Mapping Scientific Concepts through Nature Play in Early Childhood Education: Achieving Excellence in STEM through Evidence-Based Pedagogies

Research Aims

This project will forge new knowledge about nature play pedagogies and how they can support children’s scientific learning in early childhood education.  It aims to determine how young children’s (4-5 years) learning of scientific concepts can be supported through nature play. Throughout Australia there has been an increased interest and engagement with nature play pedagogies in kindergartens.

How these are approached are very diverse and with only limited opportunities for training and external support their effectiveness is mostly untested. This world first study will explicitly research nature play in early childhood education, with the view of deeply engaging with educators and children about the meanings and purpose of nature play and the aim of pedagogies that are used to achieve these goals.

Research Questions

  1. What are early childhood educators’ conceptions of nature play and its associated scientific concepts?
  2. What are young children’s conceptions of nature play and its associated scientific concepts?
  3. How can nature play pedagogies best support young children’s learning of scientific concepts?

Watch the recording of the Seminar & Launch of the project below: