An Investigation of Mothers’ Landscape Preferences for their 5-year-old Children (Poster/Discussion,International)
2017, August 4
 Refika Olgan & Simge Yilmaz,ELE
Abstract: The current research investigates mothers (N=20) landscape preferences for their 5-year old children in terms of outdoor setting type (water, park, open field/grassy area, forest), levels of human influence (natural/maintained) and their reasons for choosing those preferences. Researchers asserted that parents are significant mediators of children access to play and play environments (Veitch, Salmon, & Ball, 2007) since children’s use of the environment depend on their parents’ willingness and time to take them to such places (Brusson, Olsen, Pike, & Sleet 2012; Skar, Gundersen, & OBrien, 2016). Therefore, it is important to investigate parents’ place preferences for their children’s play (Evans, 2000). The criterion of selecting the schools as settings was related to the levels of naturalness in their outdoor environments. As a research instrument, mothers landscape preferences questionnaire was used. Before the data collection, ethical permission was taken from Turkish Ministry of National Education. Then, the early childhood education centers managers and teachers were contacted to select volunteer mothers for this research. Results showed that mothers preferred natural park and water settings as their favorites for their children. The most important factor affecting mothers’ preferences was the affordances of the landscapes for children’s unstructured play. Investigating mothers’ landscape preferences could be not only an important guide for educators in terms of preparing early childhood environmental education programs for young children but also for policy makers for arranging local policy strategies to increase the opportunities for children s unstructured play at different outdoor settings (Veitch et al., 2007).
European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA)