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ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITY OF PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN AND THE WAYS OF MEASURING IT

L. Minaříková, V. Pavlátová

Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem (CZECH REPUBLIC)
This paper presents the results of a research on environmental sensitivity, which is usually defined as a relationship with nature and with the environment. This topic has been in the literature described from many different perspectives, the important issue is how to measure this construct. The first part of this study consists of an analysis of published research procedures and research tools which are designed to measure relationship with nature of preschool and lower primary school children. This part also outlines the possibilities and limits of such procedures and tools. The analysis was conducted based on the renowned journals which deal with the environmental education. This paper shows results of the research done in Liberec area with children aged 4 to 6 years, their task was to draw a forest.

The study observes how the drawing is influenced by aspects such as gender, age, whether the children live in the city or in a village and how the misconceptions influence the results. The research was conducted with the participation of 78 children. The results show that, based on an analysis of children’s drawing and interviews, girls achieved better results than boys, it was confirmed that gender has a significant impact on a graphical expression of a forest. We can also say that the respondents who live in a village achieved statistically better results than the respondents who live in the city. An alternative hypothesis, that children in whose drawing are misconceptions, achieve better results than children who don't draw any misconception, was confirmed.