Learning outside the classroom offers many benefits, some of which may not be immediately obvious…
Young people’s education and personal development clearly benefit from learning outside the classroom. Teachers that take learning outdoors report powerful effects such as improvement in children’s behaviour as well as entire classes being excited to learn.
Outdoor Learning can provide a stark contrast to the indoor classroom environment. The direct experience of learning outdoors is more motivating and often has more impact. Many school subjects are brought alive through learning outside the classroom as they focus on real results and consequences.
Learning outside the classroom is a general term that includes: outdoor play, environmental education, projects in school grounds as well as recreational and adventure activities. It raises young people’s achievement through a planned, powerful approach to learning which emphasises direct experience.
Often when adults recall their own happiest childhood memories, they frequently remember the pleasure of playing outdoors. Play is at the heart of children’s enjoyment of childhood and it also teaches critical life skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and creativity.
Today is the summer solstice, officially the first day of summer. When the weather outside is sunny, it can be challenging to engage students who really want to be running about in the fresh air. Allowing the students to be in the sunshine is a great way to increase their engagement in their work, encourage a positive attitude to study, as well as taking responsibility for their own learning.
Although it can take a little planning, learning outside the classroom is known to contribute significantly to raising standards & improving pupils’ personal, social & emotional development. It also contributes to the quality and depth of learning (OFSTED, Learning Outside the Classroom – How far should you go? 2008).
The positive results from learning outside the classroom can be seen instantly and has the benefit of tapping into different learning styles. Active learning helps to develop learning skills such as cooperative learning, reflection, problem solving and communication to name only some of the advantages.