Thumbnail Image

School curriculum and outdoor education. Part 1: Early childhood and primary school

Th is chapter explores broad possibilities for learning outdoors in formal education contexts. In part one we set the scene for the chapter by examining contemporary curricula in the early childhood and school sectors. National curriculum documents are introduced to look at the vision and ‘big picture’ direction they suggest for outdoor education practice. Attention then turns to consider outdoor education initiatives in early childhood settings, with examples drawn from programmes to illustrate the unique and practical ways in which they ‘walk the talk’ of student-centred, bicultural, holistic, and sustainable approaches. Th e discussion moves to consider the opportunities the primary school context aff ords for outdoor education that deliberately focuses on students’ relationships with the outdoor places they inhabit. Examples such as the well established Enviro-Schools programme and integrated units of learning are outlined to illustrate what we consider to be the heart of this forward looking outdoor education. In part two, the focus moves to outdoor education in the secondary school. While the distinctiveness of the secondary setting with its associated compartmentalised, subject-focused curriculum is initially acknowledged, the focus broadens to consider a range of factors or enablers of innovative outdoor education practice. As with part one, examples of ‘real’ curricula, co-curricula, and extra-curricula programmes are featured. Th ese examples provide powerful guides for outdoor educators seeking to rethink, refi ne and reshape their students’ outdoor learning experiences in ways that enable them to enjoy, understand, and act for the environments in which they live and move. In sum, this chapter explores a vision of a more sustainable outdoor education future.
Chapter in Book
Type of thesis
Cosgriff, M., & Thevenard, L. (2011). School curriculum and outdoor education. Part 1: Early childhood and primary school. In D. Irwin, J. Straker, & A. Hill (Eds.), Outdoor Education in Aotearoa New Zealand (pp. 65–83). Christchurch, New Zealand: CPIT.
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.