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Learning about the past: exploring the opportunities and challenges of using an outdoor learning approach

Harris, R. ORCID: and Bilton, H. ORCID: (2019) Learning about the past: exploring the opportunities and challenges of using an outdoor learning approach. The Cambridge Journal of Education, 49 (1). pp. 69-91. ISSN 1469-3577

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/0305764X.2018.1442416


This paper examines the potential of outdoor learning for supporting children’s understanding of and attitude towards history. A class of primary school children participated in an intensive experiential, residential history programme. A range of data were collected before, during and after the residential programme, and the findings suggest that the experience had a positive impact on the children’s attitude towards history, and enabled many of the children to be able to recall easily highly specific factual knowledge. However the children’s understanding of history as a provisional construct was not developed, as it was not a strong feature of the programme. Nor was the experiential nature of the experience fully exploited. Overall the study suggests that such a programme has the potential to support children’s learning of the past, but a deeper understanding of history, drawing on the benefits of outdoor learning pedagogy needs to be planned for more explicitly.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:75257
Uncontrolled Keywords:history education; outdoor learning; experiential learning; primary education
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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