ERIC Number: ED330527
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Bridging Early Childhood and Nature Education. Proceedings of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History Forum (1990).
Roger Tory Peterson Inst. of Natural History, Inc., Jamestown, NY.
This report was written to extend the findings of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute's 1990 forum on early-childhood environmental education. The report begins with an overview of Peterson's own childhood experiences that influenced his career as a naturalist. Peterson developed a hands-on interest in nature as a very young boy. His case is not uncommon. Educators have long realized the value of experiential education for elementary students. Nature education helps children gain a respect for life, stimulates their curiosity, and provides them with meaningful life experiences. Nature study is defined as a platform for engaging the whole child in experiences that provide a basis for understanding environmental relationships. It can take place in any location where the natural world is observed. Participants in the Peterson forum agreed that nature-education activities for young children should differ from those planned for older children. Foremost among guidelines for selecting young children's nature activities is the goal of providing them with firsthand experiences. It is important to keep nature experiences developmentally appropriate in terms of both age and individuality. Developmental appropriateness provides a framework for selecting learning experiences that are compatible with predictable sequences of growth and change within young children. The document offers goals and guidelines for selecting nature-study activities, and discusses bird-watching and nature walks, two activities teachers can choose. (TES)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Roger Tory Peterson Inst. of Natural History, Inc., Jamestown, NY.
Identifiers: Nature Study