Can outdoor schooling work for everyone?

William Arsn

Kate Gardoqui:

So when we talk about outdoor learning, we can talk about two different things. One is simply learning outdoors. So I think for many teachers in this context, outdoor learning is simply going to mean taking as much of the curriculum as they can that they would have taught indoors and just teaching it outdoors. The same discussions, the same texts, the same problems.

I know that presents particular challenges for teachers who need equipment like science teachers. So I know not all of the curriculum can translate.

But for many teachers, outdoor learning might just mean learning the same things but in an outdoor space, however, when we talk about nature based learning, so lessons, activities, experiences which are rooted in having students connect with nature, it is absolutely true that we can make those experiences as academically rigorous as anything that students can do indoors.

No matter what questions we are investigating, say, in a science class or history class, no matter what we’re asking students to create, say, in an art class or an English class, we can have them read very complex texts that discuss those questions or that present ideas about that art. And we can ask them to produce academically rigorous products, even if the context for their work is an outdoor exploration.

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