Developing wisdom and building a relationship with the forest in forestry education research project

Main funder

Funder's project number22MK025KE

Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 28 000,00

Funding program

Project timetable

Project start date01/05/2022

Project end date31/12/2023


There is a growing interest in forest and nature-based activities in different sectors, and the same trend is evident in early childhood education and pre-school education. We know that working in nature and the forest as part of it increases resources, improves mood and has positive effects on people. Wider social and global changes are challenging us all and environmental awareness is growing. The aim of this study is to find out what meanings preschool children, their group workers and their parents attach to forest nature. By exploring these meanings, we will also find out whether the forest, as a learning environment, can be a place where children learn wisdom. Wisdom is also associated with practical wisdom in action, so we will also explore how these elements of wisdom are reflected in practical actions. Children's wisdom is a little-studied subject internationally, and is particularly unknown in terms of children's meanings and acts of wisdom in nature. If wisdom is learned, we examine the kind of wisdom that emerges as a result of forest education and activities in the forest. In this research project, human and forest are also linked by exploring the forest relationship of parents of children in forest schools and early childhood teachers through the corresponding dimensions (meaningful relationships with the forest: compassion towards the forest, desire to act for the forest, practical wisdom in the forest, enabling a good life in relation to the forest). At the same time, we explore how adults' and children's perceptions and experiences of the forest relate to each other. The study may thus contribute to a broader understanding of the forest relationship, and the data will provide an opportunity for a subsequent longitudinal study of children's relationship with the forest, which is very rare internationally. The study will be carried out in a forestry school in central Finland. The project will result in the creation of a free, electronic Children's Forest Visiting Guide and exercise book.
Keywords: forest relationship, pre-school education, forest widows, wisdom, compassion, self-transcendence, good life, practical wisdom

Principal Investigator

Other persons related to this project (JYU)

Contact person (yes/no)Yes

Primary responsible unit

Follow-up groups

Profiling areaSchool of Resource Wisdom (University of Jyväskylä JYU) JYU.Wisdom

Related publications and other outputs

Last updated on 2024-03-01 at 07:03