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Browsing by Subject "ulkona oppiminen"

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  • Tammela, Elise (2023)
    The purpose of this study is to describe, analyse and interpret what kind of role outdoor education has in elementary school education, as well as what kinds of opinions class teachers have about outdoor education. The aim of the study is to make outdoor education more visible and to highlight experiences from the perspective of class teachers. Considering previous research data, it has been established that teaching especially in the natural environment improves both well-being and enhances learning, which makes it important to study how Finnish class teachers themselves experience outdoor teaching. This study is a qualitative study in which data were collected through themed interviews. Individual interviews involved five class teachers from grades 1 to 4, who regularly used outdoor education at least twice a month. The data was analysed using data-driven content analysis. Theoretical research consists of outdoor teaching, teaching in urban learning environments and teaching in natural environments. I also researched effects of the natural environment on well-being and learning. The results show that the most popular out-of-school learning environments were forest, library, and learning environments for physical education. The most popular subjects were environmental studies, Finnish language and literature, physical education, and mathematics. Outdoor education consisted of action-based learning, like playing, games and inquiry-based learning. Teachers used outdoor education to improve well-being and teaching, to develop a relationship with nature and to increase action-based learning. Teachers’ own preferences were also one of the reasons to teach outside the school building. The need for pupils’ support did not increase in outdoor education. Instead, pupils benefited from studying particularly in nature. In outdoor education, the role of the teacher was most often as an instructor or a fellow learner. Benefits of outdoor education included improvements in well-being, in social relations, and in learning. There were more room for diversity in teaching and in pupils when learning outdoors. Pupils also had more responsibility outside of school building. Outdoor education also created a genuine interest to learn more. The challenges in outdoor education included advance preparation, challenges brought by students, unpredictability of teaching, lack of resources, difficulty in prioritizing, and changes brought by weather. Teachers felt that pupils liked outdoor teaching and the parents mostly supported teaching outdoors. Emotional support was usually provided from the working community, although other teachers did not always share same values. Teachers needed support for outdoor education, for example extra adults, equipment, planning time, money, a more functional local environment, and community support and assistance. By identifying the challenges in outdoor education, we can better support teachers’ work in out-of-school learning environments.