logo

ChildForum Early Childhood Education Nationwide Network
Promoting quality, valuing knowledge, advancing thinking and working together for the benefit of children, services and the sector

Follow us on FacebookFollow us on Twitteryoutube

Member Login

Member space

 

Early childhood educator perceptions of children’s physical activity and the outdoors

Full reference
Wishart, L. (2018). Early childhood educator perceptions of children’s physical activity and the outdoors. NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 21(1), 1–16. Retrieved from https://www.childforum.com/research/2018-nz-international-early-childhood-education-journal/1557-educator-perceptions-of-childrens-physical-activity-outdoors-natural-environment.html

PDF copies of articles are available for personal use - go to the ChildForum Store page 

NZ Int Reseach ECE journal pic

 

Original Research Paper
© ChildForum

Early childhood educator perceptions of children’s physical activity and the outdoors

Llewellyn Wishart
Deakin University & University of New England, Australia

 

Abstract

The importance of young children’s physical activity, movement development and outdoor experience has been highlighted in recent years in the context of worldwide trends of sedentary living, reduced nature contact and risk minimisation. It is understood that early childhood educators can be influential in young children being physically active, outdoors and connected to the natural world. This paper explores early childhood educator perceptions of the importance of children’s movement development in naturalised outdoor learning environments. More specifically, this paper investigates how early childhood educators perceive the natural features outdoors influencing children’s movement development and physical activity. Six early childhood educators were interviewed as participants in a qualitative doctoral research study. The data were analysed and coded thematically using a perspective taking framework based on Wilber’s All Quadrants All Levels (AQAL) integral theory model (Esbjoèrn-Hargens, 2010; Wilber, 1998). An analysis of the results of the study revealed a spectrum of views of physical activity and the outdoors of lesser to greater complexity, highlighting differences in how educators’ perceive associations between children’s movement development, physical activity and outdoor environments

Key words: Movement development, physical activity, naturalised outdoor environments.

 

Introduction

The importance of young children’s physical activity (PA), movement development and outdoor experience has been highlighted in recent years in the context of worldwide trends of sedentary living  (Tremblay et al., 2016) reduced outdoor and nature contact (Charles & Wheeler 2012; Dowdell, Gray & Malone, 2011; Little & Wyver, 2008) and discourses of risk minimisation and challenge (Bundy et al. 2009; Little & Eager 2010). Early childhood educators are considered influential in encouraging children to move, be physically active, outdoors and connected to the natural world (Brown, Googe, McIver, & Rathel, 2009; Dyment & Coleman, 2012; Gehris, Gooze & Whitaker, 2015; Mikkelsen, 2011). Copeland, Kendeigh, Saelens, Kalkwarf and Sherman (2012) report that early childhood educators act as highly influential gatekeepers to the outdoors and potentially mediate children’s physical experiences outdoors regardless of whether the environment is rich or poor in affordances for active play. With these considerations in mind, early childhood educators’ perceptions of children’s movement development and physical activity outdoors are worthy of further investigation.

Login with your member's username and password to keep reading

Here’s how our membership plans work

  • Individual Membership plans can view both Individual member-only articles and our library of Research Journals.
  • Early Childhood Service plans can view ALL member articles: Individual, Research Journals and Early Childhood Service articles - along with support and a range of other benefits as outlined on the Join Us page 
  • Research Journal subscription plans can view our library of Research Journals and the articles in all past and current jounral issues.

Should you not hold a current membership –  you are welcome to apply now.

Free E-Newsletter

Receive the free Early Childhood Alert.

captcha 

We hate spam as much as you, we will not sell your contact details to anyone.

You can unsubscribe at any time.

Read our Privacy Policy here.

Don’t miss out any longer, click the button below to join ChildForum

Join Us!

child-with-binoculars-small

 

Subscribe now for information you can trust, expert advice and research, as well as access to quality resources

We are confident you will be delighted to discover and experience the benefits of membership - so join now and make this message for non-members disappear from your screen. 

Membership Options

Individual
Member

Who is this for?
Any person who has an interest in early childhood education and care or who works directly with children.

$98.00 12 months from the date of joining
$60.00 6 months student-only

The membership belongs to you, and you only. Enjoy your own personal username and password.

ECE Service Organisation
Member

Who is this for?
Centres, home-based, hospital-based, playgroups ... established or newly licensed. Gives access to professional & research materials enjoyed by individual members PLUS service operation and management area. 

$198.00 12 months for a standalone licensed service
Special rates for organisations with more than 1 licence

The membership belongs to your whole organisation, team members and managers.

Library NZ-International Research
in ECE Journal Subscriber

Who is this for?
Universities, Polytechnics and organisations wishing to have online access to the NZ-Int Research in ECE journal (includes all past and current issues) 

$125.00 annual subscription, renewable in November each year

A username and password for your library users linked to your IP address.