BBC News are reporting that outdoor learning can have a positive impact on children’s development but it needs to be formally adopted, a report suggests.
“At the moment, if outdoor learning is part of a school’s curriculum in England, it is largely because the teachers recognise the value of it,” said report co-author, Sue Waite, a reader in outdoor learning at Plymouth University, UK.
Ms Waite added that the report showed that although there was a significant body of research that supports outdoor learning in both formal and informal contexts, it was likely to remain on the margins of education until the benefits were recognised by policymakers and reflected in policies. The report calls for it to be adopted by national curricula.
The report made a number of recommendations, including the establishment of a “strategic policy/research hub” to “collate existing research, prioritise future research needs and help improve the alignment between research and policy”.
The report also proposed a “Framework for 21st Century Student Outcomes” that could be delivered through regular lessons in natural environments.
“We need to be a little bit clearer about what forms of outdoor learning meet what purposes and aims (of curricula),” Ms Waite told BBC News.
Does outdoor learning need to be formally adopted in order for teachers to realise its importance? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Nellie
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