#studywithCREC - Learning Outdoors Module Returns


We're delighted to announce that our popular Learning Outdoors in Early Childhood MA module is back from this September!

The renewed module will be led by Kathryn Peckham who shares some of her thoughts on the importance of Outdoor Learning below.

Learning Outdoors in Early Childhood

The benefits of holistic approaches to early child development are well known; capturing a child’s imagination and developing independent, self-motivated confidence and curiosity, essential in developing young minds.

Nowhere captures this potential more than when learning outdoors. 

However, with only 9% of boys and 10% of girls aged 2-4 achieving their physical activity recommendations of 3 hours a day (DofH, 2016) we are seeing the least-ever active generation (British Heart Foundation, Physical Activity Statistics 2015) with UK children, including the very young, averaging 24 hours of screen time a week. 

Whilst children are keen to embrace the outdoors, influential adult role models are gatekeepers to this play, resulting in often limited or denied experiences that hamper the forming of lifelong healthy habits (PHE, October 2014).  

Guided by confident and appropriately trained practitioners, children explore and experience outdoor learning through all their senses, which for some may be their only opportunity to do so.

By addressing concerns over logistics, potential risks and the pull of more sanitised indoor pursuits and electronic devices (McClintic and Petter, 2015; Waller, 2007), reluctance to outdoor learning expressed by staff and parents can be examined as the importance of encouraging and supporting continual access to engaging natural environments from birth becomes clear. 

However this doesn’t happen independently, so throughout the renewed MA module in Learning Outdoors, we will engage in critical dialogue around these, and other, highly relevant issues. 

From free-play to directed whole class opportunities, the unique and unpredictable freedoms and dynamic potential of natural outdoor learning environments will be explored. 

Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences promoting outdoor learning from their own settings and lead a piece of action research to develop an area of practice within their school or setting, to improve outcomes for their pupils.

A bit more about Kathryn

Kathryn Peckham is an Early Childhood Consultant and author with many years experience bringing about progressive change in a wide range of early childhood settings and environments.

Through active participation with All Party Parliamentary Groups, lecturing, writing and research in early childhood, Kathryn remains in the best position to offer progressive, achievable advice to all who work with her.

Kathryn's various books and publications reflect her belief that every child has the right to the best start in life, to enjoy their early years - not as preparation for a life about to begin - but as a busy time of intrinsic value where they strive to make sense of their world, becoming increasingly enchanted by it.

Specialities: Early childhood development; School readiness; Outdoor Play; Parents as partners; Child-initiated play; Adult interactions.

For more information about the Learning Outdoors in Early Childhood MA module with CREC, including 2017/18 course dates, fees and entry requirements, please visit the MA Module page, here.


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