GreatMindsThinkOutside
Contents
1.
What are the benefits of learning/teaching outside?
2. What can I teach outside?
3. What about weather?
4. What about perceived risks/dangers?
5. How do I ensure that my students are learning outside?
6.
How do I get my principal/teachers/parents on board?
7. Do you work with children under 5?
8. How long are your sessions?
9. How many people can be included in a session?
10. Is there a cost?
11. Do you do school yard identification of animals and plants?
12. Do you include children with mental and physical handicaps?
13. Where do you offer your sessions?
14. Do you do follow-up workshops?

1. What are the benefits of learning/teaching outside?


All the senses are stimulated, thereby increasing the capacity to learn. Recent studies document the many ways in which learning outside and being in nature contribute to mental, physical and emotional health, as well as positive social development, greater self-confidence, and improved academic outcomes.

Here are a few resources:
Outdoor Education - Research Summary
https://www.uwsp.edu/cnr-ap/leaf/school-grounds/documents/outdoor%20education%20research%20for%20school%20Grounds.pdf
What does the research say about outdoor learning?, English Outdoor Council
http://www.englishoutdoorcouncil.org/research.in.outdoor.learning.html
Children who play outside more likely to protect nature as adults, University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus, March 17 2017
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170317102447.htm

2. What can I teach outside?

Everything you teach in the classroom can be taught outside. Some subjects are obvious, but with some creativity other subjects do lend themselves to learning outside.

3. What about weather? 

There is no bad weather; you just have to dress for the weather. We will show you some techniques.

4. What about perceived risks/dangers?

Prevention by ensuring your learning area is checked for hazards beforehand is the best strategy. We also encourage setting boundaries around the play area for high energy games.

5. How do I ensure that my students are learning outside?

Check for understanding through discussions and inquiry. Take the time to debrief at the end of each session.

6. How do I get my principal/teachers/parents on board?

Explain the mental and physical health benefits along with the increased learning that can occur outside. We have sample letter to help with this.

7. Do you work with children under 5?

Yes, we work with all age groups.

8. How long are your sessions?

Our sessions are preferably at least 3 hours. Shorter sessions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

9. How many people can be included in a session?

As many as you want! Most of the sessions are co-facilitated by two trainers. We can accomodate bigger groups depending on the availability of the trainers.

10. Is there a cost?

Yes. However, subsidies are available for the 2017-2018 school year. Please contact us for more information.

11. Do you do school yard identification of animals and plants?

Yes, we do.

12. Do you include children with mental and physical handicaps?

Yes, we can with the assistance of the child’s teaching assistant.

13. Where do you offer your sessions?

The sessions are offered on site, where the educators work (schools, daycare, community centers, etc.). By being where they actually teach, they will learn to see the possibilities in their own school yards. 

14. Do you do follow-up workshops?

Yes, we do check in with participants to see how the teaching is going and we also provide follow-up workshops focussed on teaching particular subjects or themes outside. 
FAQ