Children Learning Outside the Classroom

Children Learning Outside the Classroom : From Birth to Eleven

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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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 264 pages
  • 168 x 240 x 16mm | 458.13g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 085702048X
  • 9780857020482
  • 666,238

Table of contents

Introduction - Sue Waite
Theoretical Perspectives on Learning outside the Classroom - Relationships between Learning and Place - Sue Waite and Nick Pratt
Crawling and Toddling in the Outdoors - Very Young Children's Learning - Valerie Huggins and Karen Wickett
Using the Local Community as Part of the Early Years Learning Environment - Karen Wickett and Valerie Huggins
A Time of Change: Outdoor Learning and Pedagogies of Transition between Foundation Stage and Year One - Sue Waite, Julie Evans and Sue Rogers
English and Language outside the Classroom - Howard Cotton
Mathematics outside the Classroom - Nick Pratt
Science and Technology outside the Classroom - Beth Gompertz, Julia Hincks and Rachael Hincks Knight
Understanding Places and Society Through History and Geography outside the Classroom - Orla Kelly and Roger Cutting
The Arts outside the Classroom - Jeff Adams, Martin Ashley and Ian Shirley
Physical Development, Health and Well-Being: The Role of Physical Education 'outside' - Emma Sime and Liz Taplin
Residential Centres: Desirable Difference? - Tony Rea
School Gardens and Forest Schools - Rowena Passy and Sue Waite
Environmental Education in the National Park: Case Studies on Exmoor - Dave Gurnett, Linda la Velle and Sue Waite
Managed Learning Spaces and New Forms of Learning Outside the Classroom - Alan Peacock
Making a Difference: Learning on a Grand Scale - Sue Waite
Appendix: Some Useful Websites
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Review quote

'This is not a `how to do it' fun-filled activity book of potential outside-the-classroom learning activities, it is rather a book for reflection and consideration in responding to the need for outdoor learning and key principles which should be adhered to in extending learning beyond the classroom. As learning outside the classroom becomes increasingly well recognized, this book addresses issues of growing importance for parents, teachers
and all those concerned with children's education in today's world'

'It is difficult to do justice to this book in a short review, but at a time when the western world in particular is becoming more and more risk-averse-to an extent that is depriving many children of enriching outdoor experiences, this book is extremely welcome. Not only does it provide practitioners with a sound, theoretically based rationale for the benefits of outdoor education, it offers a wealth of ideas for using different environments effectively and should provide those who are uncertain about taking their students outdoors with the confidence to do so'
- Children, Youth and Environments Journal

'Since first reading, I have not stopped recommending this book to anyone involved in the quest to take learning outside; teachers, early years practitioners, support staff, playworkers and students. To my mind it is the best book to be written on the subject to date. Many books have described different learning experiences, extolled the benefits and given examples and reflections, yet this book goes further, as both a thorough interrogation and a Haynes-style manual for practitioners. If, at any point in your planning, you stop and wonder what you're doing and why, the many points for practice highlighted within will enable you to deepen your understanding and strengthen your delivery. It is a book you can dip into time and time again to refresh your thinking and from which to draw inspiration. I often open it just to ponder one of the many useful questions it includes. In this way, you are guided to form your own point of view and at no point does the writing become evangelical. Challenges are raised and unpacked from different angles. Sue Waite is well known in the field for good reason. Her in-depth research as a fellow at the University of Plymouth has charted the growth of outdoor learning for primary aged children and subsequently the many challenges we face in initiating it. The many well-known chapter authors all contribute to a complete addressing of outdoor learning across all approaches, subjects and the curriculum'
-Melanie McCree, Forest School Leader

'This book introduces the subject of learning beyond the classroom clearly. In doing this, it addresses a gap in the literature. With an emphasis on personal engagement with outdoor spaces and the importance of learning beyond the classroom, this book covers how environments beyond the classroom can be a significant context for learning for children from the Foundation Stage through to the end of primary school'
- Deborah Albon, Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies, London Metropolitan University

'There has been a distinct lack of books which provide links between the theory and practice of outdoor education. Sue Waite clearly has a vision for this book and there is potential for enormous impact on practice which will ultimately mean worthwhile, significant and life changing experiences for children!'
- Rebecca Austin, Senior Lecturer in Primary Education, Canterbury Christ Church University
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About Sue Waite

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.
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Rating details

6 ratings
4.33 out of 5 stars
5 50% (3)
4 33% (2)
3 17% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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