Learning Outside the Classroom: Theory and Guidelines for Practice, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Learning Outside the Classroom

Theory and Guidelines for Practice, 1st Edition

By Simon Beames, Pete Higgins, Robbie Nicol


130 pages

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pub: 2011-08-16
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Learning Outside the Classroom 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.


"Learning Outside the Classroom is a well-written, accessible and carefully structured book that is equally applicable to educators wherever they are working. The arguments and ideals of Beames, Higgins and Nicol build a robust foundation for engagement with the outdoors as central to the purposes and practices of all education."

Australian Journal of Outdoor Education

"This excellent book should prompt us all to reflect on whether we need to get out more. It includes new teaching ideas and masses of justification for teachers who already make some use of outside spaces, as well as reassurance and practical guidelines for thoese who have become too classroom-bound."

Learning & Teaching Update

Table of Contents


1. Introduction and overview

2. Learning across the curriculum

3. Sustainable development education

4. Local landscape

5. Harnessing student curiosity

6. Enabling students to take responsibilities

7. Building community partnerships

8. Leading people outdoors

9. Administration and risk management

10. Putting it all together: Developing an action plan to take learning outdoors

About the Authors

Simon Beames is Lecturer in Outdoor Education. He is creator of the Outdoor Journeys program - a cross-curricular outdoor learning initiative for school children – and a frequent speaker and workshop-leader for teachers (in training and practising) about how they may 'take learning outdoors'.

Pete Higgins is Chair of Outdoor and Environmental Education. He is a member of a number of national and international advisory groups on outdoor and environmental education. For the past 10 years he has been a government advisor on outdoor learning and a member of a UNESCO group working to re-orient teacher education to address sustainable development.

Robbie Nicol is Lecturer in Outdoor and Environmental Education. He is a board member of a number of non-governmental organizations, charities and professional institutes, including the European Institute of Outdoor Adventure and Experiential Learning.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Aims & Objectives
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Non-Formal Education