Teaching and Learning Outside the Classroom. Karen Phethean. What a wonderful world. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJePNFkkvFk&feature=related. What?. Learning outside the classroom is “the use of places other than the classroom for teaching and learning.“
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Learning outside the classroom is “the use of places other than the classroom for teaching and learning.“
(DfES (2006) Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto. Nottingham: DfES)
There is strong support for the view that learning outside the classroom is vital for all children, adding value to their classroom experiences; that are well planned and taught, such the learning enhances children’s knowledge, understanding and skills across subjects; that it fosters children’s motivation, self-confidence and interpersonal learning.
[House of Commons Education and Skills Committee 2005]
Provides a context for learning – general and subject based knowledge; thinking and problem-solving skills; life skills such as co-operation and interpersonal communication.
Off-site fieldtrips are often seen as memorable to children, even into adulthood
Children may seem well motivated when working outside the classroom
Activities enhance their knowledge and understanding of the topics studied
A positive understanding of the environment develops
It may enhance children’s positive attitude to the site visited.
Social and inter-personal skills can develop, particularly when children engage in collaborative tasks
Children’ cognitive development will be enhanced- can lead to deeper understanding of the concepts that span traditional subject boundaries and which are often difficult to teach in the classroom.
Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto
Providing experiential and active learning in the environment
Motivating children through stimulating and enjoyable experiences
Initiating and extending enquiry skills through enjoyable experiences
Developing observational, recording and analytic skills in situ
Developing knowledge and understanding in a real world context
Encouraging and enabling children to work co-operatively
Fostering a feel for environment, through examining values and attitudes
Nature/human society interactions
Rural/Suburban/urban areas around the school
Rural/Suburban/urban areas in a contrasting locality
Rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, canals, seaside
Rural or city farms, botanic gardens
Parks and gardens
Heritage sites, castles, country houses, factories
Museums, science centres, zoos, National Parks
Field study centres, nature study centres
Greater understanding of enquiry/investigation techniques/approaches
Greater information about the local environment
Increased use and knowledge of geographical/historical/scientific processes
Fostering attitudes to a future environment
Developing or improving skills
Reinforcing positive behaviours
Requires much pre-planning and forethought
May necessitate a timetable change
May impact other adults
May impact the whole school
Cost – probably parental
Informing other adults
Booking in advance
Sick bucket/bags etc
Oversee the children at all times
Must follow local authority and school’s policy on health and safety at all times
Constantly count, and monitor children and accompanying adults
Much responsibility is on your shoulders
Managing behaviour is a key area
You must know the place beforehand to assess planning and learning opportunities as well as safety concerns
Train HCC offer a qualifying course on supervision of children in the outdoors to all its staff [a 1 day course]
Should be a part of a teacher’s existence
If it is a risk ‘DON’T DO IT!!!
Make professional judgements about the risk, take responsibility for the possible hazard and make an informed decision where the safety of the children is central
Forms are numerous
May need permission of local authority, governors or headteacher
How many children per adult on a bus?
How will working outdoors or off-site meet the learning objective?
Where does it fit into the sequence of activities planned for the study topic
How does it contribute to the focus of study at that time?
What relevant child experience does it draw upon or develop? Does it provide new experiences?
Is it suitable?
Are there adequate facilities for children?
Is it practical?
Is it safe? – The site itself and getting there!
How will we organise the learning, activities, timings, toilets, lunch etc.
Site Investigation observation, measurement, recording
Enquiry based research children plan investigation, recording and follow up
Problem-solving tackling a problem e.g. mapping an area or identifying the best place for a new hospital
role play or dramatic recreations of people’s lives, costume
Guided walks around a site, museum, trail etc, often with a worksheet
How do I use the enthusiasm generated by the work outside the classroom?
How will the children work on the information they have gathered?
What types of outcome do I want to see?
What resources and support do they need to complete their work?
What do you want them to learn?
How can and will you organise the lesson?
Have you borne in mind safety aspects?
Have you the adult support that you need
Have you planned for the time available
Catling S 2006 Planning for Learning Outside the Classroom in Arthur J, Grainger T & Wray D Learning to Teach in the Primary School Abingdon: Routledge
Worth the trip – Sculpture Valley