I’m guest blogging about outdoor education in Sweden for the Children and Nature Network this week – check it out!
With its well-established tradition of forest schools and deeply held belief that nature is essential to healthy children, Sweden is often considered a leader when it comes to outdoor learning. Preschoolers here are more likely to spend their days digging for earth worms and scaling boulders, than they are learning wall words and practicing handwriting. But as the children get older, they typically spend less and less time learning outside. Now a coalition of dedicated researchers, educators and outdoor non-profit groups in Sweden have joined forces to give teachers the tools they need to bring the classroom outside.
”Studies show that if you alternate outdoor and indoor learning, and the teacher is prepared, you get good results,” said Anders Szczepanski, director of the National Center for Outdoor Education at Linköping University, Sweden. “But if a teacher hasn’t been trained in or practiced outdoor education and doesn’t understand when, where, how and why he or she should take the class outside, and how to link the outdoors to the curriculum, well then it’s a little bit like seeing a nurse who has never seen a patient.”
What is Sweden doing to train its teachers in outdoor learning? Click here to read the rest of my guest post on the Children and Nature Network’s blog.