Discipline-Based Education Research Group


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Presented to UNL Discipline-Based Education Research Group, 2012.


Copyright 2012, Julia Torquati.


This presentation will summarize an investigation of young children’s conservation knowledge and reasoning. Eighty‐two preschool aged children (3‐5 years) were interviewed at two points in time six months apart using a semi‐structured interview. The interview protocol developed by Peter Kahn (2001) was used to assess children’s conservation attitudes. This was the first time the interview was used with preschool aged children. Children were asked questions about the importance of animals, plants, parks, and gardens, and whether it is acceptable to litter (and why or why not). Fifty‐seven of the children attended a preschool located at a nature center, ten children attended an urban preschool program that visited the nature center once or twice per month, and fifteen children attended a suburban, nonnature focused preschool (data collection is ongoing for the comparison samples). Interviews were transcribed and coded for children’s knowledge and conservation reasoning.