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Organic Learning Gardens in Higher Education: Do They Improve Kindergarten Pre-service Teachers’ Connectedness to and Conception of Nature?
Año del Documento
Front. Psychol. 11:282
Studies have shed light on the idea that people who have experiences in natural settings might be more aware of the environment. Learning gardens, as outdoor contexts, might contribute to the development of students’ affective relations toward nature, proenvironmental attitudes, and protective actions; neverthless, these aspects begging to be explored. This preliminary research investigates the impact that the use of organic gardens to teach natural sciences at university has on kindergarten pre-service teachers’ (KPST) connectedness to and conceptions of nature. The research follows a pre-/postdesign and it uses a mixed methods approach. A total of 74 students completed four quantitative scales (INS, CCC, LCN, and NR-6), and 66 of them an open question about the concept of nature. After the garden experience, students scored higher in all the scales, nevertheless the change was significant only for INS and CCC. The phenomenographic analysis evidenced an initial predominant static and non-social concept of nature, biased toward the most obvious biological elements. After the garden-based learning experience, more informed conceptions of nature – including notions of complexity and systemic character – increased from 7 to 19%; however, statistical comparison was not significant. In spite of the absence of concluding results, further research is required to assess the role that learning gardens may play regarding connectedness to nature and pro-environmental behaviors.
nature, organic learning gardens, environmental concerns, pre-service teachers, connectedness to nature, phenomenography
Revisión por pares
This research was partially conducted and funded in the framework of the Educational Innovation Project “Organic Learning Gardens: new educational spaces for the development of scientific competence of university students” (Ref. 46; coordinated by ME-G) of the Teacher Training and Innovation Area of the Vice Rectorate for Academic Planning of the University of Valladolid (UVa) and the Campus Bizia Lab program (Campus Living Lab for Sustainability) project entitled: “Teaching collaboratively and interdisciplinary in the university organic learning garden of the Campus of Alava (HECA)” (Ref. CBL19ZUAZ; coordinated by DZ) driven by the Sustainability Directorate of the Vice-chancellor’s office for innovation, social commitment and social action from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).
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