Forest Kindergarten: A qualitative case study comparing the emergent and play-based curriculum at Cedarsong Nature School to the Newfoundland and Labrador Kindergarten Curriculum

Card, Breanne Elizabeth Cornell (2014) Forest Kindergarten: A qualitative case study comparing the emergent and play-based curriculum at Cedarsong Nature School to the Newfoundland and Labrador Kindergarten Curriculum. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Kindergarten is a German word, meaning children’s garden. Today, professionals and parents around the world are speaking up and supporting the research that suggests young children benefit from time spent outside in natural environments and green, wild spaces. Some names for these programs are: Forest Kindergarten, Nature Kindergarten, or Forest Schools. In this qualitative study I provide a descriptive narrative single case study composed of topic-centered narratives revealing significant themes and rich descriptions of a Forest school. The research questioned whether the expectations of the Newfoundland and Labrador Kindergarten Curriculum could be achieved using a Forest Kindergarten model. The data for this case study was collected through interviews, observations, field notes, artifacts, photographs, video recordings, and audio-visuals to examine the concept of Forest Kindergarten as implemented by Cedarsong Nature School on Vashon Island, WA. Upon investigation, the researcher concludes that Forest Kindergarten programs do meet and offer children learning opportunities to reach beyond the specific curriculum outcomes specified for the kindergarten curriculum in Newfoundland and Labrador. The findings suggest the advantages of a Forest Kindergarten program include advanced communication, social, and critical thinking and problem-solving skills, a stronger sense of self, place, and community, as well as the importance of creative play-based learning and sensory-based play. It is recommended that the Forest Kindergarten model be considered for Newfoundland and Labrador schooling in particular Aboriginal communities and schools.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/8324
Item ID: 8324
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 234-241).
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: August 2014
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Kindergarten--Activity programs--Newfoundland and Labrador; Kindergarten--Curricula--Newfoundland and Labrador; Outdoor learning laboratories--Newfoundland and Labrador

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