Outdoor education provides opportunities to develop positive relationships with the environment, others, and ourselves through interaction with the natural world. These relationships are essential for the wellbeing and sustainability of individuals, society, and our environment.

Outdoor education engages students in practical and active learning experiences in natural environments and settings typically beyond the school classroom. In these environments, students develop the skills and understandings to move safely and competently while valuing a positive relationship with natural environments and promoting the sustainable use of these environments.

Our approach to Outdoor ​Education

Proactivity has partnered with Cameron Barry from Outdoor Education Solutions Australia (OESA) to deliver our programs with a high level of expertise. Cameron, with over a twenty-year outdoor education teaching career, has witnessed this development of leadership firsthand, seeing students continually building character, confidence, passion, and perseverance. He has seen alumni of schools he has taught at go on to become “incredible young adults. They are determined, selfless and service oriented. They know how to improvise and make things happen.” He finds that this kind of curriculum “creates resilient, really determined, passionate future leaders, and global thinkers.”

Some of the proven benefits of outdoor education

Kinesthetic/Experiential Learning

Some children excel in school with just worksheets and lecture. But most students have better comprehension of academic concepts when they can touch, feel, and do. They want to see the leaves, do the experiments, touch the insects. Active, kinesthetic learning is not only more memorable, but has also been proven to improve overall student concentration and improved behaviour.

Teamwork

Outdoor activities and games naturally lend themselves to group work. However, in the less controlled setting outside the classroom, students need clearly designated responsibilities. When working outdoors, I regularly assign specific roles to each student in the group. This cooperation, teamwork, encourages peer relationships, and team problem-solving while students work towards a common goal. The type of teamwork and critical-thinking skills that are encouraged in a group setting are some of the most important skills that potential employers beyond their school days look for later in life.

Academic Performance

It probably comes as no surprise that outdoor lessons and environmental education programs are shown to boost understanding of curriculum taught indoors. Effective outdoor education takes the curriculum off the page and allows students to experience learning with their hands, hearts, and minds.

Real World Problem-solving

Outdoor education experiences can provide students with important critical thinking skills. These skills are crucial to help the wider society solve a plethora of issues in which there is no “right answer”. These societal problem-solving experiences provide them with skills they will need to tackle real-world issues later in life as well.

Cameron encourages all teachers and school leaders to get their students outside whenever possible. Even for the smallest experiences or tasks. The benefits to you and your students will be evident for years to come.

Through interdisciplinary activities used in outdoor education, children and young people can develop and apply their knowledge, understanding, enterprise and organisational skills, creativity, teamwork, and other leadership-based competencies.

Talk to us about how Outdoor Education can benefit your students.

Enquire about Outdoor Educaiton Programs

The importance of Group Dynamics and Leadership in Outdoor Education

Early Years (3-5 yrs.)
Introduction to care for others during outdoor activities

E.g. buddy systems, staying together, reporting if your buddy is not happy

Foundation (5-6 yrs.)
Introduction to care for others during outdoor activities

E.g. buddy systems, staying together, reporting if your buddy is not happy

Yr. 1-2 (6 – 8 yrs.)
Introduction to personal responsibility during outdoor activities

E.g. Checking have right things needed to eat and enjoy outdoors, communication responsibilities

Yr. 3-4 (8-10 yrs.)
Introduction to natural consequences. Introduction to group roles and responsibilities

E.g. Impact of preparing well. Introduction to group roles such as leader, front-marker, navigator. Introduction to group responsibilities such as group food preparation

Yr. 5-6 (10-12 yrs.)
Introduction to leadership

E.g. Leadership tasks, roles, and methods for effective group functioning during outdoor activities

Yr. 7-8 (12-14 yrs.)
Introduction to skills and knowledge for effective group functioning

E.g. Group task and maintenance roles during a lightweight expedition and how these can impact on the overall achievement and enjoyment of the experience

Yr. 9-10 (14-16 yrs.)
Leadership styles during outdoor journeys

E.g. Situation leadership, and leadership for different group outcomes such as exploration, education, recreation

Yr. 11-12 (16-18 yrs.)
Leadership styles during outdoor journeys

E.g. Situation leadership, and leadership for different group outcomes such as exploration, education, recreation


The Health Benefits to Outdoor Education

Early Years (3-5 yrs.)
The importance of fresh air and open space for play

E.g. Allow time for running, jumping, rolling, climbing, laughing, and exploring

Foundation (5-6 yrs.)
The importance of fresh air and open space for play

E.g. Allow time for running, jumping, rolling, climbing, laughing, and exploring

Yr. 1-2 (6 – 8 yrs.)
Identifying open space play options

E.g. excursion to nearby National Park, beach or forest and identifying activities that take place there

Yr. 3-4 (8-10 yrs.)
Engaging in outdoor recreation in open space

E.g. Introduction to games and activities that require little/no equipment in open space areas

Yr. 5-6 (10-12 yrs.)
Finding out about outdoor recreation resources

E.g. Investigating ways of engaging in outdoor recreation in local area and what supports there are such as clubs and community activities

Yr. 7-8 (12-14 yrs.)
Benefits of outdoor activities for health and wellness

E.g. Investigate how experiences in nature can improve physical and psychological health.

Yr. 9-10 (14-16 yrs.)
How to access clubs and resources. Differing recreation options in parks and reserves

E.g. Participation in local community outdoor activity

Yr. 11-12 (16-18 yrs.)
Introducing healthy outdoor activities to others

E.g. Design an introduction to canoeing or bushwalking program for residents

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