Outdoor time practices in early childhood education: parent and teacher views

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2020-10-9
Kandemir, Melike
This study was conducted with three aims which are exploring early childhood teachers’ and parents’ views regarding the outdoor time and examining teachers’ outdoor time practices. Qualitative approaches were used to deeply investigate, gain a deeper understanding, and provide a broader perspective on the outdoor time concept during early childhood education. The sample of this qualitative study is 12 early childhood teachers who worked in a private kindergarten and 35 parents whose children were registered the same kindergarten in Çankaya, Ankara. Data sources were semi-structured interviews with teachers and parents, observation of teachers’ outdoor practices, and document analysis of outdoor activities in the monthly education plans. Results displayed that both teachers and parents valued outdoor time due to the positive effects on development and learning. However, the study also found that views of the teachers and the parents vary according to some components like safety and weather. Parental concerns, weather conditions, and inadequate outdoor materials were stressed as some of the barriers to outdoor time. It was also observed that outdoor time was mostly aimed for exploring nature, providing free play, and releasing extra energy of children. Also, it was revealed that outdoor practices changes according to components like teachers’ outdoor education background, developmental levels of children, and parental concerns. Based on the document analysis, it was reached that the frequency of outdoor plans changes according to age and seasons. Furthermore, nature-related topics were mostly v focused and learning materials were preferred as natural components in outdoor activity plans.

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Citation Formats
M. Kandemir, “Outdoor time practices in early childhood education: parent and teacher views,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2020.