Getting Students out of the Box: Outdoor Learning

Getting Students out of the Box: Outdoor Learning

Do you remember which school subject was your favourite? Do you remember why this exact subject? Maybe, you were just naturally good at it or this teacher was very enthusiastic and charged you with his/her energy? Or, perhaps, you knew that somehow you will need this subject in your career life? There are several possible answers to this question, but what we know for sure is that a student needs to feel connection with what he/she is studying, and only then will this person be able to get inspired and motivated and pay more attention to the subject matter.

Teacher’s Passion Is a Must in the Classroom

It is obvious that all of us study better if we care about our education and about some particular field. When we are in the classroom, 90% of your interest in the subject depends on your teacher: if the teacher is passionate about his/her discipline, then students can feel it and care more. Even if they have problems with this class, they do not feel afraid of looking for the teacher’s help because passionate teachers are usually very open and eager to offer any assistance. Today, however, people are looking for better ways of inspiring students, and the most effective option is studying outside the classroom.

You Can Find Inspiration Outside the School Building

Today, with practically limitless access to electronic devices and the Internet, it may seem that for students it is enough to open a website that contains information about forests to be satisfied. However, exploring the world with the help of computers is not as effective as taking students out of the classroom and letting them see the real world with their own eyes.

The biggest advantage of the outdoor education is that children start to enjoy the process of learning because they not only read about birds in their region, for instance, but can get experience by finding this bird in the forest recognizing its unique singing or discovering its usual location. When children are not only observing but are also actively involved to the process of education, they feel more interested in the subject because they see how much sense it makes. Besides, if you see that your children are engaged by discussion about these birds, you can be absolutely sure that they start to enjoy your class even more.

Why Do Teachers Love Outdoor Activities?

Outdoor learning is getting more popular because students usually benefit from being involved into different activities. First of all, theoretical background should always be supported by experience-based learning. Learning outside the classroom helps children feel the nature better and become more concerned about the environmental issues, which is also crucial today. By learning outside the classroom together, students become closer with each other and learn how to collaborate and perform teamwork. Another important outcome of the outdoor education is that students improve their social skills and experience their individual growth. This makes sense because what a student is afraid of doing in a formal classroom setting, he/she can easily do outside because he/she won’t have any psychological limitations and will be more relaxed.

When the task is accomplished, this student can see he/she has just removed his/her own mental barriers. A change of environment often influences children positively because it eliminates the feeling of being constantly controlled, supervised, and graded in school. Learning outside the classroom helps a lot of children understand certain concepts that were unclear for them before. For instance, one of the most difficult classes is biology. Teachers always use numerous terms during their lectures and make their students memorize this terminology. However, memorizing complex terms does not mean understanding them and knowing how to apply them in real life. This is why getting children out of the classroom is so helpful: they can see how what they learn works in the world around them, and this will have a much better impact on them than standard mechanical memorization.

Do Any Problems Exist?

Are there any difficulties related to outdoor education? Yes, there are a lot of things which teachers have to think about before they organize some activity for their students. To begin with, it is important to take into account the size of the class and decide whether one teacher will be enough to have everything under control. In a perfect world students need to have two supervisors who will help maintain discipline and have an eye on children. Secondly, it is crucial to find a perfect site which is 50% of your work. This site has to be quite because your primary goal is not to entertain your students but to give them a lecture with the help of real life objects. If you are doing kayaking with your students and you have chosen a popular public beach, this is not the best idea ever: this place can be very noisy and will distract children from their class; your students might feel uncomfortable because they will have a feeling that they are being watched and even judged.

So, make sure to find some remote, quite place where children will be able to focus on the subject. Of course, it is very important to make sure that the chosen site is not dangerous – you do not want one of your students to get hurt during the outdoor activity because you have not planned everything properly. As soon as you organize everything and find a perfect site for your class, get your students out of the classroom and let the, truly enjoy their learning process.

Thanks for sharing!