Teaching Outdoors (06-11-19)

Research recently published in PLoS ONE indicates that holding some classes outdoors can be a positive experience for both teachers and students.  This finding supports the design of outdoor teaching spaces.  Investigators studied, via interviews and focus groups with students (age 9-11) and teachers at primary schools in Wales, the implications of implementing “an outdoor learning programme, which entailed teaching the curriculum in the natural environment for at least an hour a week. . . . Lead author of the study Emily Marchant . . . explained: ‘We found that the pupils felt a sense of freedom when outside the restricting walls of the classroom. They felt more able to express themselves, and enjoyed being able to move about more too. They also said they felt more engaged and were more positive about the learning experience. We also heard many say that their well-being and memory were better, and teachers told us how it helped engage all types of learners. . . . once outdoor learning was embedded within the curriculum, [teachers] spoke of improved job satisfaction and personal wellbeing.’”

“Study Reveals How Just an Hour or Two of Outdoor Learning Every Week Engages Children, Improves Their Wellbeing and Increases Teachers’ Job Satisfaction.”  2019.  Press release, Swansea University, https://www.swansea.ac.uk/press-office/latest-research/studyrevealshowju...