The Connection Between Forest School and Preschool Programs: A Comparison Study
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Keywords:Preschool education, preschool curriculum, forest school approach
The forest school approach, implemented in an increasing number of schools globally, offers opportunities for children to explore and engage in activities in natural settings. In the preschool period, considered critical for children's overall development at the beginning of their lives, being intertwined with nature supports children’s becoming active learners. In early years education, in this manner, programs are formed based on children's developmental and individual needs through the Preschool Education Program developed by the Ministry of National Education and implemented in 2013 to engage students actively. As all early-year institutions in Turkey are required to follow the guidelines in this program, this study aims to examine the connection between the program and the forest school approach to highlight similarities and differences so that the place of the forest school approach in the program can be understood. The data consisted of program documents and an extensive literature review on the forest school approach. In addition, in order to analyze the data, we engaged in document analysis. Results showed that the preschool program and the forest school approach coincided. Therefore, it is suggested that preschool programs in early years classrooms should include more nature-related activities.
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