According to recent reports, outdoor learning should be formally introduce as part of the global school curricula because it is found to be a significant factor in improving the quality of children’s life.
Two universities, Plymouth University and Western Sydney University produced the report entitled Student Outcomes and Natural Schooling. The study emphasized the various benefits of learning in the natural environment to children’s education, social skills, behavior, health and well-being, and sense of place. Furthermore, the study shows the lesser chances of exploring the environment and freedom to play because of full curriculum, busier family lifestyles and fear in the society.
A new report pointed out framework on how the governments could build on previous and on going research and make outdoor learning as an essential element of national education policies and programs. According to the one of the authors of the report, Sue Waite, although there is important study supporting outdoor learning for academic, social and personal results, the policymakers should recognized the endeavor to fully achieve the comprehensive positive cultural innovation.
For the past 10 years, there have been five important and relevant reviews focusing on children learning in natural environments in the United Kingdom and other countries.
This report was published after the Lessons from Near and Far conference led by Plymouth University in July 2015, featuring 21 international presentations that has the main purpose of encouraging practitioners researchers, and policy makers to collaborate and share ideas that can be crafted for national policies. It also includes a review of current research and policy impacts in the UK, Australia, Singapore and Denmark to present methods to unite and develop evidence, findings and policy or agenda effectively.
The proposed framework has pathways to research-oriented practice designed to produce five key results for children:
- a healthy and happy body and mind
- a sociable confident person
- a self-directed and creative learner
- an effective and productive contributor
- an active global citizens