Cultivating an inspiring outdoor learning environment – FE News
No matter how engaging the lesson, after a while a classroom can feel a bit oppressive and boring. Refreshing the space with a renovation or a fresh coat of paint is an option, but in this article we’re looking to inspire teachers to go the extra mile and design a bespoke outdoor learning environment.
Such spaces can inspire creativity, reduce boredom, and make the learning space a much more enjoyable place to learn.
Create an inspiring space
Whatever you teach, a space where your students can get creative and come up with new ideas is always a great option. An overhead canopy of greenery can help students escape the classroom and into another world – something that could be of great use to English teachers who want their students to fully imagine another world. like the islands of lord of the flies or Storm.
Such a space, when not in use, can also be a quiet, outdoor study space for students looking for some fresh air while revising for finals. Even the busiest campus can be transformed with a bit of greenery that does something besides look great.
Let toddlers interact with nature
It’s a sad fact that many young children don’t have as much of a connection to the natural world as previous generations. Whether or not you blame the advent of the smartphone, it’s hard to argue against younger generations having more time to commune with nature.
A small garden in the back of a primary school classroom, with lots of insects and various types of greenery, might open a few little minds to the wonders of the natural world – and all you really need is a few planters. raised beds and a few small plants to populate them. For a deeper look into the undergrowth world, consider adding a glass viewing panel so kids can learn about plant roots and even watch earthworms in their natural habitat.
Create a natural amphitheater
Digging out and laying out a green amphitheater for the performance of plays and musicals will add a fun element to an annual dramatic performance – at a cost significantly less than building an auditorium. Outdoor theater on hot summer nights is an attractive prospect, especially if you have a comfortable grass bench for your audience to sit on.
Of course, you can also use such a space for daytime classes on summer days, if the amphitheater is too hot and stuffy for learning to be as effective as you would like.
Adapt to different learning styles
Learning outdoors is very beneficial for the well-being of children, and could even encourage them to develop a relationship with the natural environment. Outdoor learning is effective in helping the development of fine motor skills by providing the experience of new sounds, textures and smells.
It is estimated that one in seven people in the UK are neurodivergent, meaning they learn and process information differently from those considered neurotypical. Learning outdoors is a great way to create an inclusive learning environment that accommodates different learning styles. From developing curious thinking to teaching resilience, outdoor learning could lead to greater success for those who cannot thrive in a traditional classroom environment.
Organize a “transversal” space
Of course, creating an inspiring and escapist outdoor learning environment should also put utility and usability at the forefront of design.
To do this, you can create a “transversal” classroom, a classroom that mixes the inside and the outside. For example, a leafy courtyard bordered on one side by a small room for the placement of storage lockers is the ideal environment for small group study – because it combines privacy and utility.
No matter what type of educational institution you run, cultivating an outdoor learning environment should definitely be considered, especially for students who don’t normally stray away from the classroom. Just add a touch of creativity to the mix and you’ll be well on your way to a high-level learning experience for your students.
Tom Brialey is the founder and director of Action Lockers, which embraces its philosophy that in addition to the highest quality products, you must also provide the highest level of service to your customers to be successful. That’s why Tom’s mission is to provide expert support 100% of the way.
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