In a pandemic as outdoor learning allows students to be safer than classroom learning, it has gained momentous popularity. In this article we discuss how in different ways, outdoor learning can also positively impact student academic performance.
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While the benefits of outdoor learning has been known to educators for years, it’s only in a pandemic that it has gained momentous popularity.
As students go back to school from remote learning, their safety from covid-19 becomes high priority for society. Outdoor learning not only facilitates social distancing far more easily than the four walls of the classroom, it also improves student mental health, which has suffered in numerous lockdowns. 🤯
By connecting students to nature, outdoor learning will give them respite from the overwhelm of digital learning. While also encouraging more body movement, which they need from staying at home for so long!
Yet outside of the pandemic, outdoor learning activities can enable behavioural changes in students, that positively impact their academic performance.
Here are four ways in which outdoor learning improves students performance :
👉 Learn At Your Own Pace
🔥 Expert Tip : “All students learn differently,” says Southampton-based Andy Carley, who is the director of School Outdoor Learning(SOul), that provides schools with everything from lesson resources, teacher training and designing of infrastructure for outdoor learning. “A lot of children don't respond well to didactic methods of learning, like being in a classroom setting and being talked at.” 🗣
Teachers who worked with Carely told him that students who struggled in a classroom, were positively transformed when they stepped outdoors to learn.
Carely says this because the outdoors gives students more physical space to learn. This mentally allows them to focus on learning at their own pace.
👉 Reduces Comparative Anxiety
🔥 Expert Tip : “The notion of being left behind, is a real anxiety for a lot of kids in the pandemic times,” says Carley. “As some of them haven’t had the support or ability to work from home as their peers.”
Carley feels that taking kids outside can help as a “great leveler” for such comparative anxiety. 😣
As outdoor learning facilitates a lot of group activities, that makes students feel better supported, than working individually in a classroom. In the outdoors they don’t feel isolated in case their abilities aren’t at par with their peers, as the difference in skill sets becomes less stark in groups.
👉 Motivational For Kinesthetic Learners
🔥 Expert Tip : “Many students are kinesthetic learners,”says Carley. “They need that tactile link to learn which is freely available outside.”
Whether that’s nature itself – from the wind on your back to the grass you touch – or material outdoor learning resources like ropes and tyres, there is a lot of kinesthetic boost for students outside. 👊
🔥 Expert Tip : “There is more motivation and opportunity to learn when you can feel things in the outdoors,” says Scotland-based Kate Hookham, who runs her platform Do Learn, as an outdoor learning educational consultant and is also a supply teacher for primary schools.
A ks2 student in one of Hookham’s classes was struggling with English, as he was Korean, and had almost very little understanding of the English language prior to joining the school. Yet after two terms of outdoor learning there was tremendous improvement in his vocabulary. Instead of being held back by a year, the Korean student was promoted to the next grade with his peers. 💪
Hookham feels the student was able to hone his language skills so rapidly, because there is more opportunity for easy conversations about one’s surroundings, when you are outdoors.
👉 Develops Patience
🔥 Expert Tip : “In the outdoors students develop patience,” says Hookham.“Which is great, especially for those students who tend to give up easily.”
The digital age has made many students used to ‘instant gratification’ from a device. The outdoors allows students to reconnect with the slow natural rhythms of nature – the process of lighting a fire, of watching a bird build her nest or even a sunset. This helps them develop a patience they can use to focus on in their academics.
Our Advice : If your child’s school is engaging in outdoor learning, support them to do so. It will help students develop skills that will benefit their academic performance.
According to our experts, some of the simplest ways parents can support outdoor learning is by sending children in the right clothing – those wellies and waterproof pants – for outdoor learning activities.
Nobody enjoys learning outside with a soggy bum!
Through some simple outdoor learning ideas, parents can also help students learn outside.
Looking to generate more ideas for an outdoor learning environment? 🤔
Here are a few organisations dedicated to support outdoor learning for students :
❇️ Geocaching: Helps families start treasure hunts in their local area!
❇️ Royal Society For The Protection Of Birds: Inspiring kids and families to love nature and learn about the great outdoors with fun activities and days out together!
❇️ Woodland Trust And Nature Detectives: Here you can find curriculum-based outdoor activities for Ks1 and Ks2.
❇️ Learn To Love Nature by (WWF): A series of themed content that encourages young people to connect with nature and learn more about our amazing planet.
After all that fresh air gained in outdoor learning, your child will have renewed energy to get back their lessons. GoStudent is here to support you with flexible scheduling and tutors in every subject area, so we can work with your child to reach their full academic potential. Schedule a free trial lesson to see for yourself! 🚀