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Title: Play in nature: Bush Kinder in Australia
Contributor(s): Elliott, Sue  (author)
Publication Date: 2013
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Abstract: This chapter initially outlines current elements and issues related to play in nature in the Australian early childhood education context. The early childhood field is experiencing a raft of changes driven by the Australian federal government quality agenda (COAG, 2008). Key government publications (ACECQA, 2011; Commonwealth DEEWR, 2009) now offer systemic support for the provision of opportunities for play in nature in the early childhood years. Also, a number of broader social and health issues underscore these contextual elements in Australia. Like many western countries, Australia is witnessing the negative impacts of urban living, risk aversion, sedentary technology and limited outdoor play on children's health, well-being and development. The current contextual elements and issues have provided a fertile backdrop for the emergence of initiatives to explicitly promote play in nature. A number of such initiatives are cited in this chapter, but of particular focus here is the Westgarth Kindergarten Bush Kinder. The Bush Kinder is a uniquely Australian interpretation of the forest preschools or nature kindergartens of Scandinavia and the UK and offers a different way of viewing and implementing preschool provision in Australia. Elliott and Chancellor (2012) recently evaluated the establishment and operation of the Bush Kinder pilot and their insights into how the Bush Kinder programme impacted on all participants are outlined. The overall intent of this chapter is to demonstrate that play in nature is a well-supported emerging theme in the Australian early childhood education field (Bundy et al., 2009; Elliott, 2008; Moore, 2010).
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: International Perspectives on Forest School: Natural Spaces to Play and Learn, p. 113-130
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
Place of Publication: London, England
ISBN: 978-1-4462-5914-6
Field of Research (FOR): 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
130102 Early Childhood Education (excl Maori)
130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment
930403 School/Institution Policies and Development
930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter
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