Browsing School of Education (SOE) by Author "Kerndt, Susan"
Summer's children: an outdoor educational curriculum to help children discover the beauty of natureKerndt, Susan; Green, Carie; Vinlove, Amy; Hornig, Joan (2019-05)Changes in current societies are affecting childhood experiences. In an era where children spend countless hours indoors and on electronic devices the questions must be asked, are children developing valuable connections to the natural world around them? How much quality time are they really spending in the out-of-doors in a natural environment that would induce a connection? Time for outdoor play has diminished as nature has become to be regarded as separate from everyday life. The importance of an outdoor educational curriculum is established that would allow children to have a closer connection to nature by allowing a healthy balance of the time children spend outdoors. This project explores the questions of what an outdoor educational curriculum would look like that is project-based and child-led. A curriculum that would help children develop a sense of place, a sense of identity, and one that would help children develop self-efficacy while building self-esteem. This paper presents the main dimensions that quality outdoor experiences help to establish in the growing child and highlights the role of professionals and families in creating quality outdoor learning experiences.