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BNELIT - Datenbank zu Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wissenschaftliche Literatur und Materialien
Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wiss. Literatur und Materialien (BNELIT)
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Zoo School for Preschoolers.
Laying the Foundation for Environmental Education.
The traditional approach to education in zoo settings operated under the premise that meaningful learning and improved attitudes toward environmental education would occur by simply exposing children to wild animals. This study was a preliminary evaluation of an innovative environmental education program at a medium-sized Florida zoo. The study explored the extent to which one of the programs, the Tots program, facilitated the learning of basic environmental education and awareness among preschoolers. The goal of the Tots program is to provide interactive, hands-on learning opportunities for preschoolers in the zoo environment while building child-adult relationships; a mandatory feature of the Tots program is the presence and involvement of parents/guardians during all activities. Activities included circle time, crafts, time in an investigative playroom, and zoo exhibit visits. Observation of the program's activities, along with interviews of the stakeholders, revealed that the Tots program allowed the children to develop knowledge about animals and environmental awareness in a safe environment while fostering the development of social skills. (Contains 25 references.) (Author/HTH)
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