Learning with nature and learning from others: nature as setting and resource for early childhood education.

Sarah MacQuarrie, Clare Nugent, Claire Warden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


Nature-based learning is an increasingly popular type of early childhood education. Despite this, children's experiences in particular their form and function within different settings and how they are viewed by practitioners is relatively unknown. Accordingly, the use of nature as a setting and a resource for learning was researched. A description and an emerging understanding of nature based learning was obtained through the use of a group discussion and case studies. Practitioners views demonstrated their eagerness to share experience that ranged from positive examples to challenges encountered within practice. Case studies recorded in a Scottish nature kindergarten and two Nordic counterparts, take a situated view of nature-based learning. Findings indicate that nature is utilised as setting, as resource and as educator within children¿s learning and this holds true within different countries. Local, social and cultural contexts exert influence on pedagogical practice and implications for practice based upon these are given.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2013



  • Outdoor learning
  • Cultural influences
  • Early childhood education
  • Nature-based learning
  • Adult-child relationship

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