Exploring children’s perceptions of the environment
2015 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
The language children use when they talk about the environment opens a window into the societal norms and values that affect human – environmental relationship. To adapt environmental education to a specific cultural context thus requires knowledge about how the environment is defined within that context. This study investigates children´s perceptions of the environment in Sweden. In a geographical context it focuses our attention on children’s sense of place, that is, how people inhabit spaces. In an educational context the objective of the study is to examine the different discourse(s) that emerges in children`s drawings, texts and talks about the environment. Specifically, we ask: what does the environment mean to children and what attachments, if any, do children have with the environment through their discourse about the environment? The research questions are focusing how the children visualize the present and the future environment in drawings and how they explain their drawings. Specifically, we ask: what does the environment mean to children and what attachments, if any, do children have with the environment? Drawings and interviews are used to elicit children’s responses to these questions. Study participants consist of 35 children in year 6 drawn from a school in Stockholm. After establishing inter-rater reliability, we conduct content and thematic analysis of drawings as well as open coding of interviews to generate interpretive findings. Visual methodology and social constructivism are lenses that frame this study and validate children’s sense of place. Implications for equity in geography and environmental education are discussed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124690OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-124690DiVA: diva2:890590
International Geographical Union Conference (IGU), Moscow, Aug 17-21, 2015