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Article
Publication date: 12 April 2020

Pavla Boulton

The purpose of this case study is to reflect on the blended pedagogies applied with a second year cohort of Early Years (EY) undergraduate students. It focusses on the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this case study is to reflect on the blended pedagogies applied with a second year cohort of Early Years (EY) undergraduate students. It focusses on the experiences of both learner and educator as they explore the use of blending technology and outdoor learning to support a holistic curriculum in 21st century early years practice.

Design/methodology/approach

A reflective case study approach was applied to practice in situ as part of an outdoor learning project within a Level 5 module. One Higher Education (HE) tutor and 24 EY students participated in the study. Three research questions informed the reflective study: an exploration around the tensions of how digital technology might be blended with the more traditional, sensory and experiential pedagogies of outdoor learning, using an app. It considers the effects of this approach on student learning and what lessons can be learnt by the tutor in attempting to model these pedagogies.

Findings

This case study reveals the advantages and discomfort of role modelling a practice as HE tutor that has not been applied before in this context and as such is considered an innovative pedagogy (Koros-Mikis, 2009). EY students engaged in the blended provision, applying digital technology for educational purposes and this resulted in enhanced collaborative learning between students and tutor, affecting attendance and motivation to try new approaches in their practice. Reflecting on this practice has revealed that pedagogical thinking can be transformed when ideas are shared in a way that appears non-judgemental and new approaches can be applied where the right environment affords such opportunities.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations are around sample size, and a longer period of time for students to engage with a Personal Learning Environment (PLE), evidencing sustained engagement. The focus is one that is pertinent to the issues currently being considered as part of curriculum reform in Wales and as such may not hold the same weight in other parts of the world. As a case study, it is recognised that this is not generalizable and thus not easily replicable (Gilbert, 2008).

Practical implications

Issues around modelling pedagogies that depict 21st century learning are highlighted for “digital immigrant” HE teaching staff members. Understanding how to apply digital technology in a digital world within our own, often traditional practices, particularly in the field of early years outdoor learning needs further exploration in light of the new curriculum for Wales so that future practitioners are able to consider the holistic approach of blending pedagogies across areas of learning and not working in subject-specific silos.

Social implications

The implications of this case study raise questions around the appropriateness of training and development for “digital immigrant” staff members, understanding student digital competency, blending pedagogical approaches, as well as the debate around digital technologies being part of young children's learning within a reformed curriculum in Wales. These challenges present questions that require social consideration as well as arguments as to why they cannot be overlooked.

Originality/value

This case study identifies a need to explore the ways in which blended pedagogies are applied and modelled in HE practice and to observe how it influences students learning and beliefs in their own pedagogical practices. The curriculum reform in Wales suggests that teaching and learning will need to be far more holistic in nature and these two areas currently collide as pedagogies. Thus being able to demonstrate the value of them in synergy will be most helpful to practitioners who will need to make a paradigm shift in their approaches to embrace the new curriculum.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2018

Cecilia Azorín

The purpose of this paper is to construct a policy map of professional learning networks (PLNs) in Spain. It includes initiatives prompted in Spanish schools in which…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to construct a policy map of professional learning networks (PLNs) in Spain. It includes initiatives prompted in Spanish schools in which social, political, cultural and educational elements are integrated. At the same time, it analyses which organization promotes each of the networks, the objectives pursued and the scope of the network in the territory in which it is created.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology followed is essentially descriptive and incorporates the first experiences with school networks which have been disseminated in the Spanish literature. It stimulates reflection on the role networks are expected to play in relation to local developments in this specific school system.

Findings

The cases described (Castellon, Catalonia, Malaga and Seville) suggest a way forward for practitioners to advance toward an educational paradigm based on greater collaboration. This includes a partnership approach among professionals within and across classrooms, schools, communities, districts and education systems. In particular, the results place the focus of the network on the prevalence of the following school classification, included schools (community networks linking to the territory), extended schools (socio-educational networks), equity schools (equity fostering networks) and partnership schools (school-to-school support networks), whose objectives and scopes are reviewed.

Research limitations/implications

With the Spanish context in mind, it is essential to recognize that more empirical evidence is still needed to make a significant contribution toward building knowledge in this research line. Indeed, sustainability seems to be an important point to consider in a short-term world where quick-fix solutions are required. However, PLNs need time to know how beneficial they really are, for example, in terms of student outcomes and school improvement.

Practical implications

The argument developed assumes networks as a mirror wherein the present and future of education takes place. In this sense, the scientific and educational communities have both a challenge and an opportunity to rethink the potential of networking and collaboration in education. The article tries to be attractive to a specialized reader or one simply interested in the problem of networks in education and the reality of PLNs in Spain.

Social implications

The network society demands a network school environment where communities are part of a local character strategy.

Originality/value

This document offers an interesting view on networks that not only focus on education but on social and welfare issues and it aims to target education from a broader perspective; so resulting in opening schools to the community, which is not a widely covered topic in education research. In summary, the paper can be considered as a pioneer study in the Spanish context, which contains valuable information about PLNs, their origin and current status in this part of the world.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Jitendra Gouda, Kailash Chandra Das, Srinivas Goli and Ladumai Maikho Apollo Pou

This paper is an effort to identify the difference between government and private primary schools in terms of physical infrastructure, schooling costs and student's…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper is an effort to identify the difference between government and private primary schools in terms of physical infrastructure, schooling costs and student's performance. Further, the paper assessed the role of physical infrastructure and schooling costs on the performance of students. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used India Human Development Survey (IHDS) data. Bivariate, trivariate, χ2 and ANOVA test, factor analyses and Theil index are used as methods of analyses.

Findings

The results present a distinct picture of government and private primary school education in India in terms of physical infrastructure standards, schooling cost and performance of students. In all the three selected indicators, private primary schools remained a forerunner or outperform the government primary schools in India. Besides this, the physical infrastructure and schooling cost found to have effect on performance of students both in private and public schools.

Practical implications

Since government primary schools hold more than 70 percent of total students, there is an urgent need to improve the standards of primary education in these schools. Further, efforts are needed to reduce the gaps between private and public schools in terms of its basic physical facilities and performance of students in the country.

Originality/value

The paper used the IHDS to examine the existing differentials between government and private primary schools. The analysis is purely an original work.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 33 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 30 August 2014

Myae Han, Nancy Edwards and Carol Vukelich

The purpose of this chapter is to suggest ways for early childhood teachers to teach science content knowledge, vocabulary, respect, and an appreciation for nature while…

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to suggest ways for early childhood teachers to teach science content knowledge, vocabulary, respect, and an appreciation for nature while children engage in meaningful outdoor nature activities. Science concepts such as nature, life cycle, observation, and experimentation can be woven into outdoor activities as children pretend to be nature scientists. Intentional planning provides teachers with the opportunity to integrate science content knowledge and vocabulary learning during the nature study. The careful selection of content vocabulary related to the scientific process and science content knowledge helps children learn new words in meaningful and developmentally appropriate ways. This chapter provides several examples of outdoor nature activities with science content knowledge and vocabulary embedded into each activity.

Details

Learning Across the Early Childhood Curriculum
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-700-9

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2001

Andrew Broderick and Glenn Pearce

Adventure training (AT) as a movement has its origins in outdoor‐based experiential programs such as “outward bound”. Recently, educators have questioned the educational…

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Abstract

Adventure training (AT) as a movement has its origins in outdoor‐based experiential programs such as “outward bound”. Recently, educators have questioned the educational value of the “outdoor” component of AT and there is an opinion that it is the novelty of the setting/activities and the provision of psychological (rather than physical) risk that are its key elements. With this in mind, indoor adventure training (IAT) offers new possibilities for management training and development. Indoor‐based experiential education removes uncontrollable outdoor factors such as climate, danger, emotional distress and the need for physical abilities. These outdoor factors can be replaced by educational drama elements that encourage engagement, fantasy and meaning through theatre form. In this paper the theoretical development of IAT is discussed and an outline is given of a revolutionary IAT approach that immerses participants in a themed dramatic experience with the purpose of developing such things as learning about teamwork, problem solving and communication skills.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2020

Dave Cudworth

The concept of children's alienation from, and reconnection to, nature has gained international interest. The purpose of this paper is to explore how forest school as a…

Abstract

Purpose

The concept of children's alienation from, and reconnection to, nature has gained international interest. The purpose of this paper is to explore how forest school as a growing phenomenon in the UK is promoting this reconnection to nature as well as benefiting children's well-being. At the same time, forest school is providing children and young people with a more divergent learning experience, away from the structural pressures of the neoliberal classroom. With its emphasis on play-based learning in wooded areas, and the freedom to make connections and spatially engage with what is around them at their own pace, such engagement in these “alternative” learning spaces can support the development of a post-human discourse and sensibilities. This is fundamental in developing children's emotional connection in promoting pro-environmental behaviours and their attitudes towards valuing and protecting the non-human.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on field notes documented during forest school leader training undertook by the author from April 2017 to May 2018. Further data were collected in the form of participant observations of forest school sessions in three schools; semi-structured interviews with the head teachers of these schools and two forest school practitioners. Supplementary data will also draw on the experiences of a group of second-year education studies university students after completing a module on forest school and outdoor learning, led by the author.

Findings

This article finds that the more children engage with wooded areas and interact with the natural environment and other creatures within that space, the more it affords meaning to them. This in turn promotes a sense of belonging and environmental stewardship, particularly in relation to non-human creatures. This article also finds that where schools provide forest school opportunities on their sites, such provision is conducive to supporting more creative practices within the “spatialities” of the neoliberal classroom.

Originality/value

Neoliberal education policy with its focus on high stakes testing and performance outcomes increasingly shapes the spatial practices of school life. Consequently, time spent outdoors and its relationship with intrinsic learning has declined in many schools. With many schools placing less importance on outdoor learning, children and young people have become further alienated from engaging in different ways with their environments. Further, data highlighting the link between forest school and children's interest in plants and other animals have not been the subject of much research.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 41 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1983

John Bank

This monograph looks at the growing use of the outdoors for management development on both sides of the Atlantic. The author suggests the term “Outdoor Development” to…

Abstract

This monograph looks at the growing use of the outdoors for management development on both sides of the Atlantic. The author suggests the term “Outdoor Development” to describe a systematic use of outdoor activities which incorporate process reviews and the application of experiential learning methods.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2020

Andrew Martin, Geoff Watson, Jan Neuman, Ivana Turčová and Lucie Kalkusová

The purpose of this paper is to examine Czech traditions of outdoor games and sports, turistika activities and education in nature programmes, which have continued to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine Czech traditions of outdoor games and sports, turistika activities and education in nature programmes, which have continued to develop during periods of oppression and provided opportunities to preserve the Czech culture.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the historical, cultural and political context of education in nature traditions in Czech was proposed.

Findings

Late 19th century organisations such as the Turistický klub and Sokol were instrumental in developing a range of indigenous turistika activities involving active movement. The early 20th century influences were the Czech scouting movement, summer camps and Woodcraft. Charles University provided the first tertiary outdoor educational programmes in Prague in the 1950s. Their foundation course “Turistika and Outdoor Sports” is still compulsory for all students studying physical education and sport. Turistika activities and outdoor sports and games continued to be developed throughout the liberalization of the socialist regime in the 1960s.

Practical implications

Following the Prague Spring in 1968, and under the guise of the Socialist Youth Union organization, new experimental forms of outdoor education emerged.

Social implications

Since the Velvet Revolution in 1989 organisations have reconnected with Czech outdoor traditions that flourished before 1948 and other organisations have developed education in nature programs. The commercial sphere, which did not exist before 1989, has now been established in the outdoor area. However, traditional participation in turistika activities has been impacted by other external motivations as a broader range of opportunities have become available and accepted, and tourism outside of Czech and Europe has become increasingly popular and accessible.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is to provide an overview of Czech political and cultural history and how it has shaped people's relationship, particularly children and youth, with the outdoors.

Details

History of Education Review, vol. 49 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0819-8691

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Abstract

Details

Early Careers in Education: Perspectives for Students and NQTs
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-585-9

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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2015

Sam Joseph Cooley, Jennifer Cumming, Mark J. G Holland and Victoria E Burns

This paper aims to evaluate the perceived efficacy of outdoor groupwork skills programmes for the undergraduate and postgraduate students, and the factors that influence…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to evaluate the perceived efficacy of outdoor groupwork skills programmes for the undergraduate and postgraduate students, and the factors that influence its success. It also illustrates the use of Kirkpatrick’s (1994) 4-level model of training evaluation as a framework for qualitative investigation of learning and transfer, from the perspective of key stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

Over 24 hours of recorded data were collected using a video diary room, one-to-one interviews and focus group discussions. Participants were current students (n = 66), alumni (n = 12), outdoor education instructors (n = 6) and academic staff (n = 5). The data were transcribed, and then analysed by conducting conventional content analysis. Prolonged engagement, triangulation, peer debriefing and referential adequacy were used to establish the trustworthiness and reliability of the analyses.

Findings

Outdoor groupwork skills programmes were widely viewed as being effective for developing interpersonal skills, attitudes and knowledge that were then further developed and applied during degree courses and later in the workplace. Four of the main perceived benefits were increased social integration amongst peers, academic success, personal development and employability. A range of psychological and environmental factors were reported to influence the extent of skill development and transfer, and are presented in the Model for Optimal Learning and Transfer.

Practical implications

This study supports outdoor groupwork skills programmes as an effective method of groupwork skills training during higher education, and offers recommendations for promoting learning and transfer following training courses.

Originality/value

This is the first study to systematically evaluate the long-term impact of outdoor groupwork skills programmes in higher education. A novel methodological approach is also demonstrated, which can be replicated in other contexts of training evaluation.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

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