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Research Blog

The National Research Hub Initiative Blog

 

Diversity. Who cares?

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Our guest blog this month is from Kate O'Brien from the Outward Bound Trust.

Kate studied Outdoor Education before working at a number of centres and programmes within the UK and abroad. More recently she completed a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and is passionate about enhancing practice by implementing learning from this widely researched area. Kate's current role is working with The Outward Bound Trust to explore workforce diversity.

Mud pies and green spaces – why children do better when they can get outdoors

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Our guest blog this month is from Greg Mannion.

Greg is the Senior Lecturer and Director of Post-graduate Research at the School of Education, University of Stirling, and co-author of Teaching, learning, and play in the outdoors: a survey of school and pre-school provision, Commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage.
Find out more about the Teaching in Nature Research Project at the University of Stirling.

Proving the impact of outdoor learning on attainment: ‘Wilderness Schooling’

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Research into the effectiveness of outdoor learning interventions has traditionally focused on ‘socio-emotional’ outcomes such as self-awareness, increasing confidence and self-esteem. For some, however, the ‘holy grail’ for a number of years has been to demonstrate a direct correlation between structured outdoor learning experiences and curricular attainment, a research gap also highlighted in the recent Blagrave report (2016). Small sample sizes, unique learning conditions and methodological issues have meant that this has been notoriously difficult to achieve, a fact reflected in the current Sutton Trust - EEF toolkit summary of Outdoor Adventure Learning.

Research-Practitioner Hubs Project Update!

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We are six months in to the hubs project proof-of-concept – facilitated by IOL, University of Cumbria, Natural England, and the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom - and enthusiasm for the project has grown, and continues to grow, at a considerable pace! Four regional groups are already active across the country, three in England: Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and one in Scotland, a group in the Northeast are about to convene their first meeting in June and there are several other hubs currently in development.

Upbeat meeting of North West Outdoor Learning Hub at Ambleside campus

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A major increase in the number of young people experiencing the great outdoors could herald the start of a ‘golden age’ for outdoor learning and bring significant improvements across communities.
Members of the North West Region Outdoor Learning Research Hub for Researchers and Practitioners who met on Friday at the Ambleside campus of the University of Cumbria heard the upbeat assessment from Dr Chris Loynes, reader in outdoor studies.

 

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