Where Are We Going? International Views on Purposes, Practices and Barriers in School-Based Outdoor Learning
Popular demand for school-based outdoor learning is growing throughout the world, but there is relatively little use of international comparisons to inform the development and support of this growth. Motivations for providing outdoor learning may vary within and across countries/areas. Through understanding how different purposes are being approached internationally, we can learn how outdoor learning might best be supported to achieve particular outcomes. Eighty expert commentators on outdoor learning from 19 countries/areas responded to a short online survey about motivations for and practices in school-based outdoor learning, based on their experience working in this field. The survey was designed using a conceptual framework of student outcomes from outdoor learning, derived from policy analysis and five major reviews of the field. The three most frequently reported forms of outdoor learning practiced in schools were field studies, early years outdoor activities, and outdoor and adventure education. Among identified purposes for outdoor learning provision within schooling, supporting environmental awareness and action and pupil health and well-being were the most common. Some alignment of forms of outdoor learning and specific outcomes are discussed and implications for future policy, practice, and research considered. Link to Full Report Text below.