Here’s more c/o Natural England by way of relevant evidence and reports, policy agenda developments, large scale delivery sector initiatives, resources and news items from the UK and abroad, with a focus on schools, education and learning. This supports the Strategic Research Network for People and Nature to develop better coherence and collaboration in research and to improve links between research, policy and practice in these areas.

Degrees of freedom: reflections on perceived barriers to outdoor learning practice for early education in England and Turkey
M Mart, S Waite – Early Years
Sevaral factors influence teachers’ provision of freedom within outdoor activities, and it is important to reflect on these variables and appropriate degrees of freedom. As these variables depend partly on the cultural context, cases of early years contexts in England and Turkey were compared in this study. Interviews and observation notes were used to collect data, together with images from observations for further reflection. Findings indicate the impacts of national policies, spatial qualities, and pedagogical values of teachers on how ‘freedom’ is managed and children’s opportunities for autonomous action are enacted within activities.

Impact of an outdoor loose parts intervention on Nova Scotia preschoolers’ fundamental movement skills: a multi-methods randomized controlled trial
K Branje, D Stevens, H Hobson, S Kirk, M Stone – AIMS Public Health
A multi-methods randomized controlled design was used to determine the efficacy of integrating outdoor loose parts play into Nova Scotia childcare centers. Movement skills were assessed over a 6-month period to investigate changes in fundamental movement skills over time and between groups. Qualitative data was also collected on the educators’ perceptions of outdoor loose parts play. Quantitative data (fundamental movement skills) revealed a non-intervention effect, however, educators spoke of outdoor loose parts play providing opportunities to combine/ repeat movements and take risks; supporting physical, cognitive and socio-emotional (holistic) development; and increasing awareness of children’s physical development and how to support it

Urban Lawns as Nature-Based Learning Spaces
MR Barnes – Ecopsychology
Although some have called for the replacement of turfgrass lawns with lower-input more diverse landscapes, residents generally like lawns, and in some cases want more of it. Therefore, there is an opportunity to view urban lawns as spaces for new nature-based learning approaches to re-engage individuals with nature near them. This study presents a brief review of how we can think of urban lawns as social-ecological systems alongside opportunities for nature-based learning. Educational opportunities can help expand individual knowledge of and connection to lawns as well as potentially impact how individuals manage lawns in the future more sustainably.

Forest Fridays: Leveraging Land Manager-Educator Partnerships to Overcome Barriers to Outdoor Environmental Education
J Burnett, C Edgeley – Children, Youth and Environments
This case study reviews the design and implementation of a novel outdoor environmental education program for kindergartners called Forest Fridays that involved half-day excursions to a local forest. Forest Fridays emerged from a unique partnership between three kindergarten teachers and a forest manager in Flagstaff, Arizona that removed resource and planning barriers in order to facilitate program establishment and operation. Immersive observation and informal program review with the program coordinators informed recommendations that may support the establishment of similar partnerships and programs elsewhere.

Meaningful Conflicts in Nature? Exploring Peer Conflict in a Nature Preschool During Outdoor and Indoor Play
A Pic, M Han – Children, Youth and Environments
This study explored peer conflict among preschoolers during indoor and outdoor free play in a nature-based preschool. The findings revealed differences in primary conflict catalysts between indoor and outdoor settings. Play ideas was the main conflict catalyst in the outdoor setting, while distribution of resources was the primary conflict catalyst in the indoor setting. The implications of the study suggest that outdoor nature environments seem to provide children more meaningful conflict situations around play ideas rather than the mere possession of material.

A scoping review of research on school-based outdoor education in the Nordic countries
KB Remmen, E Iversen – Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning
This scoping review provides an overview of empirical studies on outdoor education (grades 1–13) from the Nordic countries. Of the 586 hits, 52 studies met the inclusion criteria and were subjected to descriptive and content analyses. The majority of the studies are qualitative and situated in primary school contexts. Multiple school subjects and science are the most common subject matter addressed by outdoor education, but friluftsliv, mathematics, and language are also represented. The content analysis indicates that teachers’ perspectives are most frequently investigated, followed by nature of outdoor education, well-being, and cognitive learning. Fewer studies investigate teaching and learning processes, digital resources, and education for sustainability outdoors.

Play in UK Primary Schools
K McInnes – Chapter in Play Across Childhood
Past the early years of schooling, and for the majority of their primary schooling, children encounter a subject-based curriculum. In these curricula, the mention of play is either missing or there is little or no mention of play. These differences in curricula expectations present tensions for teachers and teaching within primary schools which have different curricula and implications for curriculum delivery by teachers. This will be discussed in this chapter. Furthermore, another aspect to children’s play within primary schools is playtime and, although this is being increasingly eroded, the value of playtime for children’s development and learning will also be discussed in this chapter

The role of outdoor and adventurous activities in primary education
N Wainwright, A Williams – Chapter in An Introduction to Primary Physical Education
This chapter considers that with changes in modern society, children’s preschool experiences and play opportunities mean it is crucial that children have the chance to engage in outdoor learning opportunities across all aspects of the curriculum. In this chapter, the role this area can play in the primary school is outlined, placing Outdoor and Adventurous Activities as an integral part of children’s learning along with considering how schools can practically achieve this.

Affordances of Small Animals for Young Children: A Path to Environmental Values of Care
I Lerstrup, L Chawla, H Heft – International Journal of Early Childhood
Employing the theoretical framework of ecological psychology, this article uses observations of children in a Danish forest preschool to identify features of the forest that the children engaged with frequently, with a particular focus on affordances of “small animals.” We discuss how interactions with small creatures may contribute to children’s long-term disposition to protect forests and biodiversity, and how to increase opportunities for children to engage with small animals in the everyday settings of their lives. We conclude that these affordances of creatures may prepare young children to understand and support Sustainable Development Goal #15,which calls to people to protect terrestrial ecosystems and prevent biodiversity loss

Why Science Teachers Can’t Teach in Informal Learning Environments?
H TÜRKMEN, G KAPLAN – International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Analysis
The purpose of this study, to determine the difficulties or problems faced by science teachers in the process of science teaching using ILE and what kind of solutions teachers offer about these problems or difficulties. The content analysis method was used to analyze the data. As a result, teachers had problems/difficulties in managerial-based, student-based, parent-based, ILE-based, school location-based, economy-based, curriculum-based and teacher skill and knowledge-based.

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