2009 年 19 巻 2 号 p. 2_58-70
Most programs for children's nature experience take a form that assumes purposive plans beforehand and puts an emphasis on play. This situation is contradictory because play, in essence, is aiming at itself. The author argues that it is necessary to inquire into the meaning of children's relationship with nature at the actual field of children's play. The purpose of this study is to clarify the meaning of children's relationship with nature in the context of community of play by means of participant observation and capturing a dynamic context of the development of play in relation to a multilayer community. From 2004 to 2007, the author participated in the activity of the group “Asahi-yama Park Kids” that acted around Asahi-yama Memorial Park in Sapporo city. This study analyzed the meaning of play based on selected episodes. Results showed (1) Children appropriated intentional affordance (Gibson, 1979) in practices offered by adults in the major context; (2) They discovered new affordance in their tools or materials used in the major context and appropriated them because of divergence from the major context; (3) They discovered multiple affordance in surrounding environments and appropriated it because of divergence from the major context; and (4) New values over the expectation of adults emerged from each level of a multilayer community. In addition, these context dynamics were hand in hand with properties of the natural environment. The natural environment provided multiple affordance for adults and children alike of different ages depending on their physical limitations and developmental stages (Sawada & Minami, 1997) and had no limitation on their utility unlike artifact objects which have limited usage. Play drawn by affordance of natural environments, however, meant mutual mediation with play drawn by intentional affordance of artifacts.