Making The Case for Outdoor Learning

Research, reports, policy documents and news items in support of Outdoor Learning


The demand for Outdoor Learning programmes is increasing and strong cases are being made in support of the value of Outdoor Learning. All the following documents in this blog have a connection to the benefits of getting active, sharing an adventure, and enjoying the outdoors. This is dynamic and growing resource - please get in touch to suggest or share an entry.

You can find some key research papers here covering effective policy and practice in the sector. If you are looking to get involved in regional research, follow this link to find the research hub closest to you.


/ Categories: Active, Outdoor

Nothing Ventured .... Balancing the risks and benefits in the Outdoors - 2010

Children and young people have a thirst for adventure and challenge. This is evident from their earliest efforts to crawl and walk, and can be seen throughout childhood. What is more, the majority of children grow up to be competent, confident people who lead healthy, fulfilled lives.

Despite this, children and young people face growing adult anxiety over their safety, across many aspects of their everyday lives. While we do not want children to come to harm, our fears can lead us to underestimate their own abilities and to overreact to extremely rare tragedies.

A mindset that is solely focused on safety does children and young people no favours. Far from keeping them safe from harm, it can deny them the very experiences that help them to learn how to handle the challenges that life may throw at them. There is an emerging consensus that our society has become too focused on reducing or eliminating risk in childhood. And research suggests that overprotecting children can lead to longer-term problems with mental health and well-being.

Education in its broadest sense is not just about delivering a curriculum. It is about giving children the chance to extend their life skills. It is about developing their confidence. It is about fostering their resilience and sense of responsibility. And – let us not forget – it is about the enjoyment, engagement and excitement of venturing out into the real world, with all its capacity for uncertainty, surprise, stimulation and delight.

Previous Article Education Secretary: “Character and resilience are key to social mobility” - 2019
Next Article Brilliant Residentials and their impact on children, young people and schools - 2017
12451 Rate this article:



Warwick Mill Business Centre, Warwick Bridge, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA4 8RR

+44 (0)1228 564580


What we collect and why

Name, Email Address, Phone Number (optional). Only if you provide it to us in order to contact you or to use our services.

Your Privacy

Who we share with

We will never sell your personal data to 3rd parties. We may share your personal data with our suppliers in order to provide our online and member services to you.

Copyright 2021 Institute for Outdoor Learning Terms Of Use Privacy Statement
Back To Top