Sarah Hindmarsh


Student engagement when learning outdoors was the focus of a study visit to Northern Norway for two members of the primary science team in an English University. The University College that was visited in Northern Norway has a well-established reputation for its outdoor learning provision. The visit focussed on the structured observation of teacher educators working with student teachers in a woodland playground project and a ‘Land art in the tidal zone’ residential fieldwork project. This afforded rich opportunities for the observation of the teacher educators’ pedagogical practice and of student teacher responses. Implications for our practice have been derived from an analysis of what was observed and reflections from the academic literature in this field. Suggestions are made for the development of practice in the primary science team in our University, and proposed for initial teacher education. It is suggested that high quality outdoor learning experiences, including fieldwork, encourage skill development and that positive teacher –student relationships with the development of self-efficacy for student teachers is important for securing high levels of engagement and involvement when learning outdoors.



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