Trees as affordances for connectedness to place– a framework to facilitate children’s relationship with nature

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Laaksoharju , T H & Rappe , E 2017 , ' Trees as affordances for connectedness to place– a framework to facilitate children’s relationship with nature ' , Urban Forestry & Urban Greening , vol. 28 , pp. 150-159 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2017.10.004

Title: Trees as affordances for connectedness to place– a framework to facilitate children’s relationship with nature
Author: Laaksoharju, Taina Hannele; Rappe, Erja
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences
Date: 2017-11-06
Language: eng
Number of pages: 10
Belongs to series: Urban Forestry & Urban Greening
ISSN: 1618-8667
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/301403
Abstract: This study, informed by phenomenology and ethnography, explores urban children’s relationship with trees in a garden camp context: what are trees for urban children? Studying Finnish 7- to 12-year-old children, the research employed triangulation: participant and non-participant observation methods with mixed data collection over the course of three years. Engaging in grounded theory analysis after an intermission, the study unites the theoretical constructs of affordance and connectedness to place. Based on empirical observations, this study provides a theoretical framework to clarify the phased process of how urban children’s connectedness to place is evolving. Exploitation of tree affordances during place-based play reflected connectedness to place; utilization of trees became more versatile over time. The results showed trees to be intriguing and multifaceted, satisfying many of the children’s private and social needs. Trees provided the materials, space and often purpose and contents for the actual play that could not have thrived without them. In addition, children learned to manage possible tree-related risks mainly from experience and through scaffolding with peers. Recommendations for supporting beneficial nature contact emphasize allowing child-directed, place-based play time and planning biodiverse, low-maintenance spaces with a wide variety of trees that will invite children to use green spaces according to their needs.
Subject: 4112 Forestry
516 Educational sciences
lasten puutarha
paikkasuhde
vapaa leikki
luontosuhde
519 Social and economic geography
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