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Why take young children outside? A critical consideration of the professed aims for outdoor learning in the early years by teachers from England and Wales

Bilton, H. and Waters, J. (2017) Why take young children outside? A critical consideration of the professed aims for outdoor learning in the early years by teachers from England and Wales. Social Sciences, 6 (1). 1. ISSN 2076-0760

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/socsci6010001

Abstract/Summary

This comparative study between Wales and England was undertaken to better understand what influences or drives the professed aims for outdoor provision of early years teachers; specifically the extent to which professed aims reflect the research-based literature common to both countries, and/or statutory curricular, which differs in each country. The research gathered quantitative and qualitative data through an online survey. Participants were teachers of children aged four to five years working in the respective country’s University partnership schools. Partnership schools are those who work with the University to train teachers. The findings suggest Welsh teachers aim and plan to use their outdoor spaces explicitly for curriculum-related learning more so than their English counterparts who appear not to identify such specific curriculum-related learning outcomes but to emphasis personal/social/dispositional aspects of development for young children when outside. This research indicates how the divergence of education-related policy and curriculum appears to have impacted upon the way practitioners express their aims for outdoor learning in England and Wales. The values underpinning the relative curricular documentation appear to emerge in the intended practice of early years teachers in both countries. The values underpinning the academic discourse related to provision for outdoor activity is much less prominent in the responses to the surveys from English and Welsh teachers

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:68786
Publisher:MDPI Publishing

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