The hummingbird approach : a case study of guided discovery learning for children in nature
Black, Jamie Pauline
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SubjectAdventure Education; Children in Nature; Facilitation; Guided Discovery Learning; Hummingbird Approach; Indicators of Engagement
This case study examines a group of 10-11 year-olds participating in a nature-based educational role-play adventure program called Wild Craft Play. The facilitative approach used mirrors some of the characteristics of the hummingbird, and thereby is affectionately referred to within these pages as The Hummingbird Approach. In this approach, once the facilitator has set the activities in motion (like the Hummingbird), her role becomes one of hovering as observer or witness rather than that of the more traditional didactic instructor who stands in front and tells the students what they will learn. In this way, the Hummingbird facilitator ‘pollinates’ the learning process with questions, comments and stories at appropriate intervals in order to catalyze and deepen the children’s flowering awareness. Seven sessions of Wild Craft Play were video-recorded for the purposes of data collection, theming, and analysis to help examine and assess participant engagement and identify what facilitation techniques effectively optimized their learning, with the potential for replication and possible future training of other nature-based facilitators. This case study also suggests that strong and important connections are forged through this more playful approach that invites children to make their own discoveries and meaning, guiding them toward a deeper level of understanding.
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