"We re Trying to Find Cool Things in the Forest" – Exploring Children s Curiosity and Creativity in the Outdoors

Debra Harwood, Min Huang, Monique Somma
2022 International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education  
Curiosity and creativity are crucial for children's learning and engagement within their worlds. However, research on creative teaching that also addresses children's curiosity is quite limited. In this case study, we adopted visual methods in combination with video-stimulated recall dialogue (VSRD) to explore children's experiences in a Forest School (FS) program in Southern Ontario. As researchers, we were particularly interested in the nexus of children's curiosity and creativity in the
more » ... ss of learning. Participating children, aged 6-12 years, wore GoPro cameras to document their lived experiences in the FS. Informed by constructivism, we examined data vignettes, querying the role of curiosity and creativity within children's entanglements in the natural environment. The results indicate that open-ended materials within nature invited and sustained curiosity and creativity. Children tended to gravitate to the complexity and ambiguity offered within the natural environment. The research findings have implications for educators, namely the importance of the choice of materials and approaches to support and prioritize children's curiosity and creativity in learning processes. Implications for inviting educators to capitalize upon inquiry moments and the unknown were also evident.
doi:10.26822/iejee.2022.276 fatcat:nh4vtsjuavcs5gqrwstlmy33ye