Here’s more news from 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.

Culture and Tradition at School and at Home
The first part of the publication, ‘Culture and Tradition for Education’ provides an overview of Finnish regional traditions and articles. The second part, ‘Case studies about Cultural Education’ examines projects implemented in teaching and issues related to the learning environment

Systematic Literature Review on Outdoor Learning and Vocational Education and Training
J Hildmann – EdArXiv Preprints
The report presents the procedure and findings of a systematic review of international literature on Outdoor Learning (OL) in Vocational Education and Training (VET) contexts. Among key factors leading to these effects are the multi-sensory engagement in the outdoors, real-life challenges and applications, measures for post-course integration of the learning into the work environment, and (self-)reflection. Direct literature and research on OL in VET is called for to expand and refine this body of knowledge

A Comparison of the Effects of Outdoor Physical Activity and Indoor Classroom-Based Activities on Measures of Executive Function in Preschoolers
MA Rosiek, JL Etnier, MT Willoughby – International Journal of Early Childhood
The aim of this study was to explore the effects of preschooler PA in two separate environments (indoor/outdoor) on measures of executive functions in preschoolers. Results indicate that performance improved in response to outdoor PA, but declined in response to indoor classroom activities. This research suggests that outdoor PA may result in cognitive benefits that are not observed following indoor classroom activities on one assessment of inhibitory control.

Racial Capitalism and Outdoor Adventure Education: Challenging Inequity and Reimagining Connection, Community, and Place
CH Goodman – Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership
This paper argues that the adoption of theories of racial capitalism as a framework for analysis can help shift dominant pedagogies in Outdoor Adventure Education (OAE) to not just be more inclusive, but to reimagine ways that communities of outdoor education, recreation, and leadership can build awareness of the reproduction of the Wilderness and the Outdoors in the U.S. as a racialized and gendered space and build more racially and gender diverse and equitable communities in OAE and related fields

Outdoor recreation experiences in youth with visual impairments: a qualitative inquiry
LJ Lieberman et al – Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning
The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to comprehend each participant’s lived outdoor recreation experiences, and to illuminate and show specific meanings that participants assign to their lived experiences. The findings revealed three main themes of barriers, benefits, and facilitators. The results indicate that outdoor recreation can be very beneficial and adapted support and special programming are necessary for participants to gain benefits from outdoor recreation experiences.

Outdoor education as a deep education for global sustainability and social justice
H Prince, J Cory-Wright – chapter in Education in Sport and Physical Activity: Future Directions and Global Perspectives
Globally, outdoor education is a widely used term, with variants of adventure, experiential education, and learning, denoting a range of organised and facilitated activities in outdoor environments. It includes outdoor activities (sport) and physical activity and is contextualised in different countries through cultural, regional, and historical influences. Perspectives from the United Kingdom and New Zealand illustrate current and future directions in response to key drivers and contexts.

School greening: Right or privilege? Examining urban nature within and around primary schools through an equity lens.
Baro et al. 2021 – Landscape and Urban Planning
Research focusing on green infrastructure within and around 324 primary schools in Barcelona found that school-based exposure and access to urban nature were markedly greater in wealthier neighborhoods. Additionally, children in schools with more greenness enjoyed frequent nature-related outdoor activities; children in schools with less greenness did not. This research highlights the need to work from an equity lens in school greening initiatives.

Green schoolyard renovations in low‐income urban neighborhoods: Benefits to students, schools, and the surrounding community.
Bohnert et al. – American Journal of Community Psychology
Observations and surveys completed before and after the greening of schoolyards in two Chicago, Illinois (USA) schools indicate that green schoolyards can provide a safe space for children and adults to engage in social, outdoor activities and thus benefit from the increased access to nature. These benefits may promote health equity for people living in urban low-income communities.

Renaturing the city: Factors contributing to upscaling green schoolyards in Amsterdam and The Hague.
Giezen & Pellerey – Urban Forestry and Urban Greening
Researchers used interviews and document analysis to identify barriers to the up-scaling of green schoolyards in the Netherlands. Identified barriers include lack of environmental awareness, funding difficulties, lack of time and expertise, bureaucratic complexities, lack of political will, and limited understanding and commitment on the part of teachers. These barriers impact schools in low-income neighborhoods more than schools in higher-income neighborhoods.

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