In this week, I am going to talk about outdoor education. Outdoor education can be referred to experiential learning in the external environment (Cameron, D. , no date). According to Institute of outdoor learning (What are the benefits of outdoor learning, no date), outdoor education would improve personal and communication skills. Moreover, it also increases physical and mental health. On the other hand, however, Jacobsen, K. (2012) showed that outdoor education might not suitable for all students. It depends on students’ temperament. In this passage, we are going to discuss the advantages and drawbacks of outdoor education.
Firstly, there are lots of pieces of evidence that supported outdoor education exerts benefits to students’ learning. Research showed that external environments have a potential to improve learning education, personal and social development (Mirrahmi et al., 2011). In addition, outdoor learning cultivates students’ passionate in learning, fosters critical thinking, enhances leadership qualities and makes students become real-world problem solvers ( National Environmental Education Foundation, no date). Besides, a case study also showed that the participant had greatly increased his score on different subject and class participation after changed to outdoor learning (Oliver, A. , no date).
Then, despite outdoor learning plays an important role in education, it also exists limitation. Jacobsen, K. (2012) displayed that individuals’ temperament would also affect the efficiency of outdoor learning on students. On one hand,students with an easy or a withdrawal temperament are suitable in both indoor and outdoor learning environment. On the other hand, outdoor education would be more suitable for students with a difficult or a mixed temperament.
From the above, we can clearly see that outdoor learning benefits students in learning. By learning in external environment, students can increase their learning enthusiasm and their academic result. Still, outdoor education has its disadvantage. This is to say, it is not suitable for all students. Therefore, if educational sectors want to implement outdoor learning, they have to firstly examine student own temperament.
Personally, I agree that outdoor education is a more interactive way in learning. Nevertheless, it is obviously not suitable for all students. It is important for teachers to examine students in terms of their behavior and attitude before implement outdoor learning.
Cameron, D. (no date). What is outdoor education. Retrieved 18 October 2013, from http://www.ardroy-oec.co.uk/schools-outdooreducation.asp
Institute of outdoor learning (no date). What are the benefits of outdoor learning. Retrieved 18 October 2013, from http://www.outdoor-learning.org/Default.aspx?tabid=213
Jacobsen, K. (2012). Individual Differences and Possible Effects from Outdoor Education：
Long Time and Short Time Benefits. World Journal of Education, 2(4): 20-33
Mirrahmi, S. Z., Tawil, N. M., Abdullah, N. A. G., Surat, M., & Usman, I. M. S. (2011). Developing Conducive Sustainable Outdoor Learning: The Impact of Natural Environment on Learning, Social and Emotional Intelligence. Procedia Engineering, 20, 389-396.
National Environmental Education Foundation ( no date). Benefits of environmental education. Retrieved 18 October 2013, from http://www.eeweek.org/pdf/EE_Benefits.pdf
Oliver, A. (no date). The Benefits of Outdoor Education and
its Effects on Reluctant Learners. University project. Retrieved 18 October 2013, from http://www.smcm.edu/educationstudies/pdf/rising-tide/volume-2/VOL2-article3.pdf