University of Oulu

Contribution of nature to children’s development in the Swedish “I Ur och Skur” forest preschools : perceptions of pedagogues

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Author: Saramourtsis, Georgios1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
Pages: 64
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : G. Saramourtsis, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-05-22
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Paradis, Audrey
Vladimirova, Anna
Reviewer: Paradis, Audrey
Vladimirova, Anna


“I Ur och Skur” (IUS) Swedish forest preschools, also known as “Rain or Shine” preschools to the broader audience, have constantly acquired a substantial reputation in the Swedish national education system since 1985. In this study, I uncover the implementation of a preschool concept where kids learn and play in natural environments throughout the entire year. In relation to IUS preschools, there is a lack of research concerning the pedagogical tool of experience-based learning in nature (EBLN) and its value. Additionally, insufficient research exists regarding the IUS pedagogues’ views on the contribution of the IUS concept to children’s development. With this work, I attempt to find answers to the following research question: In what ways do IUS pedagogues believe that IUS preschools influence children’s growth, personally and socially? Findings show that the element of nature and EBLN play a vital role in the personal skills cultivation of children in terms of body development and self-esteem, imagination and creativity, as well as critical thinking. Finally, the decisive element of nature positively impacts the relationships between children and fosters a sense of community and ecological awareness from an early age.

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Copyright information: © Georgios Saramourtsis, 2023. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.