Enhancing and assessing young children's active engagement in the natural environment

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr Fozia Parveen


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


The first eight years of a child's life are crucial for their overall development, encompassing social, emotional, physical, linguistic, and cognitive aspects (Herrington & Studtmann, 1998; Hohmann et al., 1995; McCoy et al., 2016). The cultivation of these skills can be facilitated by establishing an enriching learning environment in the initial years (Inan & Inan, 2015). There are several methods used by the Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED) practitioners to develop learning environments that foster active engagement. This study aims to explore the effectiveness of children‘s active engagement in the nature. The natural environment offers free resources for children to play and learn. Additionally, they get real life experience in observing the weather change, natural landscape and habitat of living organisms. An action research was carried out in a school in suburban area of Karachi. I adapted Lewin's action research model for this study. Two cycles was conducted including eight lessons. The whole ECED-A1 (N=30) section was selected for the study. However, only six students were identified to be less participative and less motivated in the pre- intervention phase. They were keenly observed through maintaining their anecdotal records. Data was gathered using pre and post interviews, observation, anecdotal records and artifact analysis. Formative assessment classroom techniques were opted for engaging children in activities. The study finding revealed that children engaged in the natural environment were more active, enthusiastic, and motivated towards learning. Furthermore, nature exposure fosters empathy for the environment. Hence, it is recommended that teachers should incorporate nature pedagogy in their lesson plan. Nature can be integrated in all the domains of learning including the world around us. This study establishes a base for a novel research domain in Early Childhood Education (ECED) in Pakistan, serving as a valuable resource for future researchers to deepen their understanding about nature pedagogy.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library