Children’s views and preferences regarding their outdoor environment

This study aims to enhance awareness of what young children want to do outside and their preferences regarding their outdoor environment. Views of children as active participants, the affordance of the environment and the importance of place for children’s learning constitute the theoretical background of the study. The study was part of a research and development project on education for sustainable development in which preschool children and compulsory school children participated in decision-making about how their common school ground should be constructed. Data were gathered through observations and interviews with children and teachers. The findings show that the children wanted to challenge themselves as well as to be secure, explore things, be in contact with others, find or create nests and enjoy beautiful things outdoors. The children highly valued the natural environment and liked diversity in playground equipment.

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