Learning outside the classroom is increasingly seen as beneficial in both early years and primary settings, and it is becoming embedded in the curriculum, but what are the benefits of this approach? What do children learn from being outside the classroom? This book explores why learning beyond the classroom is important for children, and offers practical examples of how to improve outdoor learning experiences for all children. In the face of the increasing restriction of children's outdoor experiences, it will help the reader rise to the challenge of finding creative opportunities for working across the curriculum through outdoor activities. Chapters cover: - the theory behind learning outside the classroom - transition from early years to primary practice - what outdoor learning looks like, in different contexts - teaching and learning across the curriculum outdoors - how to evaluate the effectiveness of different outdoor activities, and learning outside the classroom as a whole. Each chapter has case studies, thoughts on theory, points for practice and summaries to help readers digest the most important information. Critical thinking and reflective practice are encouraged throughout to support consideration of how outdoor learning relates to the curricula in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Sue Waite is a Research Fellow at the University of Plymouth, where she leads the outdoor and experiential learning research network in the Faculty of Education.
Sue Waite is Associate Professor (Reader) in Outdoor Learning in Plymouth Institute of Education at Plymouth University, investigating how place, people and pedagogies interact to support positive societal outcomes in play, learning, health and wellbeing through the great outdoors. A qualified primary school teacher, over the last 20 years, Sue has published widely in academic and practitioner journals and edited books. Her research projects have included a sequence on Forest School practices and principles, a series looking at youth benefits from living and engaging with activities within National Parks, Economic and Social Science Research Council grants looking at 'Opportunities afforded by the outdoors for alternative pedagogies in children's transition from Foundation Stage to Year 1' and 'Understanding educational and wellbeing implications of learning outside the classroom through cross-national collaboration'. She also conducted a study about the effect of camping on children's educational outcomes for the Camping and Caravanning Club. A BIG Lottery Research Programme award, Good from Woods, developed research capacity in third sector organisations to investigate 'Social cohesion and well-being deriving from woodland activities' and more recently the Natural Connections Demonstration Project, the largest outdoor learning project in the UK commissioned by Natural England, DEFRA and Historic England, provided strong evidence for multiple positive outcomes of curricular learning in local natural environments. She sits on Editorial Boards of several international journals: Pastoral Care in Education, Education 3-13, Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, the Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education and the Journal of Experiential Learning.