Some of us went tomato picking in the garden. (Madalin)
According to the document for Early Childhood Environmental Education: Guidelines for Excellence, “Learning is everything; experience is everything. Whether it is the taste of a carrot freshly picked from the garden or the sight of sunlight on a dewdrop, young children are making discoveries and creating connections.”
Providing students with the opportunity for experiences in the natural world is one of the root foundations for learning in early childhood.
- Building relationships between themselves and the world around them
- Providing opportunities for growth and development of the whole child
- Providing opportunities to develop a sense of wonder about nature
- Providing earnest engagement in discovery about the real world
These goals acknowledge that learning is more than a cognitive process and that emotions play a particularly important role. (Harlan & Rivkin, 2008) As Gardner (1999) states, we must provide opportunities for children to experience peace, joy, and fascination with nature because these emotions under-gird their developing knowledge, skills, and dispositions.