Nature Education with Young Children: Integrating Inquiry and Practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Nature Education with Young Children

Integrating Inquiry and Practice, 1st Edition

Edited by Daniel R. Meier, Stephanie Sisk-Hilton


232 pages

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Nature Education with Young Children is a thoughtful, sophisticated teacher resource that blends theory and practice on nature education, children's inquiry-based learning, and reflective teaching. The book’s guiding conceptual framework is founded upon the integration of four key ideas for effective and transformative nature education:

• The power and value of equity and access to nature education

• Effective teaching encompasses child development domains and integrates ECE curriculum

• Children learn best through inquiry-based and child-centered teaching

• Powerful teaching is founded upon teacher inquiry and reflection.

Implementing nature study is one critical way that educators can integrate more science learning across the ECE curriculum and do so in an active, discovery-based manner. Nature Education with Young Children strives for an American version of what the Reggio Emilia educators do so well: creating a seamless integration of science concepts into the daily intellectual investigations that occur in classrooms everywhere.


"Nature Education with Young Children … is a great teacher resource. In the book, eleven authors share their experiences and practical tips on educating in an active, discovery-based fashion. … Helpful photos and commentaries in the book make it easy for readers to grasp how to implement nature study in an early childhood education curriculum." —Green Teacher

Table of Contents

Part I —

Science, Nature, and Inquiry: Theoretical and Practical Foundations

Chapter 1: Science, Nature, and Inquiry-Based Learning in Early Childhood, Stephanie Sisk-Hilton

Chapter 2: Nature Education and Teacher Inquiry, Daniel Meier

Part II —

Science, Nature, and Inquiry: Infants and Toddlers

Chapter 3: Babies and Nature — The Act of Noticing in Infancy, Camille T. Dungy

Chapter 4: Promoting Nature Study for Toddlers, Mabel Young

Chapter 5: Overcoming Our Fears — Embarking on a Nature Journey, Gita Jayewardene

Part III

Science, Nature, and Inquiry — Preschoolers

Chapter 6: Naturally Speaking: Parents, Children, Teachers in Dialogue with Nature, Darcy Campbell and Shawna Thompson

Chapter 7: Preschool Children Explore the Forest — The Power of Wild Places in Childhood, Anna Golden

Chapter 8: Putting the Forest on the Map — Using Documentation to Further Natural Inquiry, Marty Gravett

Chapter 9: Nature Education and the Project Approach, Jean A. Mendoza and Lilian G. Katz

Chapter 10: Promoting Play in a School Garden and Using a Blog to Document Children's Nature Explorations, Heather Taylor

Chapter 11: Drawing, Photographs, and Painting — Learning about the Natural World in an Urban Preschool, Isauro Michael Escamilla

About the Editors

Dr. Daniel R. Meier is Professor of Elementary Education at San Francisco State University. Dr. Meier is Co-Editor of Voices of Practitioners, the only national and international journal publishing ECE teacher research.

Dr. Stephanie Sisk-Hilton is an Associate Professor of Elementary Education at San Francisco State University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Preschool & Kindergarten
EDUCATION / Professional Development