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Teachers Network Leadership Institute:
Wyoming Teacher Policy Institute
Cheryl Williams, Wyoming Indian Elementary School, Ethete, WY

GOING TO SCHOOL IN ANOTHER SETTING

Problem  Spending time in a classroom reading words from a textbook that has little to do with real life can be boring to most students and teachers. 
Research Question  How does an outdoor-education-centered curriculum affect student behavior and learning?
Methods 
  • Student work 
  • Photographs 
  • Anecdotal notes 
  • Field notes
Findings 
  • Students looked forward to going outside to learn.
  • Once students understood behavioral expectations and what kind of product was needed there were no behavior or management problems when outside students’ sense of self confidence improved with time spent outside. 
  • Students’ ability to express them self in written form improved.
  • Students showed increased engagement with and enthusiasm for learning.
Policy Recommendations Increasing outdoor education with students will develop their knowledge, understanding, and appreciation for the environment, community and natural surroundings Increasing outdoor education with students guided by facilitators using proven educational practices helps students move toward constructing their own learning.

 

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