Reflective Practice & Research

We hope you find these podcasts, videos, research & articles inspire you in your practice & spark some interesting conversations with your colleagues. We'll be adding to them regularly so do come back & check them out.

Have we missed something? Let us know & we'll add it to share with others...

Conversations with Dr Claire Warden

A Podcast for Early Years Practitioners

Listen to Claire's podcast as she discusses early years practice with colleagues from around the world. Whether you're fascinated by the concepts of Nature Pedagogy, or are really engaged in inquiry-based learning in general, or planning with Floorbooks - this podcast will provide inspiration for your practice. Children are on the planet to flourish. How do we help them do that? How do we empower practitioners to become really strong agents for change within the sector?

   Listen on Spotify

Claire Warden (2019)

A Tour of Auchlone Nature Kindergarten

Join Claire on a short tour of our award winning early years centre based near Crieff, Scotland, Auchlone Nature Kindergarten. In this film Claire explains some of the theory behind the practice of Auchlone.

Claire Warden (2016)

An Introduction to Auchlone Nature Kindergarten

Auchlone Nature Kindergarten, run by Mindstretchers Ltd, is an award winning early years centre in Scotland. Children spend 80% of their time outdoors, learning and playing in the woods which surround the site. Auchlone offers the best of all worlds to allow children the opportunity to build great childhood memories: a secure natural space 'inside', a gently challenging 'outside' investigative zone which supports young children to develop emotional confidence and skills, and then the wild wood 'beyond' where they can feel the freedom of a fully natural environment.

Sir Ken Robinson, TED2006

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

In this TED Talk Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

Greta Thunberg, TEDxStockholm 2018

The disarming case to act right now on climate

In this passionate call to action, 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg explains why, in August 2018, she walked out of school and organized a strike to raise awareness of global warming, protesting outside the Swedish parliament and grabbing the world's attention. "The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions," Thunberg says. "All we have to do is to wake up and change."

Steve Zwolak, TEDx 2018

Early in life and the Importance of Early Childhood Education

In this TEDx talk Steve Zwolak considers early childhood from an American perspective. He explores the need for adults to consider their bias in their creation of environments and the children that they have in their care. He provokes us to teach to the heart and soul. Teachers, children and families need to be viewed through a holistic lens to create better days for them.

Sir Ken Robinson, TED2010

Bring on the Learning Revolution

In this poignant, funny follow-up to his fabled 2006 TED Talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning - creating conditions where kids' natural talents can flourish.

Miranda Andersen (2013) featuring interview with Richard Louv

The Child in Nature

A film about nature deficit disorder, a phrase first coined by colleague and world renowned best-selling author Richard Louv, describing the disconnect between people, especially children, and nature. Miranda Anderson was 13 years old when she made this documentary. The film explores some of Richard's thinking around human relationships with the natural world.

Beau Lotto & Amy O'Toole, TEDGlobal 2012

Science is for Everyone, Kids Included

What do science and play have in common? In this TED Talk Neuroscientist Beau Lotto thinks all people (kids included) should participate in science and, through the process of discovery, change perceptions. He's seconded by 12-year-old Amy O'Toole, who, along with 25 of her classmates, published the first peer-reviewed article by schoolchildren, about the Blackawton bees project. It starts: "Once upon a time ... "

Article written by Terri Purcell, blog posted by Amber Kaylor April 2015,

The Significance of Touch: Why Hands-On Play is Important

American research has found that when grade school and high school teachers have students perform mathematic word problems and science equations with hands on material, students are able to come up with the correct answer faster than students reading the problem. The reason behind this is that by connecting words with actions, students make the connection between what word goes with what action and come to the correct answer. Teachers found that giving different visual methods to a lesson is better received than giving two verbal methods.

Adora Svitak TED2010

What Adults can Learn From Kids

In this TED Talk Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs "childish" thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids' big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grown-ups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.

Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman (Wavecrest Films)

Just Breathe (2015)

This film was made by Julie and Josh with their son, his classmates and their family members one Saturday afternoon. The film is entirely unscripted – what the kids say is based purely on their own neuro-scientific understanding of difficult emotions, and how they cope through breathing and meditation. They, in turn, are teaching us all ...

Nugent, C. & Edwards, I.(2015)

Nature Play: Nature Conservation.

A short documentary about a research project looking at nature play and nature conservation for children under three at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Margrete Skar, Vegard Gundersen & Liz O'Brien (2016)

How to engage children with nature: why not just let them play?
Children's Geographies, 14:5, 527-540
DOI: 10.1080/14733285.2015.1136734

This qualitative study of the Norwegian nationwide Children's Trekking Club explores how children interact with nature through organised events with varying degrees of adult management and planning. The study shows that free and spontaneous play functions as a key to more bodily, emotional and sensuous interaction with nature in contrast to when children are engaged in numerous planned activities. The full article is available to purchase or access through registered institutions.

Nicol, R. & Sangster, P. (2019)

You are never alone: understanding the educational potential of an
‘urban solo’ in promoting place-responsiveness.
Environmental Education Research

A study with students found that solo experiences had a profound and unexpected effect on them. These changes seemed to occur as the result of an ontological shift in the students from being passive receptors of stimuli to engaging more actively with their surroundings. We concluded that, because of its simplicity and close proximity to school grounds, the urban solo is one way for teachers to overcome the barriers they consistently report to outdoor learning.

Nicol, R. (2014a)

Entering the Fray: The Role of Outdoor Education in Providing Nature-Based Experiences that Matter. Educational Philosophy and Theory 46 (5), 449-461.

This article draws on different bodies of knowledge in order to review the potential role of outdoor education in providing nature-based experiences that might contribute to sustainable living.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, published April 2017

Recreating the Womb: New Hope for Premature Babies

This film explores the work at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia in 2017, to create a new device that may transform care for extremely premature infants: After birth, they would be immersed in lab-made amniotic fluid — and kept underwater for weeks.

TMB Panyee FC

Make the Difference

This film is based on a true story. In 1986 a football team that lived on a little island in the south of Thailand called "Koh Panyee". It's a floating village in the middle of the sea that has not an inch of soil. The kids here loved to watch football but had nowhere to play or practice. But they didn't let that stop them. They challenged the norm and have become a great inspiration for new generations on the island.