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Primary children’s views about appreciating, supporting, and learning about nature

Sheldrake, R; Reiss, M; (2021) Primary children’s views about appreciating, supporting, and learning about nature. Journal of Biological Education 10.1080/00219266.2021.1909643. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Biology education aims to inspire interest, curiosity, and understanding about the natural world, foster children’s interests and orientations towards supporting and protecting nature, and support children towards biology-related careers (including those involving nature and animals). However, it remains less clear how these views might associate with different aspects of education and life. In order to gain new insights, 679 children in England (between 7 and 10 years old) were surveyed. The questionnaire included established measures for views about nature and learning, alongside new areas. The analysis applied predictive modelling to reveal independent associations between the children’s views. The children’s appreciation of nature and affinities towards animals were two of the strongest positive predictors of their interest in learning about nature, which was the strongest positive predictor of their aspirations towards careers involving nature or animals. Other findings highlighted the importance of nature-related activities and also children’s wider educational contexts and views. Watching nature-related media positively predicted children’s interest in learning about nature, while reading books about nature or wildlife positively predicted children’s aspirations towards careers involving nature or animals. Children’s confidence and enjoyment in their schoolwork positively predicted their appreciation of nature and also their interest in learning about nature.

Type: Article
Title: Primary children’s views about appreciating, supporting, and learning about nature
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00219266.2021.1909643
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/00219266.2021.1909643
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Environment, Nature connection, Empathy, Attitudes, Aspirations
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10125801
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