Factors that enable, or challenge teachers and centre managers to support safe risk-taking for young children in early childhood outdoor environments : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education (Early Years) at Massey University, Manawatū, Aotearoa New Zealand
Open Access Location
This qualitative research study investigated the factors that influence New Zealand early childhood teachers’ and centre managers’ perspectives and practices related to children’s risk-taking in the outdoor environment. The data collection methods included two phases; an online questionnaire with teachers and key informant interviews with three early childhood centre managers/head teachers. The data was analysed via thematic coding and reported under respective themes. Teachers and centre managers play a fundamental role in allowing children to engage in acts of risk-taking. This can be challenging as there are many factors that either enable or inhibit a teacher’s ability to support children to take safe risks. This study found that teachers and centre managers within Aotearoa New Zealand demonstrate a positive disposition towards risk-taking in the outdoors; however, their ability to promote safe risk-taking is fraught with tensions in relation to promoting risk while ensuring children are safe from harm. The main findings of the study are categorised into three sections; external factors that influence teachers’ perceptions, professional factors that influence teachers’ perceptions and the role of leadership.
Early childhood education -- Activity programs -- New Zealand, Early childhood education -- New Zealand -- Administration -- Decision-making, Early childhood teachers -- New Zealand -- Attitudes, Outdoor recreation for children -- New Zealand -- Safety measures, Play environments -- New Zealand -- Safety measures