INVESTIGATING THE EFFECT OF NATURE-RELATED ROUTINES ON PRESCHOOL CHILDREN'S AFFINITY TO NATURE AT HALIFAX CHILDREN’S CENTRES
Early childhood environmental education focuses on expanding children’s bio-affinity, developing their environmental attitudes, and encouraging them to behave in a more environmentally-friendly manner. One example of the educational methods that is based on high-quality practices of both early childhood education and environmental education is the Reggio-Emilia pedagogical approach, which provides children with various nature-related experiences. This study investigated how indoor and outdoor nature experiences facilitated by 2 Reggio-Emilia preschools located in Halifax, Canada contribute to preschoolers’ cognitive, affective, and attitudinal bio-affinity. To do this, first-hand observations, teacher interviews, and a previously established Game Testing instrument were employed. Results suggest that the Reggio-Emilia curriculum followed at the preschools provided various opportunities for children to be exposed to nature. However, regardless of the emphasis of nature-related experiences in the Reggio-Emelia curriculum, the children’s cognitive, emotional, and attitudinal affinity with nature was weak.