Benefits of outdoor experiences and learning




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Benefits of outdoor experiences and learning.

According to the Play strategy for Scotland (2013), play promotes the development of social and collaboration skills and when children have access to natural spaces for play, it fosters a sense of close connection with and respect for nature. Moreover, open space allows children and young people to be physically active and challenge themselves so they sleep and eat well and form healthy habits that will stay with them for life. Also, the contact with nature and playing in natural spaces daily, has an impact on the use of these community green spaces as adults (Play strategy for Scotland, 2013). Dowdell, Gray & Malone (2011), have expressed the idea that access to the natural environment and reinforcement by a supportive teacher, offers to the pupils a richer environment for learning and promotes them to engage in natural play. The type of environment for play is also important and has an impact on children and young people’s experiences, choices, and relationships, both with other people and with the environment itself. Outdoor play, especially in natural spaces, is beneficial and provides experiences which cannot be replicated indoors (Play strategy for Scotland, 2013). Turcova, Neuman and Martin (2003), express that in order to be able to understand the impact of outdoor learning experiences fully, it is vital to develop the understanding of cultural, historical and geographical differences between concepts which are used in both English and non-English speaking countries. This understanding is important, as different approaches to outdoor learning depend on various other factors such as social, economic, cultural, or even demographic and political contexts according to O’Neil (2000) (Bentsen et al, 2009).

Bentsen, Mygind & Randrup (2009), present the example of Denmark which has developed the model of education outside the classroom, called udeskole. It is interesting to underline that udeskole does not refer only to a way of teaching but also a movement to redefine school and value outdoor experiences (Bentsen, Mygind & Randrup, 2009).





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Benefits of outdoor experiences and learning

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