Children's Special Places: Exploring the Role of Forts, Dens, and Bush Houses in Middle Childhood

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Wayne State University Press, 2002 - Education - 170 pages
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This book describes a study of childhood experiences with creating personal space in the outdoors, the role these spaces play in children's evolving sense of self, and implications of place-making for education. Chapter 1 describes the author's personal interests that led to the study, the study population, and the way in which each study site was chosen. Chapter 2 describes specific examples of children's spaces from England and Carriacou in the West Indies, data collection techniques, and patterns that began to surface in the data. Chapter 3 includes a portrayal of the role these places play during middle childhood in helping foster and shape the unique self that emerges in adolescence. Joseph Chilton Pearce's model of development is examined, a Jungian perspective is applied to the child place-making phenomenon, and the speculations of researcher Roger Hart on place-making are examined in light of this Jungian perspective. Adult perspectives of the role these places play are examined in chapter 4 by means of interviews and a literature review. Chapter 5 presents working examples of elementary school curricula that translate children's place-making interests into projects that expand their sense of self and their knowledge of the social and natural world. Chapter 6 reflects on the significance of the development of a sense of place in the natural world for children and society.

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Autobiographical Prelude
Entering the Childs World
Finding a Place to Discover a Self
An Homage to Edith Cobb
Chawlas Critique of Edith Cobb
The Value of Remembering
Making a Place in the Curriculum
The Evolution of a Sense of Place

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About the author (2002)

David Sobel is the director of the Teacher Certification Programs in the Education Department of Antioch New England Graduate School.

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