Changes in outdoor learning in primary schools in England, 1995 and 2017: lessons for good practice

Prince, Heather ORCID logo ORCID: (2019) Changes in outdoor learning in primary schools in England, 1995 and 2017: lessons for good practice. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 19 (4). pp. 329-342.

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Outdoor learning provides memorably relevant learning and authentic, contextualised opportunities to extend classroom-based education. This research draws on empirical data from surveys involving teachers in primary schools in England in 1995 and 2017 (n=61 and n=40 respectively). It adds to the evidence base of outdoor learning in the statutory curriculum, illustrating that schools are continuing to use their playgrounds and day visits as locations for practice with a proportionate increase in residential visits in 2017. The expertise in schools 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 as part of the physical education curriculum (‘outdoor and adventurous activities’) although in the 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. These outcomes should support practitioners and policy makers in promoting more opportunities for learning outdoors within formal curricula.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge) for Institute for Outdoor Learning
ISSN: 1754-0402
Departments: Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > Outdoor Studies
Depositing User: Heather Prince
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2018 15:02
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 10:01


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