Book Review

Children Learning Outside the Classroom: from birth to eleven
Edited by Sue Waite. 2011, London: Sage. By Mel McCree University of Gloucestershire http://melmccree.wordpress.com/ Since first reading, I have not stopped recommending this book to anyone involved in the quest to take learning outside; teachers, early years practitioners, support staff, playworkers and students. To my mind it is the best book to be written on the subject to date. Many books have described different learning experiences, extolled the benefits and given examples and reflections, yet this book goes further, as both a thorough interrogation and a Haynes-style manual for practitioners. If, at any point in your planning, you stop and wonder what you're doing and why, the many points for practice highlighted within will enable you to deepen your understanding and strengthen your delivery. It is a book you can dip into time and time again to refresh your thinking and from which to draw inspiration. I often open it just to ponder one of the many useful questions it includes. In this way, you are guided to form your own point of view and at no point does the writing become evangelical. Challenges are raised and unpacked from different angles. Sue Waite is well known in the field for good reason. Her in-depth research as a fellow at the University of Plymouth has charted the growth of outdoor learning for primary aged children and subsequently the many challenges we face in initiating it. The many wellknown chapter authors all contribute to a complete addressing of outdoor learning across all approaches, subjects and the curriculum. The book begins with Waite's chapter on theoretical perspectives, considering just what makes an outdoor learning experience different and encouraging you to develop your own theory and frameworks, with a broader concept of learning and different ways of viewing the relationships between place, pedagogy and learning. The chapter underlines the overall theme of the book, not that outdoor learning is relevant for everyone, but exploring what in outdoor learning is relevant to your practice, your learners and community and how you address it.

numeracy. (edt). London: Sage. Cite . A further set of chapters is dedicated to outdoor learning 'outside the box'.The further chapters are subject specific. finishing with helpful steps to help settings develop good policy and practice. when and how it might be a good thing for you. humanities. to reflect and unpack your thoughts. Forest Schools. Further. full of valuable tools to take the leap with informed knowledge and clear goals. science. .Waite. covering literacy. yet reading this book will help you clarify what you think about it and why. community and cultural visits. 'schooling alone cannot educate a child' and drawing on place. school gardens. I often work with practitioners starting out on the journey to taking learning outside. Waite's final chapter gives an appreciation of how learning outside the classroom contributes to curricular objectives and gives a strong foundation for lifelong attitudes. arts and physical education. S. where. it is valuable to the experienced outdoor practitioner. “Children Learning Outside the Classroom: from birth to eleven”. residential centres. written by experts in their field. environmental education. This book would be a worthwhile addition to any practitioner or trainee's reading list. nature and community affords a much richer potential for everyone involved. National Parks. As Waite points out. 2011. struggling to find relevance and ownership of the process. Learning outside the classroom may be seen generally as a 'really good thing' for children.

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