The Blue Car in the Forest: Exploring Children’s Experiences of Sustainability in a Canadian Forest
An abandoned blue car from 1958 is a central figure of the qualitative exploration of sustainability pedagogies within a Canadian nature school. The mystery of the car and its entanglement within a densely-forested area where the preschool children play and learn is provocative. As part of a larger ethnographic case study of the nature school, eight young children (3-5-year-olds) and their two nature teachers’ critical engagement with the car is examined over the course of a year. The research approach for the data collection and analysis included photos, videos, participant-observations, educator journals, and children’s oral and written expressions of their ideas related to the project and sustainability. This small scale study offers a glimpse into the possibilities that emerge when we include children’s thinking, decisions, and actions within the more-than-human world to foster sustainability.
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