The National Research Hub Initiative Blog


Celebrating Outdoor Learning Awards 2019

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Outdoor Learning Research Award

Research is a critical link that underpins policy and practice in outdoor learning. It moves the field forward into new areas and provides evidence of the efficacy and impact of existing outdoor learning approaches.

IOL Research Hubs bring together academics and practitioners to collaborate and further develop research interests and outputs.

This award recognises research projects that have answered a relevant question, provided tangible results and made a positive contribution to practice.

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.


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