DƏNİZ VƏ MEŞƏ MƏKTƏBİ TƏCRÜBƏLƏRİNİN  MƏKTƏBƏQƏDƏR  YAŞLI UŞAQLARA TƏSİRLƏRİNİN TƏDQİQİ:  FENOMENOLOJİ TƏHLİL Uğurcan Toqay İstanbul Sabahattin Zaim Universitetinin doktorantı, İngilis dili və təhsil elmləri üzrə mütəxəssis



Introduction / Giriş

In the globalizing world, the consumption rate is increasing rapidly and people are moving towards consuming, polluting, and destroying all natural resources rapidly. The rapid destruction of natural resources, the main source of life of which is water, soil and air, is in the future. Famine, poverty, the destruction of all green areas causes climatic problems due to the destruction of the ozone layer. When all these environmental problems are taken into account, if there is no solution to these problems, it will be difficult for living things to continue their vital activities (Karaca, 2018). From birth, children begin to develop socially,emotionally and physically, and the basis of the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors they will acquire throughout their lives begins to form in this period (Pianta, Barnett, justice and Sheridan, 2012 cited in: Kahriman Pamuk, 2019). The most distinctive features of children in early childhood are their curiosity towards research and questioning. For them, everything in life is worth exploring (Charlesworth and Lind, 2003, cited by Kahriman, Pamuk, 2019). When our children go out to the open air and spend time in nature, they develop physically, spiritually, psychomotorly and emotionally. For this reason, nature can be considered as a quality school and education center as a living space on its own. They discover and learn while tasting the mulberry they plucked from the tree, petting a kitten, listening to the sound of stones thrown into the water, watching the colors of the sunset and smelling the soil after the rain. As children “discover” with all their senses, the connections they form in their minds will shape their lifelong learning. It is the basis of early childhood learning to provide opportunities for all children to grow and develop, to arouse a sense of curiosity about nature, to be at peace with nature and every part of nature, and to guide them to maintain their passion for discovery throughout their lives (Kahriman,Pamuk, 2019) environmental education; It is a field of study that interacts with other disciplines such as ecology, sociology and philosophy, covering environmental science and educational sciences, which emerged by combining two different disciplines. This concept first came to the fore at the International Union for Conservation of Nature Conference in Paris in 1948 (Kahyaoğlu, 2016). The concept of environmental education has many uses. The aim of environmental education is to enable individuals to exhibit positive attitudes and behaviors towards nature and to make efforts to improve nature. Many scientists emphasized this issue and underlined the importance of environmental education (Erten, 2005) The way to raise healthy individuals; is to raise individuals who can cope with their problems, make decisions, and most importantly, recognize the environment and are sensitive to nature.

Main part / Əsas hissə

Developing environmental awareness can only be achieved through education. Some researchers, who have similar views, emphasized that attitudes and behaviors towards environmental awareness and inquiries about the environment begin to form in the preschool period and that environmental awareness, which is brought to children during the pre-school period, has a great role in their positive attitude and behavior towards the environment in their later years (Taşkın and Şahin, 2008). Because studies on environmental education to be applied to children starting from the preschool period will help children to know the environment they live in, develop problem-solving skills and produce solutions against environmental problems, and increase environmental awareness in children while all this is happening (Gülay & Öznacar, 2010). The aim of environmental education in early childhood is to support children to connect with the environment they live in and develop environmentally friendly attitudes, to give children opportunities to take an active role in solving environmental problems, and to enable children to see nature as a learning tool, a guide and a teacher (Davis, 1998; Haktanır, 2007; NAAEE, 2014; Wilson, 1996). Children are one of the most important participants of environmental education programs from past to present. At this point, environmental education programs or nature-based early childhood approaches are more needed in order for children to have the opportunity to meet with nature (Kenny, 2013; Knight, 2009; 2013). Based on the idea that the child’s learning process is more enjoyable and permanent in nature, with the bonds established with nature, the Forest School pedagogy, which started to spread for the first time in Scandinavia in the 1950s and gradually in Europe and the United Kingdom (O’Brien & Murray, 2007). influences nature education initiatives in New Zealand and Australia (Elliott & Chancellor 2014). Young children who can benefit from the forest school approach also have numerous opportunities to develop their understanding of the natural environment. They can personally include the development of the basic elements of life such as trees, plants, soil, animals, air and water into their learning processes (Kahriman- Pamuk, 2019). Ridgers, Knowles & Sayers (2012) and Nawaz & Blackwell (2014) also reported in their research that children’s experiences in natural environments have positive effects on environmental awareness. With the increase in the crises in nature in the 21st century, while the search for solutions for the environment continues in all world societies, it is emphasized how important and necessary environmental education is in order not to be a bystander to the destruction of the society in which they live. In order to reach nature consciousness and understand its meaning, it is necessary to interact with nature and spend time in nature (Kanat, 2020). Forest schools emerged with the idea that human beings should not exist independently of nature and is a system that allows children to receive education in wooded areas, intertwined with nature. In these schools, where different stages are expected for each age group, teachers and trainers trained in forest pedagogy provide education by instilling the awareness of existence in natural living conditions. Children who are in constant interaction with nature become environmentally conscious. They reach the awareness of respecting all living and non-living things on earth. The educational philosophy of forest schools is to encourage children of all ages in natural life, to raise self-confident and guiding individuals. Thanks to positive nature activities, children learn to relate to the world by gaining motivation. Our children observe and experience nature and make sense of these experiences and learn. In summary, children who experience nature grow up with an understanding of natural systems and processes. Experts underline that nature education also contributes to children being solution-oriented, creative, innovative and able to identify with nature in the future. Children’s adopting a sedentary and detached life style, weakening their physiological and perceptual/sensory worlds such as obesity and obesity, increases the possibility of experiencing mental problems such as attention deficit and depression. As a result, a generation grows up that does not know nature, does not see itself as a part of it, and is indifferent to nature.

2. Methods

2.1. Model of the Research

Qualitative research design was used in this study. The research was carried out by interview method. A semi-structured interview form was used to collect data in the interviews. It is thought that the aim of the research and the questions or questions that are expected to be prepared and asked to the participants in accordance with this purpose are the most important factors to be considered in determining the method and design to be used in the research (Yılmaz & Şahin, 2016). Qualitative research is the preferred technique in systematically examining the meanings arising from the experiences of the people who are researched or planned to be conducted (Ediz, 2003, cited in Argon & Zafer, 2009). In Groenewald’s (2004) studies constructed in a phenomenological pattern, the main purpose of the research is to reveal as clearly as possible the feature of the phenomenon, which is examined with a realistic approach, without being bound by any theoretical framework, that is, to define it. The reason for choosing a qualitative research design is that it allows the research subject to be investigated in depth.

2.2. Universe and Sample

In order to find the answers to the questions used in the research, the study group consisted of 12 Pre-School Teachers who work in educational institutions in Erdemli district of Mersin province and give education to their students in Erdemli Sea and Forestry School. In the research, the information about the Pre-School Teachers in the educational institution is presented in Table 1.

Table 1. Demographic Information of Preschool Teachers Participating in the Study


2.3. Data collection Tool

The data of this research were collected through face-to-face interviews. In the interview, a semi-structured interview form consisting of 5 questions was used, which was developed by taking into account the literature review and expert opinions. Semi-structured interview technique was used as data collection method in the research. The prepared questions were presented to the expert opinion and the interview form was given its final form. All of the data were collected through interviews lasting 15-35 minutes on average with Pre-School Teachers who practiced DVOO (Sea and Forest School) between October and March of the 2019-2020 academic year. The interviewees were allowed to respond with the flexibility they wanted.

2.4. Evaluation of Research Data

The data obtained were presented by considering the titles used in the interview form with the content approach, which is a qualitative research data analysis technique. In this study, direct quotations were included where deemed necessary to support the views of the participants. The findings, on the other hand, were interpreted under the headings parallel to the research questions, according to the views of the administrators. In studies that are generally constructed in a phenomenological pattern, the data analysis process is carried out in four basic stages: bracketing, phenomenological reduction, imaginative variation, and reaching a synthesis regarding the general structure of experiences (Giorgi, 2009). In imaginary variation, it is essential for researchers to reach the structural themes of the phenomenon being studied, starting from the units of meaning they have reached through the phenomenological reduction process. The last step of the analysis is to reach a synthesis regarding the general structure of experiences. A series of strategies suggested in the literature were followed in order to ensure the internal validity (credibility), external validity (transferability), internal reliability (consistency) and external reliability (confirmability) of the research (Yıldırım & Şimşek, 2005). In this direction, the interviews were tried to be kept as long as possible, in-depth opinions and participant confirmation were used, and an environment where the participant could easily express their opinions was provided. The expert in the field with phenomenological studies was informed about the whole of the current research and it was determined that the research presented a consistent structure as a whole.


What are your thoughts on the Sea and Forest School practices of the participants? opinions on the question.

3.1. Sea and Forest School Awareness

All of the pre-school teachers participating in the research stated that they participated in such a practice for the first time and that it is a school that should be in every province and district. They claimed that the provision of education in all weather conditions is unusual for both students and themselves, and the desire of children to come to school has increased. In addition, they say that their perceptions are clearer and that the concepts taught together provide a faster and permanent learning. They also think that these children have many positive effects on their social, physical (psychomotor), psychological and health development. We believe that children develop self-confidence and their ability to explore. In this sense, some of the answers given to our research question are presented below.

1st teacher: “I think that forest schools are the most effective method for revealing children’s self-discovery features. I believe that thanks to forest schools, children spend time with nature, being aware of nature, their responsibilities towards nature and giving more value to nature. With self-discovery features, attention spans get longer.”

2nd teacher: “Forest school offers great opportunities for primary and preschool children, especially for nature education, nature awareness, awareness of the world in which they live, and to instill a lasting love of nature in the child. A classroom environment contributes to the development of learning and having fun in nature freely in a wide environment.”

4th teacher: “It is very necessary. It develops the ability of children to express themselves, gain self-confidence, throw their energy away, develop creativity, produce new ideas, and respect nature in early childhood. It gives students the ability to say what they want. It brings out the talents of the students.”

5th teacher: “I believe that a child who is given the opportunity to go to forest school in the area he lives in will definitely have positive characteristics such as more loving, more compassionate, more patient towards people who are more sensitive to nature in his later years and in his future life.”

6th teacher: “Forest school practice is an activity that we look forward to, even for one day, to get out of the closed area, to breathe freely, to explore, to spend time in nature as we please. It’s an event that my students and I can’t stop excited about by counting the days to go.”

10th teacher: “I think that the Forest School contributes positively to the learning environment of children by doing and experiencing, one of the educational models. When children encounter events/facts/situations, they reach the existing conditions by trying the solutions themselves.

12th teacher: “I think of sea and forest school as a learning method that offers a high level of life richness in which children develop their self-esteem and self-confidence by living by doing, where active participation and learning methods are applied to the fullest” How do you think participants’ DVOO practices contribute to your students’ cognitive development? opinions on the question.

3.2. Contribution to DVOO (Sea and Forest School) Cognitive Development

In general, the answer given by the preschool teachers to the stated question; They stated that it provides cognitive skills such as observing, experiencing, making sense of nature, discovering, choosing, initiating and managing their own learning process and development, problem solving and decision making, and cooperation. In this sense, some of the answers given to our research question are presented below.

1st teacher: “The Sea and Forest School provides students with an understanding of the environment, discovering abilities and different ways of thinking.”

3rd teacher: “Students being in touch with nature improves their creativity and problem-solving abilities.”

5th teacher: “It gives children the opportunity to explore, they learn by living, they learn how to adapt to nature, benefit from nature, and how to cope with difficulties.”

6th teacher: “The solution suggestions they produce in the face of events/ facts/situations enable them to progress in the field of cognitive development.”

8th teacher: “Spending time in nature gives many children confidence that they can learn something, as well as reduces ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) symptoms and helps children calm and focus.”

10th teacher: “Getting support from peers or other people on their own and in any situation, or applying a collaborative approach for common solutions supports the development of self-confidence positively”

12th teacher: “To the students of the Sea and Forest School; It provides the opportunity to establish a cause-effect relationship between events, to concretize information, and to strengthen cognitive skills such as reasoning. By increasing the attention levels of the students, it also reinforces their focusing skills.” Participants’ views on the question: How do you think DVOO practices contribute to the emotional development of your students?

3.3. Contribution to DVOO (Sea and Forest School) Emotional Development

In general, the answer given by the Pre-School Teachers to the stated question; Being independent, democratic sharing, social responsibility, bonding with nature. It contributes to the competence of establishing a positive relationship with nature, rich imagination, being free, sharing, courage, empathy, being at peace with themselves and establishing positive relationships with other people, and living consciously. In this sense, some of the answers given to our research question are presented below.

2nd teacher: “It improves children’s ability to explain how they feel. Our efforts to put themselves in the place of an animal, plant or living thing in nature positively affect their empathy skills. It improves communication and cooperation with friends.”

4th teacher: “It allows them to throw away their negative energies and charge them with positive energy. They are happier and can cope with their problems themselves. Their ability to act as a group and abide by the rules is developing.”

6th teacher: “Children’s understanding of nature and being intertwined with Ugurcan Togay. Investigation of the effects of Sea and Forest School practices on preschool students: a phenomenological analysis 34 nature enable them to establish a bond with nature. It allows them to protect and revitalize nature and develop a positive attitude towards nature. In short, a positive connection is established between them and nature. This brings with it the protection of nature and the respect for the right to life of living creatures in nature. ”

7th teacher: “In the forest school, we mostly find the opportunity to plan activities in the open air where children will spend time by touching, smelling and interacting one-on-one. In the activities, we usually do different studies on how to benefit from the materials found in nature without harming them in any way, I tell my children that they will not find materials and play materials as rich as those in nature in any classroom, and I apply this one-to-one, and this raises awareness about nature in children.”

9th teacher: “Sea and Forest School practices enable children to be free and happy in nature, to overcome their limits and to discover nature. It also enables them to respect, love and protect nature.”

10th teacher: “Forest School enables children to develop self-confidence by improving their ability to act independently.”

11th teacher: “Sea and Forest School provide an opportunity for children to develop their research and examination skills by enabling them to perceive the part, not the whole.”

12th teacher: “Helping and cooperating with friends, acting with the group when necessary, being a part of the group increases the sense of belonging.” Participants’ views on the question of how do you think DVOO (Sea and Forest School) practices contribute to the Social Development of your students.

3.4. DVOO (Sea and Forest School) Contribution to Social Development

Considering the student-based effects of extracurricular activities, the participants emphasized that the students enjoyed themselves, they got rid of the monotony of the lesson a little, they socialized, their friendship bonds were strengthened, and they exhibited positive behaviors such as staying away from harmful habits. In this sense, some of the answers given to our research question are presented below.

5th teacher: “I observe that social skills of my students who attend Marine and Forestry School, such as empathy and helping each other, have improved.”

6th teacher: “Students are eager. They discover and learn by doing. Students gain self-confidence. They are happy. I think that social activities can suppress diseases such as obesity and hyperactivity. It enables students to release their energy, be happy, and create a bond with their friends.”

8th teacher: “It improves their ability to act in groups and also increases cooperation.”

10th teacher: “They are learning to follow the rules. They can predict where to stand in the absence of adult control. They develop self-respect towards nature and living things.”

12th teacher: “My students’ desire for school and learning is increasing. Their ability to help and respect is increasing. They become happier and more positive. I have observed that respecting every living thing (they ask permission from the tree when they need the leaves of the tree) develop their self-esteem.” Participants’ views on the question How do you think DVOO practices contribute to the Physical-Psychomotor Development of your students?

3.5. Effects of DVOO (Sea and Forest School) on Physical-Psychomotor Development

Psychomotor development according to the participants; Knowing their bodies very well, taking controlled risks. It contributes to the voluntary behavior of running, playing and jumping. It also contributes to a great extent in coping with Obesity and preventing technology addiction. In this sense, some of the answers given to our research question are presented below.

1st teacher: “The Sea and Forest School offers an incredible opportunity for us to play Survivor-style games. I play these games, and these games include activities such as climbing, throwing, running, jumping, crawling, and one-leg jumping, and this activity contributes positively to the development of large and small muscles of children.”

3rd teacher: “In an education opportunity intertwined with nature, it creates awareness about healthy nutrition, etc., which is among the life skills, and positively affects those with obesity disease. It positively supports the increase in their sensitivity

4th teacher: “Children studying in Marine and Forest Schools; I find the opportunity to do more activities to increase hand-eye coordination and ability to stay in balance, and I support psychomotor developments with activities that support large-small muscle development.”

5th teacher: “It makes an incredible contribution to the coordination development of children. It also allows children to find their own games and play this game for a long time without getting bored. This helps prevent technology addiction. Children’s computer, phone and tablet games do not come to mind. I would like to express that it has positive effects on small and large muscle development.”

8th teacher: “It offers children the opportunity to do movements that they cannot do in closed environments such as climbing, running, crawling, and as a result, children’s hand-eye coordination develops.”

10th teacher: “Children become more dynamic in these areas where oxygen is abundant and they are willing to participate in physical activities under all circumstances. These activities significantly contribute to the development of small and large muscles and hand-eye coordination of children.”


In this part of the study, the effects of sea and forest school practices on preschool children were evaluated. The research findings were evaluated with the dimension of the teacher working in the sea and forest school. In this context, the research findings coincide with the aims of the research.

4.1. Discussion

In this study, in which the effect of the sea and forest school on preschool children was evaluated, the findings of the interviews with the teachers revealed that the opinions of the teachers about the sea and forest school were positive, that the children of the sea and forest school were more willing to come to school, they learned permanently and quickly, and also created awareness about nature. They stated that they developed students’ sense of taking responsibility, feeling free, self-esteem and self-confidence. In addition, teachers stated that children’s tendency to violence disappears, tendency to obey rules, development of attention skills, risk management skills, ability to act together and nature has therapeutic effects. Research by Roe, Aspinall, and Thompson (2009) supports that forest schools help children control their anger, can help individuals in the risk group to control their anger, and can help them learn to control their anger. It turns out that the sea and forest school also has positive contributions to the cognitive development of students, and it has a positive effect on children’s ability to explore, different ways of thinking, problem solving skills, competencies to cope with difficulties, reasoning skills, establishing cause-effect relationships and focusing skills. It has also been concluded that it reduces the symptoms of attention deficit. The results of the observations made in the study also support the findings of the interviews with the teachers. According to the results of the observations, it was revealed that the children’s problem solving skills developed, such as “the forest school can produce different solutions for the problems they encounter in the forest, identify the problem they encounter in the forest, and find an appropriate solution to the problem they encounter in the forest”. This finding is supported by the results of Mckinnell’s (2015) research. The sea and forest school also contributed positively to the emotional development of the students, their ability to empathize, to think positively and to act in that direction, to establish a positive connection with nature and as a result, to protect and heal nature, their desire to take social responsibility increased, their imaginations enriched, It has been concluded that they experience the feeling of being free, are more at peace with themselves and the environment, have important contributions to the development of independence and self-confidence. According to Veselack and Kiewra (2016), children enjoy spending time with flexible parts of nature while solving problems or imagining. With these flexible pieces, children make what they imagine and use as they wish. He stated that there are many materials that stimulate the creativity of children in the natural environment and that they can reproduce. The sea and forest school also contributes positively to the social development of the students, it is important for them to have positive communication with their peers and their environment, to help them gain the behaviors of cooperation and cooperation, to act with the group and to be a part of the group, to be willing to participate in the activities, to obey the rules and to set the rules. indicated that they contributed significantly. Looking at the related studies (O’Brien & Murray, 2007), it is seen that the forest school increases the child’s self-confidence, encourages and willingness to work in cooperation, and increases awareness of the consequences of the behavior.

4.2. Conclusion

They observed that the sea and forest school also contributed positively to the physical-psychomotor development of the students and improved their skills of jumping, climbing, running, crawling, jumping, catching, and balancing. As a result of all these, they stated that it contributed to hand-eye coordination and development of large and small muscles. In addition, they said that children’s freedom of movement and playing games in the oxygenated area greatly contribute to coping with obesity and reducing technology addiction. Another study that supports these teachers’ discourses is a strategy to engage children in a game, addressing addictive lifestyles in health promotion and promotion, countering rising rates of hypokinetic diseases (i.e. obesity and diabetes), and increased screen time related to electronics and entertainment. shows that it is highly recommended (Chawla, 2015; Collado & Staats, 2016).

Suggestions / Təkliflər

Conducting the research, which evaluates the effect of forest schools on preschool children, with teachers who practice in sea and forest schools and with children of the same age, will contribute to the benefits of forest school and whether the problems that arise are similar. In the research, the effects of the sea and forest school on children were determined through observation and interview forms. A similar study can be carried out through quantitative research. There is no national program about sea and forest schools in Turkey. It will be an important study that will enable Turkey to gain a brand-new program that develops different skills of students by organizing a curriculum in accordance with the philosophy of the Sea and Forest Schools. In order to determine the effects of sea and forest schools, the practice hours can be increased in studies to be carried out in pre-school education institutions. In this study, the effect of sea and forest school on children’s risk management skills was determined by interview and observation questions. However, due to the qualitative nature of the study, the skill could not be observed fully. With an experimental study, the effect of risk management skills can be revealed more clearly and clearly.

References / İstifadə olunmuş ədəbiyyat

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