We have used the experiences of teachers and their pupils to explore the impact of participation in a shared outdoor learning experience upon specific aspects of both the teacher/pupil and pupil/pupil relationship. Prior to their taking part in an out of classroom lesson the teachers involved in our project were relatively inexperienced in teaching out of doors. At that stage they expressed a view that the children in their class would respond to the novelty of being outside by misbehaving and that they would in effect “lose control” of some of them. They also shared anxieties about losing their expert status as a result of being asked to teach outside of their comfort zone. After taking part in an outdoor lesson the same teachers described their pupils as being more engaged with learning and better behaved whilst outdoors than when in the classroom. They also expressed the view that through learning together and to some extent blurring their expert/pupil roles teachers and pupils had shared a positive learning experience. The children themselves expressed the view that they had enjoyed working together (with one another and with their teacher), that they had engaged with the tasks at hand, and that they had communicated with one another more effectively whilst learning.
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Dr Graham Scott is a Senior Lecturer. He is a biologist and holds a UK National Teaching Fellowship. Mrs Margaret Boyd is a teacher and environmental educator. Graham and Margaret are particularly interested in student centred learning in an out of doors context. Professor Derek Colquhoun is an independent consultant who specialises the area of Health Promoting Schools.
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Scott, G., Boyd, M. & Colquhoun, D. Changing spaces, changing relationships: the positive impact. Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education 17, 47–53 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03400955
- learning outdoors
- primary science
- children’s behaviour
- teacher confidence