Purchase Article
Account Credit $18.50
Article Cost $0.40
Balance of Credit $18.10
Confirm

The cost of your purchase will exceed your credit of . Click here to be taken to your account to purchase more credit.

Did you know that your version of Internet Explorer is out of date?
To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend downloading one of the browsers below.

Internet Explorer 10, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.

LIMITED TIME OFFER: Receive 10% off your first credit purchase (Example: Buy a $10 credit but get billed for only $9)!

Advanced Search
Secondary Science Outdoors
How high school science teachers include outdoor activities in their lessons
Back
June 19, 2017
Green Teacher

Why do high school students have fewer outdoor experiences than their younger counterparts? Some teachers cite a lack of resources while others point to the sheer amount of content needing to be covered in each course leaving limited time, if any at all, to bring their teenage students outdoors. Despite the obstacles, there are numerous benefits to combining the outdoors with classroom learning when teaching teens. Outdoor settings are ideal for cross-curricular learning that can help students make connections, enhance their skills across different subjects, and renew their enthusiasm.[i] Students can also develop their interpersonal skills by getting to know their class and teacher better through sharing outdoor experiences.

Julieta de los Santos

To better understand how outdoor learning might work in high schools, we spoke with five high school science teachers in Alberta, Canada who frequently use outdoor settings to engage their students. These teachers were chosen based on their use of the outdoors, and we found that they have the following things in common. For these teachers, the outdoors is viewed as an educational setting where students can apply their knowledge and develop a scientific lens to understand the world outside of school. Socially, they feel classroom dynamics improve after returning from an outdoor experience. For example, instead of students competing with one another, they help each other. In turn, the learning atmosphere becomes more positive and the classroom is more of a learning community rather than a group of individual learners. As well, each of these teachers uses outdoor settings to complement indoor learning, rather than to replace or displace it.

To help empower other high school educators, we asked each of these science teachers to share outdoor activities they find particularly effective. In the following, we provide a brief general description of how to do each activity with the understanding that each teacher has their own style of teaching and not all activities will be replicated identically. These examples are meant as a starting point to alter in whatever way the inspired teacher reading this article sees fit, rather than a specific set of “how to” instructions for each activity.


Free Article. Click to Read Further.
Prev
Top Selling Articles
/
View All
Next
EcoParent | Sep 13, 2012

Jeff Baxter writes about experiential education in the Canadian Arctic.

 
Green Teacher | Apr 28, 2016

“As safe as necessary” versus “as safe as possible”: what the research tells us

 
EcoParent | Apr 15, 2015

With the uneasy spectre of GMOs looming everywhere and the often prohibitive cost and difficulty of accessing a good variety of organic produce, you may be thinking of giving your own garden a go.

 
Alternatives Journal | Apr 3, 2017

If first-time parenthood sounds too easy, why not make a whole bunch of additional, fundamental lifestyle changes and become EcoParents instead? Brave or stupid – maybe a bit of both – that’s how we did it around here.

 
Green Teacher | Jan 18, 2017

A student-centered approach to reducing the urban heat island effect on campus

 
Green Teacher | Apr 28, 2016

A place-based education program that could bring hands-on discovery into K-5 classrooms in your community.

 
EcoParent | Jul 16, 2013

Old and new traditions converge at Tawse Winery’s certified biodynamic vineyard.

 
Inroads Journal | Sep 21, 2017

There’s a way to stop housing prices from rising further out of reach in Vancouver and Toronto

Green Teacher | Apr 28, 2016

Inspiring nature-focused values and habits in young children

 
Alternatives Journal | Jul 12, 2017

With ecology-focused planning tools, communities will reap the benefits.

 
Green Teacher | Mar 24, 2017

FOR LUCY SPRAGUE MITCHELL, the founder of Bank Street College in New York City, education was larger than the school building and greater than the book.

 
Green Teacher | Jan 20, 2017

A country’s most valuable asset is its youth. When passionate about local concerns, they can provide the impetus for positive change and become environmental stewards.