Exploring true potential of children through outdoor learning
Think of some of the classroom environments you have encountered on your educational path. During childhood, the learning environment was probably more vibrant, with more room for flexibility if a lesson required movement and physical expression. In high school and university, the learning environment was most likely focused on the curriculum, syllabuses and credits. This learning environment is more than just a classroom or the lesson - it is a space where students feel safe and supported in their search for knowledge, as well as inspired by their surroundings.
In recent years, outdoor learning has been given great importance due to its benefits, including improved language and communication skills, concentration, self-evaluation, creativity, and openness to new perspectives. Children can learn more self-control, negotiation, independence, and acceptable group behavior that will be needed for the rest of their lives as they interact with peers and adults.
A research by Education Endowment Trust suggests that, on average, people who regularly participate in outdoor learning appear to make approximately four months' additional academic progress as a result of these benefits. In addition to this, numerous other data suggest that outdoor learning opportunities can significantly contribute to the intellectual development of children.
Moreover, outdoor learning almost nudges children to apply concepts learned inside the classroom to the practical world. When a child's curriculum includes outdoor learning, they get to explore nature, connect classroom theory with practical things, and expand their practical knowledge. Besides, when students head outside for learning, they get more physical activity, vitamin D and fresh air, and it keeps their overall mental health and well-being in check.
When kids engage with their environment firsthand, they develop a sense of respect for their surroundings, the chance to nurture a passion for their environment, and the ability to better understand their place in the natural world. These are all formative practical experiences that complement what kids learn in the classroom and help foster a child's enthusiasm for learning.
Therefore, it is important that schools and educational institutions start incorporating more outdoor activities into their curriculum. Delhi Public School Dhaka (DPS STS) is one such example of a school that offers plenty of outdoor activities to its students for more comprehensive learning. Recently, the school took its students to Bangladesh Military Museum and to Australia to attend the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022! This allowed students to develop critical thinking skills while giving them the opportunity to think about a theme from many different perspectives. Field trips are one of the best tools of outdoor learning for students to build real-world experiences. Whether it is a trip to the library, museum, or a different country altogether, each experience that a student engages in contributes to their understanding of the world and its people.
When students leave the classroom, they see the connections between what is happening at school and in the real world. They begin to see what they learn within the walls of the classroom. This, in turn, can help them solve the problems they see in the world around them and can directly impact who they become as individuals.