Exploring Teachers’ Views on Participation in Nature-based Field Trips: Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area

Heather Ray

Co-Authors: Heather Ray (Dept of Health & Physical Education), Sonya L. Jakubec (School of Nursing), Scott Hughes (Dept of Education), Michael Quinn (Talisman Energy Chair of Environmental Sustainability), Ashok Krishnamurthy (Department of Mathematics & Computing)

Summary: A growing body of literature suggests exposure to and engagement with nature may improve children’s health by reducing sedentary behaviors, fostering positive physical and psychological development and encouraging active living throughout the lifecourse. Outdoor experiences that connect children to natural spaces can be supported through nature-based school field trips; however little is known of the motivation factors of teachers who select natural educational experiences. This study explored teachers’ environmental attitudes, their perception of the benefits associated with outdoor education, and their perception of the supports and challenges experienced in planning and implementing nature-based field trips for students.

The study concludes that early nature experiences, in company with a pro-ecological attitude, may be a factor contributing to teachers’ motivation in planning, facilitating, and promoting nature-based experiences with and for students.

Student Abstract presented at the 2016 Alberta Recreation and Parks Association Annual Conference and Energize Workshop

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