Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair
Dr. Patty Born
Secondary Advisor/Reader One
Yates, N. (2023). To What Extent Do 3- to -6-Year-Olds Demonstrate Connection to Nature at a Montessori School in the Upper Midwest.
Young children are born into a world today with a drastically changing environmental climate. When young people develop an emotional attachment and sense of identity with nature, they may be more likely to behave in less destructive ways towards the planet and possibly live with a sense of responsibility and respect for nature. This mixed method study aimed to measure to what extent 3- to 6-year-olds demonstrated environmental sensitivity, awareness, and preferences at a nature-based Montessori school in the upper Midwest and asked if age was an influencing variable. Young children’s connection to nature in these categories was determined using a modified age-appropriate psychological games testing tool, field observations of the types of nature features and activities the children experienced indoors and outdoors, and interviews with the two lead teachers. Results indicated that this cohort of children demonstrated a moderate to strong connection to nature in all three categories. Age was an influencing variable measuring environmental sensitivity and some aspects of environmental awareness, but not environmental preferences regarding where to play or not. This study adds to the body of work conducted in early childhood education, environmental education, early childhood environmental education for sustainability, and Montessori education. (197 words) Keywords: early childhood environmental education, early childhood education, environmental education, connection to nature, nature-based education, Montessori, biophilia, games testing
Early Childhood, Environmental Studies, Science, Teachers/ Teaching
Yates, Natasha, "To What Extent Do 3- to -6-Year-Olds Demonstrate Connection to Nature at a Montessori School in the Upper Midwest" (2023). School of Education and Leadership Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations. 4581.
School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations