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Browsing by Subject "early-childhood education"

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  • Lahtinen, Leena (2017)
    The experiences of an individual build and shape his or her personality. Experiences of nature contribute considerably to the development of children’s self-esteem and self-image. It is worth bearing in mind that the children of today will become the builders and decision-makers of tomorrow and, therefore, their education is of great importance. Their attitudes and values will define the development and well-being of our society. Children’s experiences of their daily lives are a key element of this study. The study explored 5–6-year-old kindergarten children’s (n = 98) experiences of garden activities. The garden was examined as a physical, psychological, social and cognitive environment for growth and learning. The study concentrated on the children’s emotional responses that were aroused by garden activities and on the function of the garden as a social meeting place for children. A further aim of the study was to follow the development of the 5–6-year-old participants’ knowledge of the garden and nature. The children’s experiences were assessed with a drawing task, Me as a Gardener, that was supplemented with individual interviews, conducted between 2014–2015. The children’s emotional experiences and knowledge of nature were enhanced as a result of the garden activities. The activities contributed to an increase in positive experiences and self-image, especially in the case of boys, and to the development of an understanding of the effects of gardening. Based on this study can be expected to, an intentional use of the garden as a growth and learning environment encourages the growth of children in early-childhood education settings.