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Title: The social worlds of children
Author: Marsh, Connie
ISNI:       0000 0001 3619 4482
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 1997
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This thesis describes an investigation into the social worlds of a sample of children aged from 8 years to 11 years old attending primary schools in Britain. The aim of the study is to contribute to the development of a pedagogical axiom incorporating a negotiatory theory of learning and recognising the importance of the social construction of meaning. Using a five stage method of data collection to explore the 'cultural filter' through which children perceive their environment and construct their own meanings, it was possible to elicit the children's ideas about the relationship between human beings and nature. The value structures underlying these children's beliefs about ecological issues could then be examined. It was found that the views of the children in the sample could be described along a series of dimensions. Although an ecocentric approach was dominant, most indicated that they saw humans to be distinctly separate from the natural world, 'Apart from nature' rather than 'A part of nature'. Overall the children in the sample displayed high levels of idealism and altruism. This finding questions the recommendations of many Educationalists arguing for classroom strategies aiming for fundamental value change. Recognition of the disastrous ecological implications of some dysfunctional adult cultural values requires re-evaluation of basic educational principles. It would seem more appropriate that adults learn from children. The questions asked by children need to be given far more attention. Pedagogy needs to take account of the fundamental shift represented by Quantum Physics away from Classical Science. Certainties have become less clear and the connections between human behaviour and natural phenomenon need to be recognised.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Child development; Ecological concepts