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Browsing by Author "Virtanen, Suvi"

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  • Virtanen, Suvi (2016)
    The purpose of this study is to find out how the staff of a day care center feel about the importance of outdoor activities in children’s growth and learning and what kind of goals have the staff set for outdoor time and how the goals can be seen coming to life within the ordinary weekdays. Outdoor time is not only an important part of the day for children at a day care center, but it is also important for learning, because outdoor activities support the development of a child. Often the outdoor activities consist of children running around and playing with each other while the staff is chatting with each other while having their backs to the children. Earlier research has shown that only 2,8% of outdoor activities during the morning are supervised while 22% of it consists of free play without intervening adults. The ultimate goal of this study is to find out how the staff feel about and how they see outdoor time as and to have a look at the true meaning of outdoor activities in early childhood education. The study also tries to find out how and if the orientations of the national early childhood education plan (2005) show up in the opinions of the staff. The study has been conducted as a quantitative research study in which a webform has been used as a method for gaining material. The material has been gathered during April 2016. The webform was answered by 17 staff members of day care centers. The material was analysed by setting the answers in themes, which consisted of similarities and also differences within the answers. According to the results the staff considered outdoor time as an opportunity for children to practice social skills and unwind their imagination, and not so much as an opportunity for the staff to carry out well planned and goal orientated learning. The role of the adults was seen more as taking care of the safety of the children, attending to the kids and supervise activities.