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ERIC Number: EJ1164846
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Dec
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0020-7187
Children Environmental Identity Development in an Alaska Native Rural Context
Green, Carie
International Journal of Early Childhood, v49 n3 p303-319 Dec 2017
Scholarship in Early Childhood Education for Sustainability (ECEfS) continues to advocate for the incorporation of Indigenous ways of knowing and children's agency in research and practice. This study contributes to the literature by examining how young children from an Alaskan rural setting make meaning of and interact with nature. Informed by a participatory and phenomenological framework, this study included 5-to-7-year-old Alaska Native children. Data were collected through Sensory Tours (wearable cameras) where children freely explored their environment with an adult and a peer. Interpreted through Environmental Identity Development theory, findings revealed children had a strong sense of "Trust in Nature", uniquely informed by their cultural and subsistence lifestyle. Such trust prompted children to gain a sense of "Spatial Autonomy" through exploration and establishing connections with water, plants, and animals. Children tasted and touched, experimented and discovered, learning about features of the local ecology and their shared role in it, which, in turn, heightened their sense of "Environmental Competency". Children's demonstrated competencies promote engagement in a subsistence-based lifestyle. Harvesting food from the wilderness is an important sustainable practice in a rural isolated settings and, thus, important to consider in ongoing dialogue on ECEfS.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alaska
Grant or Contract Numbers: OIA1208927