Experiencing nature and children’s conceptualizations of the natural world

Silvia Collado, Lupicinio Íñiguez-Rueda, José A. Corraliza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This paper examines young children’s concepts of nature, paying attention to the role played by types of daily experiences with nature on 832 children’s constructions of the natural world. We observed the roles of three types of experiences, as determined by the children’s place of residence (urban, rural mountain range, and rural agricultural) in Spain. Participants wrote what they thought about when hearing the word ‘nature’. Content analysis revealed a conceptual structure formed with four underlying and interconnected themes: (1) natural and non-natural elements, (2) the human–nature relationship, (3) emotional experience of nature, and (4) actions in natural settings. The type of daily experiences with nature (i.e. urban, rural mountain range, and rural agricultural) accounted for variability in children’s concept of nature. These results reinforce the importance of considering the role played by personal and situational characteristics in shaping children’s constructions of the natural world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)716-730
JournalChildren's Geographies
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Keywords

  • Children
  • Spain
  • concept development
  • content analysis
  • experiences of nature

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