Capstone/Dissertation Title

Nature Walks and Journaling to Connect Children With Nature and Increase Knowledge of the Local Environment

Term

Spring 4-1-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAED: NSEE

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Renee Wonser

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

David Grack

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Rhonda Konrath

Abstract

The the four-part question addressed in this project was (a) can nature walks and journaling reconnect children to nature; (b) does this activity promote knowledge of local organisms; (c) does the activity remove societal barriers to outdoor exploration; and (d) will this activity encourage increased outdoor free-play? This capstone documents one parent’s pursuit to reconnect the children and families in her community with nature through nature walks and journaling. Literature is explored that supports the need for outdoor experiences, learning and play during childhood. Research was conducted in the manner of a case study comprised of a small group of young children, along with their parents. The child participants engaged in guided nature walks and journaling for a four week period. Assessments, parent surveys, observations, and interviews were utilized to address the four main research questions.

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