Extending Core Science
F.A.O. Seán Doyle
Outdoor learning provides great opportunities for students to become motivated to learning. It can offer a contrast to the usual indoor classroom learning environment. Outdoor experiences can help students to become stimulated sparking off fascination, and breakthroughs in their personal learning, (IOL, 2010).
It is suggested by Salford City Council (2003) that, ‘educational trips and visits provide a valuable opportunity for young people to participate in positive experiences, which are not available to them in the classroom, or youth centre. These trips and visits can enable young people to develop their initiative, resourcefulness and independence.’
According to Braund and Reiss (2004) when outdoors the formal context of the classroom begin to ‘break down’ and the learning approaches and teacher expectations. Teachers can find this a problem or an opportunity. This will only become a problem if the teachers do not realise that ‘different sociocultural expectations’ apply in these experiences and if pupils are told from the beginning what is expected of them educationally and behaviourally, it should not present a problem.
Rickinson et al (2004) suggests that, even though there is a substantial amount of evidence in outdoor learning to raise attainment in pupils and improve pupils’ attitudes towards the environment, there is also evidence that there is a restricted amount of outdoor learning in the UK, particularly in science.
According to Varville et al (2005), children between the ages of 9-15 understand about genes and inheritance and the scientific vocabulary such as gene and DNA. Therefore pupils in Key Stage 2 would understand the concept of cloning at a simple level. Jones (2005) also suggests that DNA and genetics should be taught explicitly in primary schools, as pupils have watched films such as Jurassic Park. This suggests that...