pi_nameRENATA GUSMAO-GARCIA WILLIAMS
pi_departmentUCLA Lab School
other_key_personnelNicole Mancevice: CONNECT, UCLA Ed&IS
Christine Liboon: CONNECT, UCLA Ed&IS
Nadia Sabat Bass: CONNECT, UCLA Ed&IS
Christine Lee: CONNECT, Ed&IS
abstractWhen children have regular and positive contact with nature, there are significant benefits to their cognitive, physical, emotional and social development (Chawla, 2022). Children and youth will continue to face the challenge of an environmental crisis and they can do so with more hope as they work with others to protect natural habitats and wildlife (Chawla, 2020; Chawla & Derr, 2012). This year, the UCLA Lab School will pilot the Children's Land approach, a nature-based education model. Mother Nature is considered a teacher with her “classroom.” A space of land granted to the children will allow them to play a leading role, nurture life and biodiversity with love, connect with Mother Earth, and make her their ally to generate well-being for themselves, others, and nature” (Leguía Orezzole, 2021, p. 14).
project_summaryThis year, the UCLA Lab School will implement and research an approach to nature-based education, the Children's Land approach. Through teacher interviews, classroom observations and the review of curricula and classroom artifacts, this study will provide a better understanding on how the Children's Land approach is adapted at UCLA Lab School and how it complements the teaching practices already in place at the school. The study will also provide an initial understanding of student impact related to nature-based education.
goalsThis research project will focus on:
- documenting and mapping how the program is incorporated within the school curricula and the initial reactions and considerations around potential program outcomes;
- how teachers implement the Children's Land approach;
- how the Children's Land approach influences classroom strategies/practices and student’s perspectives of the work;
The study will aim to answer the following two research questions:
- How do teachers interpret, adapt, and teach the Children's Land approach standards and 10-step guide?
- What, if any, changes do teachers perceive in how students think about their relationship with nature?
- What, if any, changes do teachers perceive in how students interact with nature?
benefits_of_researchEvidence shows that when children have regular and positive contact with nature, there are significant benefits to their cognitive, physical, emotional and social development (Chawla, 2022). Moreover, with the rapid change in climate, children and youth will continue to face the challenge of an environmental crisis with more hope as they work with others to protect natural habitats and wildlife (Chawla, 2020; Chawla & Derr, 2012). The approach includes a set of standards around the children’s role and relationship to Mother Earth and the land where the project takes place. The approach has been used in 10 countries to understand how the curriculum is adopted in each place. We want to better understand the Children's Land’s approach at UCLA Lab School, its standards, and step by step guide, which can complement the curricula and practices already in place at the school.
dissemination/publicationsYes. The results of the study will be shared with the Lab School community, with the partnering foundation and their program partners.
selection_criteriaNumber of Subjects
9 teachers and 50 students approximately
Interviews: all teachers who are implementing the Children's Land approach will be interviewed.
Observations and Documentation: The research assistants will ask teachers from the classes implementing the Children's Land approach to volunteer for observations and document collection.
Eligibility will be based upon participation in a classroom that is implementing the Children's Land approach.
methodsThis research project will document and map how teachers use the Children’s Land approach in their classrooms at the UCLA Lab School. Researchers will interview the teachers that decide to use the Children’s Land approach in their classrooms. The initial interviews can help us understand what teachers plan to do with the Children’s Land approach and the potential outcomes expected. Student work, teacher lesson plans, and classroom documents related to the Children’s Land approach will be collected throughout the year from these teachers. Also, researchers will observe and record classroom interactions and conversations. At the end of the year, researchers will interview teachers on their experience using the Children’s Land approach.
Interviews: 30 minutes each, at the beginning and end of the school year
Classroom Observation: 1-3 observations that are 30-45 minutes each, three times a year, total 6.75 hours
In total for the study: 7.75 hours total per teacher participant
instruments_otherCurricula and Classroom Artifacts
instrument_explanationsInterviews will be conducted with teachers. They will take no longer than 30 minutes and will take place twice during the school year. Interviews will ask about teachers’ experience using the Children’s Land approach.
justification_of_methodsInterviews will help understand how teachers adapt the Children’s Land Approach at the Lab School before and after.
Classroom Observation will help us to understand how teachers are guiding students through the Children’s Land’s approach standards and step by step guide.
separate_informed_consentFollowing IRB, teachers will be recruited via email and a study sheet will be provided.
risk_minimizationThe research does not involve greater than minimal risk.
confidentiality_data_storageConfidentiality: Teacher interviewees will choose where the interviews are conducted.
Data Storage: Study data will be electronically secured in a Box folder. Identifiable information will be removed after data is collected. Pseudonyms will be used.