cbse20.v038.i06.cover‘Control must be maintained’: exploring teachers’ pedagogical practice outside the classroom.

This paper, by NAEE Fellow, Dr Melissa Glackin has been published in the British Journal of Sociology of Education.  Here’s the Abstract:

Drawing on qualitative data, this article presents an analysis of six secondary science teachers’ expectations and practices related to teaching outdoors during a professional development programme. Using Foucault’s and Bernstein’s theories of ‘space’, routines and set practices, I argue that participant teachers’ fear of losing control of their students when in contexts outside the classroom was constructed as place specific in terms of boundaries (or lack of), familiarity and disturbance. Teachers’ ‘fearful’ expectations when outside triggered the initial use of regulatory technologies that were frequently more assertive and controlling than their usual classroom practice, resulting in increased authoritative teaching approaches. However, once technologies of power were developed for use outside, teachers were able to translate and apply their normal dialogic teaching approaches from the classroom. The article concludes with a discussion of student self-regulation through collaborative group work as a step towards resolving the tensions between dialogic pedagogy and teaching in new contexts.

Further, a literature review by Melissa (with JP Ayotte-Beaudet, P Potvin, and HG Lapierre) published in the Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education synthesizes empirical data of 18 articles published between 2000 and 2015 about teaching and learning science outdoors from kindergarten to secondary levels (K–12). The main outcomes are classified into four categories: 1) learning, 2) student attitude or interest, 3) other students’ perceptions, and 4) challenges to outdoor science teaching. Finally, in light of the review, we discuss how further studies should consider learning outcomes, students’ attitudes, challenges, and methodological guidelines.