South African children's concepts of their future environment
Van Staden, C. (2006). South African children's concepts of their future environment. International Journal of Early Childhood, 38 (2), 37-56.
This article, which is a revised version of a paper presented at the XXIV World Congress of OMEP conference in Melbourne in July 2004, reports on a study that explored young children's (5-9 years) vision of their future environment in South Africa - as temporal dimension, illustrating their conceptual understanding of this concept. A sample of 320 young learners from rural and urban areas in the Foundation Phase (five to nine years) was involved in this study. The research examined young learners' views about their future environment with the aim of finding a way to make them aware of their role in taking care of their environment, while making this concern part of their life world. The research was performed by gathering children's expressions through visual art, verbally and in writing. By analyzing these expressions certain themes emerged. It was found that educators should take note of issues that concern learners in their life worlds, which include their social environment. Children's awareness and sensitivity of the environment could be enhanced by offering environmental programmes, but temporal confusion persisted.
Peer-reviewed, Environment Education, Future perception, Young children, Children’s drawings, South African children