ERIC Number: ED232945
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
A Methodology for the Study of Children's Environmental Knowledge in Other Cultures.
An eclectic, ethnographic methodology is presented for studying the content and acquisition of children's environmental learning, knowledge, and interaction in a transitional economy in rural Sudan. Drawing on methods of geography, linguistics, and anthropology, the paper attempts to provide a valid alternative to most of the methods used in research on environmental cognition and behavior. It is especially appropriate for work undertaken in non-Western settings. Two methodological issues addressed are that researchers need to be aware that biases and values affect the research process and that methods appropriate to study in one culture are not necessarily appropriate to study in another. The study focuses on a sample population of seventeen 10-year-olds from a village of 350 households in central Sudan. The major portion of the paper emphasizes the researcher's methodology including (1) the combination of random and directed observations, providing a complete picture of the activities of the sample population; (2) verbal methods, including ethno-semantic interviews, providing information on the content and origins of children's environmental knowledge; (3) demonstrative methods, including child-led walks, landscape modeling, and geo-dramas; and (4) "oral-geographies," conducted with parents and grandparents of children, to discover the environmental goals for their children as well as their own childhood environmental interactions. (LH)
Descriptors: Anthropological Linguistics, Children, Cultural Context, Cultural Interrelationships, Educational Anthropology, Ethnography, Non Western Civilization, Nonformal Education, Research Methodology, Rural Environment, Social Characteristics, Social Science Research, Sociocultural Patterns
Clark University, Graduate School of Geography, Worcester, MA 01610 ($2.00 postage and handling).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: American Association of Univ. Women, Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (Denver, CO, April 1983).