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Research, sustainability and learning
Bridging the gap between science and the practice of learning for nature, the environment and sustainability
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Making Connections at Grantown Grammar School

Making Connections at Grantown Grammar School | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

This is the story of a fascinating secondary school project that was launched in 2007. "Making Connections" is an interdisciplinary programme encompassing themes of global citizenship, sustainability, international education and enterprise linked to practical outdoor learning experiences within the Cairngorms National Park.

 

The initial focus was on developing global citizens, sustainable development education, enterprise and the four capacities (Curriculum for Excellence). It has been improved and extended each following year. It can no doubt inspire other schools considering whole school approaches to outdoor learning!

 

Download the report:

http://cairngorms.co.uk/uploads/documents/Learn/JMA_grantowngrammar_130130_v1.pdf

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EVIDENCE of NATURAL CHANGE Case studies from the Scottish education sector

EVIDENCE of NATURAL CHANGE Case studies from the Scottish education sector | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

By Margaret Kerr & David Key

June 2013

 

The Natural Change (NC) Project works with people who hold  positions of influence in society, offering them potentially  life-changing experiences of wild places. It then goes on to support the growth of these personal experiences into leadership and social action for an ecologically sustainable future.

 

This report presents six case studies of participants from the education sector. The studies demonstrate that there is a strong link between taking part in the Natural Change Project and taking action to help create a more sustainable society.

 

The data show that participants have engaged in

several specific types of social action as a result of

their Natural Change experiences.

1. Influencing policy

2. Creating professional networks

3. Community development

4. Organisational development?

5. Conducting research

6. Extending skills

 

You can download the report at: http://www.naturalchangefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Evidence-of-Natural-Change-Case-Studies.pdf

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Natural Play. An evaluation of GfL's project work with eight primary schools in Central Scotland

Natural Play. An evaluation of GfL's project work with eight primary schools in Central Scotland | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

A growing body of evidence suggests that play has a significant impact on almost every area of children’s lives. It also suggests that children have significantly fewer opportunities for non-prescriptive ‘free play’ than previous generations have enjoyed.

 

Most children spend at least 2000 hours of their life in a school playground, probably more than in any other outdoor play setting. Despite this, many UK schools do little to create the kind of rich play environments and experiences that we know are important for children.

 

In other parts of Europe, play is viewed as a crucial aspect of school life – and their playgrounds and play practice are radically different from what we know here in the UK. (see for example our case studies on the radical approach taken by schools in Berlin).

 

With support from Inspiring Scotland, we embarked on a 2-year project with 8 Scottish primary schools to explore whether some of these more ambitious European-style ideas could be adapted to a UK context and to assess what the benefits of this approach might be for children.

 

This report summarises the approach we took, the lessons we learned and the impact of these projects on children and schools.

 

January 2012

 

Read more: http://www.ltl.org.uk/pdf/Natural-Play-Evaluation-Report-1332848772.pdf

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Conversations about learning for sustainability

Conversations about learning for sustainability | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

Case studies of Scottish schools and early years centres to mark the conclusion of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014).

 

The launch of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) on 1st January 2005 marked the start of a collective global effort to integrate the principles, values and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and learning, in order to address the social, economic, cultural and environmental problems we face in the 21st century.

 

Scotland embraced the opportunity and the Scottish Government produced two action plans, Learning for our Future and Learning for Change , to set out its ambitions and targets for each half of the Decade. Within the school sector, the biggest achievements have arguably been the embedding of global citizenship and sustainable development education as themes across learning within Curriculum for Excellence.

 

As we approach the conclusion of the DESD in December 2014 we are prompted to reflect on how the reorientation of education towards sustainable development has made a difference at classroom level and how has it improved outcomes for learners, their families and school communities.

 

Education Scotland conducted a series of visits to 20 schools and early years centres between June and September 2014 to seek their views and gather testimonies. Positive outcomes were reported in relation to:

Confidence and skills of learnersLearning experiences and motivation of learnersThe reputation of the centresStaff morale, wellbeing and motivationCommunity partnerships and community spirit.

 

The full report contains case studies from the establishments. Various sectors were included: early years establishments, primary and secondary schools and schools for learners with additional support needs (ASN).

 

Download here: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/Image/ConversationsaboutLfS__tcm4-844123.pdf

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Learning outside the Classroom: Theory and Guidelines for Practice

Learning outside the Classroom: Theory and Guidelines for Practice | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

This book outlines theory and practice that will enable and encourage teachers to systematically and progressively incorporate meaningful outdoor learning opportunities into their daily teaching activities in a wide variety of environments and with diverse populations of pupils. This is the first textbook based around the curriculum for prospective and practising primary and secondary teachers and other outdoor educators. The principles and examples presented are intended to be adapted by teachers to suit the needs of their students in ways that draw upon content offered by the local landscape and its natural and built heritage. Although the focus of this book is ‘the real world’ beyond the classroom, it is also about good teaching — wherever it takes place. While there are chapters on practical issues such as risk-management and supervising groups outdoors, the chapters on curriculum, sustainability, curiosity, responsibility, and educational communities will serve as a valuable guide for anyone interested in applying educational theory to practice.

 

by Simon Beames, Peter Higgins and Robbie Nicol

August, 2011

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Teaching in Nature

Teaching in Nature | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

In this project, teachers from primary and secondary schools across a range of subject areas used collaborative action enquiry to plan and execute pupil excursions to local outdoor natural areas. The outdoor areas visited were designated National Nature Reserves (or other local wild places such as areas of Special Scientific Interest).

 

Teachers were entirely free to try any approach they wish. Each group of teacher-researchers worked closely together, sometimes using a theme or focal topic, to visit their site to conduct planning and to design their class visits. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) staff members acted as guides and also advised on where to find local knowledge about the place. Funds were made available to cover for teachers while they engage in planning / attending workshops.

 

Staff of the University of Stirling and the teacher researchers collected a range of evidence of the activities undertaken. Some of these are on the website in the form of video, audio, pupils' work and teachers' plans and commentaries.

 

Visit the website and learn more about the project: http://teachinginnature.stir.ac.uk/

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