In Finland, we believe that learning happens everywhere: you can capture it in-and-outside the classroom. Our principle is: every place is a place to learn!
Accordingly, the Finnish curriculum encourages schools to get out of the classroom and visit libraries and museums. Using nature as a learning environment has also a strong emphasis in Finnish Education.
Course participants will learn to plan and implement learning outside the classroom in a meaningful, fun, and safe way. They will learn about the key principles and benefits of outdoor learning.
Learning outside gives students a real-life learning experience, which is at the core of deep learning. It provides a challenging, exciting, and different experience for students compared to conventional teaching!
Learning outside also improves student engagement, enhances motivation and enthusiasm, and promotes curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking.
Furthermore, it brings health and well-being benefits: it increases students’ confidence, and resilience, and advances students’ coping, social skills, interaction in the group, and classroom behavior.
Teachers will also experience the power of outdoor education by themselves! They will participate in outdoor learning through hands-on activities and learning by doing.
By the end of this course, participants will have experienced and practiced different outdoor learning methods and activities. Moreover, they will be able to explain these pedagogies to their colleagues and bring a concrete plan to act for change in their school.
The course will help the participants to:
- Understand outdoor learning and its benefits;
- Develop required knowledge and skills for outdoor education;
- Get to know different outdoor education methods;
- Experience and practice practical outdoor activities;
- Design, plan and share outdoor education activities.
Day 1 – Introduction to the course
- Course introduction;
- Team-building activities;
- Presentations of the participants’ schools;
- Key principles and benefits of outdoor learning.
Day 2 – Places outside the school for learning
- Use of public places for learning;
- Visit the award-winning central library of Helsinki, Oodi, and other public places;
- Outdoor Activity:
- Helsinki: Visit to Helsinki city museum;
- Oulu: Visit to Oulu City Library and Northern Osttrobothnia Museum.
Day 3 – Well-being in nature
- Teaching about emotions in nature;
- Outdoor Activity: Mindfulness practices in nature.
Day 4 – Teaching outdoors in the urban area
- Pedagogical outdoor games;
- The use of Apps for teaching in the urban setting;
- Experience and practice outdoor activities in the urban area.
Day 5 – Collaborative work
- Practical work: designing and planning outdoor activities;
- Security and safety plan;
- Sharing best practices;
- Outdoor Activity: dialogue walk.
Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities
- Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
- Excursion and other external cultural activities.