Curriculum outdoor practice in local natural spaces and places

Prince, Heather ORCID logo ORCID: (2021) Curriculum outdoor practice in local natural spaces and places. In: European Institute of Outdoor Adventure Education and Experiential Learning (EOE) International Seminar, 19-23 October 2022, BSJ Marburg, Germany. (Unpublished)

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Recent research has shown that we are losing the language of nature. Words such as ‘tweet’, ‘cloud’, ‘web’ and ‘stream’ now have a more of a technological meaning for children (National Trust, 2019). The importance of spending time in nature for children goes beyond nature literacy and cognitive knowledge, with wide-ranging outcomes to support, for example, physical and mental health and wellbeing, care and concern for the environment, and personal, social and emotional development. Teaching and learning in natural spaces and places linked to the primary school curriculum provides memorably relevant learning and authentic, contextualised opportunities to extend classroom-based education. Research from teacher surveys in England illustrates the local spaces and places schools use, the major challenges and opportunities for implementation and the key ingredients for successful outdoor learning (Prince, 2019a). These findings are integrated with experiences from practice to suggest innovative and imaginative approaches to learning in natural environments to foster young children’s curiosity and enjoyment. Whilst these opportunities might be provided by sustained teacher commitment in formal education (Prince, 2019b), the challenge of sustaining time in nature into teenage years and within complex social and economic situations must be recognised and debated.

National Trust (2019) ‘Are we losing nature language?’ National Trust/Engine Mischief. Available at:
Prince, H.E. (2019a) ‘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), 329-342.
Prince, H.E. (2019b) ‘The sustained value teachers place on outdoor learning’. Education 3-13, International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
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Departments: Institute of Science and Environment > Outdoor Studies
Depositing User: Heather Prince
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2022 09:14
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 12:16


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