Parents’ Perceptions of UK Forest School: Descriptive and Evaluative Aspects

Alexios Arvanitis, Anna K. Touloumakos, Alexia Barrable (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Abstract

Parental support for children’s Forest School (FS) education is likely connected to the parents’ own views about FS. We investigated parents’ perceptions of FS by performing a qualitative study on parents’ views, as expressed in an online forum for parents (Mumsnet). Findings were grouped into two main categories, descriptive (what FS is) and evaluative (FS is good or bad). Thematic analysis revealed five dimensions of evaluation: skills and knowledge, nature connectedness and physical/mental health, structure, inclusivity and enjoyment. Along these dimensions we uncovered tensions between opposing views. We also identified two strategies for dealing with these tensions, dismissal and balance. This is the first study that identifies dimensions of evaluation for FS and potential parent satisfaction. The implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1314
Number of pages11
JournalForests
Volume13
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • forest school
  • parental support
  • parental involvement
  • parental satisfaction

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