School-based outdoor education: lessons in enabling good practice for children 3-11 years

Prince, Heather ORCID logo ORCID: (2018) School-based outdoor education: lessons in enabling good practice for children 3-11 years. In: 8th International Outdoor Education Research Conference, 19-23 September 2018, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

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Outdoor education provides memorable, authentic and contextualised opportunities to extend classroom-based learning. This research draws on empirical data from replicate surveys in state primary schools in England in 1995 and 2017 (n=61 and n=40 respectively). Descriptive analysis of the quantitative data reported measures of order and variation; content analysis identified codes and themes in qualitative responses. The data illustrate that schools are continuing to use their playgrounds and day visits as locations for practice, and residential visits increased in 2017. The expertise in schools has decreased by 2017 but the major challenges and barriers to implementation of time and expense remain similar in both years. Teachers no longer see outdoor ‘education’ as a subject but as part of the physical education curriculum (‘outdoor and adventurous activities’) although in Early Years, practitioners report an enabling curriculum for outdoor education. The research identifies a breadth of practice, the strength of teachers’ values and beliefs, the importance of suitable locations, a culture of risk benefit and positive initiatives that support its development. These outcomes, together with similar research in Europe and Australasia, should extend the evidence base and support practitioners and policy makers in promoting more opportunities for learning outdoors within formal curricula.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Departments: Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > Outdoor Studies
Depositing User: Heather Prince
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2018 17:08
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 20:31


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