Outdoor learning is something of a buzzword here, north of the border. Education Scotland defines it, essentially, as anything that happens out in the classroom, be it in a museum, power station or garden. This undoubtedly eases the bolt-on-ability of the approach and allows us to convince ourselves that we are teaching outdoors, but does it achieve any great changes to teaching and learning or does it simply allow us to pay this valuable resource lip service and salve our collective consciences?
I promised my class at least one outdoor learning session a week throughout the year, regardless of the weather. Thus far I have been true to my word, but I have yet to relinquish entire control of said opportunities to my class. What is holding me back? I think the principle barrier is not a lack of trust, or indeed a lack of enthusiasm, but more a need to relinquish control, not simply of individual sessions, but of the curriculum as a whole.
Allow the children to see the curriculum as a whole and to plan/suggest every outdoor opportunity. Hand them the reins, and let them loose on the curriculum and don’t limit their planning to stolen, safe moments, but allow them freedom across the board?
What harm can it do?
@alwiello Edinburgh – Primary Teacher
This ‘In Brief’ Article Originally appeared in the October 2015 Edition of UKEdMagazine.
Click here to freely read the full version online
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