A Review of Research on Outdoor Learning

Wednesday, January 7, 2004
Resource Type:
Literature Review | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Park, Outdoor, and Garden Programs, K-12 Programs, Higher Education Programs
Elementary School Children (6-10) | Middle School Children (11-13) | Youth/Teen (up to 17) | Undergraduate/Graduate Students | Administration/Leadership/Policymakers | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Evaluators | Learning Researchers
Ecology, forestry, and agriculture | Education and learning science | Geoscience and geography | Life science
National Foundation for Educational Research, King's College London

There is growing concern that opportunities for outdoor learning by school students in England have decreased substantially in recent years. In response to this, and recent Government calls for ‘schools to make better use of the outdoor classroom as a context for teaching and learning’, the Field Studies Council (FSC) and several partner organisations commissioned the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) to undertake a review of research on outdoor learning.

This document summarises the key findings of this review, which critically examined 150 pieces of research on outdoor learning published in English between 1993 and 2003. The literature encompassed three main types of outdoor learning with primary school pupils, secondary school students and undergraduate learners:
• fieldwork and outdoor visits
• outdoor adventure education
• school grounds/community projects.

The project was undertaken during a six-month period from August 2003 to January 2004, and was funded by the Field Studies Council, Department for Education and Skills, English Outdoor Council, Groundwork, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

Funding Amount: 

Team Members

Mark RickinsonMark RickinsonAuthor
Kelly TeameyKelly TeameyAuthor
Marian MorrisMarian MorrisAuthor
Mee Young ChoiMee Young ChoiAuthor
Dawn SandersDawn SandersAuthor
Pauline BenefieldPauline BenefieldAuthor

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