This is part of a recent round up by Natural England of recent and 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 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.
Outdoor Adventure Education: Trends and New Directions—Introduction to a Special Collection of Research. Education Sciences
Edited by NS Roberts
This special issue on “outdoor adventure education” contains seven articles focused on varied topics in outdoor adventure education (OAE) from the impact of COVID-19, creating a mobile App and girls outdoors to urban programming, systems of privilege and more. Outdoor adventure education is characterized by a wide range of features such as outcome uncertainty, compelling tasks (e.g., involving relationship building), state of mind and completion of a journey, the search for excellence, and the expression of human dignity, all of which encompass action and intensity
Planting the Seeds for Nature-Based Learning: Impacts of a Farm-and Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Program
K Rymanowicz, C Hetherington, B Larm – International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education
This paper presents a description and program evaluation of the Farm Sprouts farm-based preschool program. The results of this program evaluation suggest that quality farm- or nature-based programs can positively impact a child’s language and conversation skills, increase their interest in nature and desire to explore, and positively impact family interactions. Lessons learned and implications for other farm- and nature-based educational efforts are discussed.
Principles of primary school ground design based on promotion of Learning and Emotional intelligence according to teachers and designers point of view
HS Shams et al – Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
This research is an attempt to identify the factors affecting promotion of learning and emotional intelligence from teachers and designers point of view in school yards to draw the correlation between factors in an analytical model. The results of this Research indicated that; natural environment elements, multi-functional spaces, space for multi-sensory plays, private spaces, various spaces, the relationship between open and closed spaces and flexibility are influential in school yard.
The impacts of unstructured nature play on health in early childhood development: A systematic review.
Dankiw et al – PloS ONE
Only quantitative studies were included in a review supporting the idea that nature play has a positive impact on levels of physical activity, health-related fitness, motor skill, cognitive learning, and social and emotional development.
Wilding liability in education: Introducing the concept of wide risk as counterpoint to narrow-risk-driven educative practice
C Beeman – Policy Futures in Education
This paper introduces the concept of wide risk as a counterpoint to the narrow risk calculations now performed, and argues that in incorporating an understanding of wide risk in educative practice, at least two results are likely. The first is that learning outdoors will frequently be discovered to be a less risky alternative, if a broad range of outcomes over time are considered. The second is that the value of embracing risk in all aspects of learning ought to become a part of the learning process, and part of what is taught in public schools.
Green space and early childhood development: A systematic review.
Islam, Johnson & Sly – Reviews on Environmental Health
A review of the literature on the potential impact of childhood exposure to green space identified four areas of positive impact: perinatal health, physical exercise, respiratory health, and neurodevelopmental health.
Assessing the usefulness of outdoor learning in the early years during the COVID-19 pandemic in Malta
J Spiteri – Malta Review of Educational Research
This paper focuses on early childhood education and care (ECEC) within the context of COVID-19 and outdoor learning as a potential response for the reopening of schools amidst the pandemic. This paper suggests outdoor learning as a tentative plan to help with the implementation of the curriculum in ECEC while reducing the risk of virus transmission via physical distancing in outdoor spaces. As a result, some suggestions are made.
Balancing technology and outdoor learning: Implications for early childhood teacher educators
D Siskin et al – Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education
The present paper seeks to review current literature on the effects of technology and outdoor learning on young children’s development. Building off of the relevant literature, this paper will provide recommendations for early childhood teacher educators to guide teachers in training on balancing appropriate technology use and outdoor learning. Given the COVID-19 global pandemic, teaching implications regarding balancing technology and outdoor learning are also addressed.
Development and implementation of evaluation resources for a green outdoor educational program
G Garip, M Richardson, A Tinkler, S Glover, A Rees – The Journal of Environmental Education
Bespoke evaluation resources were developed by researchers in collaboration with the The Green Spaces, Learning Places (GSLP) project delivery teams. The evaluation was based on before and after survey responses from school-aged children. The mixed methods findings suggest the programs had a positive influence on increasing participants’ understanding, confidence, nature connection, wellbeing, and involvement in green outdoor environments
Child, place, and others: interactions that support outdoor learning
H Prince, S Waite – Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning
The field of outdoor learning is complex and diverse, with many forms residing under this broad umbrella. This special issue seeks to drill down to the nature of interactions between children and their social and physical environment, encouraging greater detail of features and facilitation by others. Deliberately choosing the term ‘others’ to signal our interest in relationships with the non-human world as well as people, articles in the special issue will consider the material and cultural spaces in which activities take place and how they impact on particular outcomes.
The classroom offers a safe base: expanding our understanding of a key principle of nurture groups from attachment theory to place-based pedagogy, towards developing a contemporary model of nurture-in-nature practice in schools
A Middleton – International Journal of Nurture in Education
This paper asserts that through the expansion and exploration of our understanding of one of the key principles of nurture practice, and by embracing elements of a place-based pedagogy approach, nurture practice can evolve further to meet the needs of vulnerable pupils today and in the future. Furthermore, this paper suggests that nurture groups are well placed to offer the opportunities of reconnection to, and the wider exploration of, the child’s natural setting, thereby increasing attachment to place, connectedness to nature and the promotion of pro-environmental behaviour. Insights into a current nurture-in-nature model of evolved practice are presented for the purpose of initiating discussion and further research into this subject.
Overboard! The turbulent waters of outdoor education in neoliberal post-secondary contexts
JE Dyment, TG Potter – Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education
In this paper, we report on formal semi-structured interviews with seven well-established outdoor education (OE) academics from around the world who have navigated the decline and/or closure of an outdoor education program in their university. Analysis revealed three clusters of themes that prompted the declines/closures: 1) societal trends and beliefs – which included the rise in neoliberalism and poor understanding of OE’s role in universities; 2) high level leadership and power structures – which revealed the significant role of senior administrators (especially newly appointed ones) looking to make change, the formidable impact of internal and external reviews, and the misconception around OE resourcing; and, 3) personal role – which included lack of strategic advocacy.