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Outdoor education - artykuł w języku angielskim

2011.01.24

Educational revolution

Our adventure with outdoor education started on 22 October 2010. On the basis of a new idea of our school- Projekt Licencjacki, we had an opportunity to participate in the outdoor education workshop. That experience was very interesting and it inspired us to devote more attention to this issue.

What is outdoor education?

Outdoor education is one of the newest teaching methods, which is based on learning new knowledge and skills by teaching in a natural surrounding. It is hard to give one definition, because outdoor education is still developing. It is possible that over time definition will be stable. Outdoor education is an interesting experience for students of different ages and at different proficiency levels, but also for the teacher. This organized learning process takes place in a natural surrounding, so students can experience direct contact with the environment and cooperate during active and attractive classes. Team games, forestry stalking or sightseeing, in which the knowledge is passed between the teacher and every student and discovering new possibilities by the students themselves.

Historical backgroung

At the turn of XIX and XX centuries there was a change of direction in education. In 1907 Robert Baden- Powell created the Scouting movement, the purpose of which was to support young people and their psychological and physical development, so that they could play a constructive role in society. This organization is known also in Poland. It is called- harcerstwo.

An important role in developing outdoor education was played German educator- Kurt Hahn, who established schools, the main purpose of which was to teach by using different teaching methods.
It is also worth mentioning forest schools, which precursor among the world was Denmark. The idea of forest schools is based on treating education as a process, which gives someone an opportunity to be more self-confident by practical learning in a forest surrounding.

Many schools in the world are inspired by outdoor education to provide students the possibility to learn by contact with classmates, teacher and natural surrounding.

Main goals and objectives
Outdoor education lets students develop different skills: independence, communication, cooperation in group, activity, resistance to stress, assertiveness, ability to build authority, efficiently managing a team and building self- confidence. By outdoor education students learn how to cope with different situation, deepening contact with nature, which gives them happiness and lets them know beauty.

Classes in the natural surrounding teaches team planning and designation of an appropriate strategy. Students assume full responsibility for the decision they make and activities. It is important to make children aware, that defeat is not bad and they can deepen their knowledge and abilities more effectively by their own experience.

Outdoor education in Poland

Undoubtedly outdoor education is not as popular in Poland as in other countries, although we can observe its development. Pracownia Nauki i Przygody oraz Katedra Animacji Kultury i Pracy Socjalno-Wychowawczej Wydziału Pedagogicznego Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego starts preparations to organize a conference: \'Edukacja przygodą\' which takes place in Autumn 2011 in Warsaw. The main purpose of this conference is to have debates about \'nature education\' and \'education by nature\' Participants of the conference will have an opportunity to change their observations and experiences connected with outdoor education and they will be familiar with the newest research in that discipline.
We carefully observe project \'Szkoła pod Żaglami\' one of the biggest projects of outdoor and adventure education in Poland. The main assumption of this project was to encourage young people to help the needy. The most active volunteers got the possibility to learn and work on the Frederick Chopin vessel, visiting many interesting places.

Unfortunately, the vessel lost its mast sailing close to the British Islands and it needs very expensive repairs. Anyway, children hope that it will be possible to continue their cruise.

Time to practice

Our adventure with outdoor education started with preparing an English lesson, whose topic is: Outdoor activity- practising vocabulary. Although we have not got any experience with this form of lesson we decided to do our best and carefully prepare the lesson.
The lesson took place on 8 November 2010 in Szkoła Podstawowa in Przystajń. Although the weather was bad, everything was held as scheduled. We spent the first few minutes greeting students. We asked them how they are, how old they are and what their favourite colour is etc. to know them better and make them more comfortable. When the students were ready to work, we explained the rules of the game and divided them into 4 groups: pink, yellow, blue and orange. Children were very excited and they were waiting for further instructions with curiosity. Each group had to find 6 envelopes, which were hidden in the playground. Some of the envelopes contained letters in the wrong order and students had to put the letters in the proper order to find key words and some were empty. Finally, they had to create a short story connected with these words. It started to rain, so we had to go back to the classroom to create stories. Students had to be very creative and the task demanded focus. During their work we had an opportunity to observe cooperation between students, which was generated by their desire to win. We controlled their work and helped, when it was necessary. When the stories were ready, students had to present their work to the others. We were very happy with their work, so we rewarded them with sweets and good grades.

It is a pity that we had only 45 minutes, because the lesson went very well and cooperation between students was very nice. Satisfaction was seen and we have to admit that, despite our doubts, we accomplished our lesson plan, which we present below.

Konspekt w wersji angielskiej:
http://www.jezyk(...)neng.pdf

Conclusions and reflections
This lesson has made us aware that outdoor education gives more possibilities for child development. It stimulates children\'s curiosity, shapes cooperation skills and is an active form of spending time. It is an appropriate tool for activating auditory learning style, visual learning style and tactile learning style, because these students like classes, which do not take place in the classroom setting. External stimuli, which surrounds us in the environment may complement the lesson and colorful materials help students to receive knowledge.

Motivation, which our students were led by, is also very important. It is an inner motivation. The most important was satisfaction and happiness with the tasks they did and full participating without any reward. Unfortunately, in Polish schools, students are used to getting marks for each task. In teaching foreign language the most important things should be a desire to learn and tasks, which are prepared to encourage students to focus and derive as much as possible from them.
Now, having our own experience with outdoor education, we are going to based our work on experimental teaching methods. It is a new challenge for teachers, but it is worth to risk. We will remember our lesson, but the most important was students happiness.

Outdoor education development in Poland is very slow, however it is not completely strange. It gives hope that with the time, it will be bloom of this discipline in our country.

Bibliography

Introduction is based on the Internet sources:
http://en.wi(...)ducation
http://www.forestschools.com/
http://en.wi(...)_schools
http://www.szkolapodzaglami.org.pl/
http://www.nauka(...)ge_id=10

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2011-01-25

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