An exploration of the use of storytelling amongst UK educators and its perceived impact on children's nature connectedness

Shelford, Rebecca (2022) An exploration of the use of storytelling amongst UK educators and its perceived impact on children's nature connectedness. Masters dissertation, University of Cumbria. Item availability may be restricted.

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The purpose of this study was to explore the use of storytelling by UK educators as a method of enhancing children’s nature connectedness. Current literature highlights the benefit of a strong connection to nature on wellbeing and increased pro-environmental action, yet opportunities for children to connect with nature are diminishing. Global challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss, in addition to increased urbanisation, has resulted in a growing need to develop children’s connection to nature. The benefits of storytelling are widely researched, as is its significance as a learning tool, and literature indicates its potential for helping children connect to nature. However, very little literature exists that focuses on the use of storytelling by educators, and how these educators perceive the impact that storytelling has on children’s nature connection. This use of storytelling is explored through use of a survey distributed amongst UK educators (n=64), and follow-up interviews with four educators, from four different roles, with the aim to increase understanding of storytelling as a tool to increase nature connectedness through first-hand narratives. The researcher takes a primarily interpretivist approach. Analysis of the data was via inductive thematic analysis, and findings consider the data from both the surveys and interviews. The study shows that these educators are aware of the benefits of nature connectedness and are facilitating a range of opportunities to increase this connection. The study also highlighted the potential for storytelling use by educators, including examples of successful storytelling use and barriers that some educators face. Further consideration of the data identified the importance of relevant, place-responsive stories, used in conjunction with other activities and methods, and their potential for increasing nature connectedness in children.

Item Type: Thesis/Dissertation (Masters)
Departments: Institute of Science and Environment > Outdoor Studies
Additional Information: Dissertation presented in part fulfilment of the requirements of the Degree of Master of Arts in Outdoor and Experiential Learning, University of Cumbria, 2022.
Depositing User: Heather Prince
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2023 15:26
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 14:01
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