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Giving Compass' Take:
• A study from Swansea University found that outdoor education and learning can have benefits for both students and teachers.
• The author mentions that this study is valuable because the findings indicated improved teacher job satisfaction, which is a very positive outcome, considering the state of teacher retention rates. How can schools utilize this research to enhance job satisfaction among educators?
Through interviews and focus groups, researchers explored the views and experiences of pupils and educators at three primary schools in south Wales that had adopted an outdoor learning programme, which entailed teaching the curriculum in the natural environment for at least an hour a week.
Interviews were held with headteachers and teachers, and focus groups were conducted with pupils aged 9-11 both before and during the implementation of an outdoor learning programme within the curriculum.
The schools in the study reported a variety of benefits of outdoor learning for both the child and the teacher and for improving health, wellbeing, education and engagement in school.
The benefits of outdoor education for children are well documented, but a finding of this study is the impact that the outdoor learning programme had on teachers.
Lead author of the study Emily Marchant, a PhD researcher in Medical Studies at Swansea University, said: "Initially, some teachers had reservations about transferring the classroom outdoors but once outdoor learning was embedded within the curriculum, they spoke of improved job satisfaction and personal wellbeing. This is a really important finding given the current concerns around teacher retention rates. Overall, our findings highlight the potential of outdoor learning as a curriculum tool in improving school engagement and the health, wellbeing and education outcomes of children.
Read the full article about outdoor education benefits for teachers by Emily Marchant at ScienceDaily.