Outdoor Learning in Primary Schools: Practice, Challenges and Opportunities

Prince, Heather (2019) Outdoor Learning in Primary Schools: Practice, Challenges and Opportunities. In: Ambleside Professoriate Lecture Series, 20 March 2019, University of Cumbria, Ambleside Campus. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Outdoor learning provides memorably relevant learning and authentic, contextualised opportunities to extend classroom-based education with a range of positive outcomes and pedagogies. This lecture outlines the training and development of higher education students to work with primary-aged children following a strong values base rooted in experiential learning and the teaching of Charlotte Mason. The empirical research draws is from surveys involving teachers in primary schools in England in 1995 and 2017 (n=61 and n=40 respectively). The evidence illustrates that schools are continuing to use their playgrounds and day visits as locations for practice. Teacher expertise had 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 in its own right but within the physical education curriculum although Early Years Foundation Stage practitioners report an enabling curriculum for outdoor learning. The research identifies the strength of teachers’ values and beliefs, an open approach to curriculum interpretation, the importance of suitable locations, a culture of risk benefit and positive initiatives as key ingredients for successful outdoor learning in primary schools.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Departments: Outdoor Studies
Depositing User: Heather Prince
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2019 10:24
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2019 10:34
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4568

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