becoming increasingly popular around the world. Here in Canada, new programs are initiated every year across the country; there are currently almost 50 programs listed on the Forest School Canada website and over 160 certified Forest School Practitioners. Very little research has been conducted on this educational approach. Through this doctoral research study, I aim to answer the following research question: "What environmental learning is occurring in Canadian forest schools and how does this learning relate to the ecological, cultural, and historical contexts of those places?". Guided by a common worlds conceptual framework, I will collect data such as an ecological inventory, program documents, interviews and child-led tours from three forest school sites within Canada. This research will contribute to the growing conversation about child-nature relations and the utilization of natural spaces in childcare provision.

Poster

Keywords:

Early childhood