After graduating from my B.Ed degree in 2013 I went on to study for M.Ed and finally graduated this year (2015). I wanted my M.Ed research to connect to my B.Ed thesis (the reason this webpage was created). As a result my research focused on Risky Play in Icelandic Preschools (link to research paper – http://hdl.handle.net/1946/21910).
Here are the results of my research:
The results of this research show that overall play areas in Icelandic preschools offer some opportunities for risky play, especially climbing. However, these opportunities are limited due to the equipment only providing minimum risk and the preschool teachers’ perspectives and approaches to risky play. The research also found that the majority of preschool teachers in Iceland do not have a clear understanding of risky play, believing it is only climbing or rough and tumble play. Risky play in Icelandic preschools is, in many cases, controlled by the preschool teachers’ perception of risk. Many preschool teachers believe that changes are needed to ensure risky play is available in preschools. These changes include: more natural features in play areas and raising awareness among preschool staff and health and safety officials. A few preschool teachers expressed concern about strict rules regarding play features and felt that they no long had control over children’s play activities.
“Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the mountains and the stars up above. Let them look at the beauty of the waters and the trees and flowers on earth. They will then begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education.” – David Polis
This website was creating in spring 2013 for the final project of my B.Ed at the university of Akureyri, Iceland. I decided to create this website to give life to the project and as a teaching resource for early years educators.
My interest in children and outdoor environments has span over a number of years. In a time when an increasing number of children are living in urban areas and spending more time indoors; outdoor education is more important than ever. All children are investigators by nature, therefore they should have the opportunity to investigate and discover the natural world around them.
This website discusses the many benefits of outdoor learning and provides a number of outdoor activities for various environments. Although aimed at preschool children, the ideas and activities can be adapted for children of all ages.
I hope that this website is a useful teaching and parenting resource, that will allow more children and adults to benefit from the natural world.
I would like to thank the parents who gave me permission to photograph their children during outdoor learning sessions for use on this website.