For purposes of this research, outdoor learning means the type of learning that occurs when children are provided access to an outdoor environment that allows for exploration of elements, endless possibilities for manipulation and discovery, and realization of one’s place on the planet. This type of learning can take place in the woods, by a stream, or on a well-designed school campus and can lead to children understanding risk, developing the capacity for team building, and experiencing the joy of being in, and learning from, the natural world.
Our definition of outdoor learning is based upon our collective experiences and is informed by the definition of outdoor learning advanced by the Institute for Outdoor Learning https://www.outdoor-learning-research.org/Research/What-is-Outdoor-Learning). We are a BCSLA Member, BCSLA Interns and an Educator.
It is our belief that in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, schools in British Columbia expanded their capacity to provide their students with outdoor learning programs and environments. This expansion (and we do intend to confirm that such an expansion took place) offers an opportunity to study a variety of programs throughout the province; to answer our research questions (as set forth in Part B); to expand on our understanding of the features of outdoor learning environments as expressed in Figure 1 below; to determine which schools in the province of British Columbia are providing their students with opportunities for outdoor learning as described above; and to identify the practices which will allow for this type of learning to flourish in the province.
Please see the Project Description and Proposed Budget for a full description of the research writing project.
If you are interested in getting involved or have any resources or information you would like to share, please get in touch with our group via Sarah Thomas, the BCSLA Intern & Associate Representative at: [email protected]. Contribution of your time to this effort may provide an opportunity to earn CE Credits.