Assessing young children's personal constructs of `nature' using a modified repertory grid test : a case study
Beattie, A. Elizabeth
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Subjectchildren's drawings; environmental education; nature; personal construct psychology; repertory grid test; young children
This paper presents a method for assessing the personal construct systems of young children (ages 4 to 6) regarding the notion of 'nature,' conducted at a Montessori Casa in Toronto, Ontario. Images from the participants' drawings of 'nature' were used in a card sorting exercise and as elements in a modified repertory grid test. Member checking was conducted through recorded conversations with the children throughout the process to minimize the influence of my own construct system. I conducted content analyses of the initial drawings, and made structural measurements and statistical analyses of the card sort and repertory grid data. The limited results indicate that this modified form of repertory grid test is reliable and useful for assessing the structure of young children's construct systems regarding 'nature.' Using Personal Construct Theory may facilitate the development of more participatory, engaging, and effective Environmental Education programs.
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