What Does Outdoor Learning Look Like? These Parents And Educators Have Ideas

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Kids might be getting a larger dose of the great outdoors this year.

This month, the company is installing 14 custom outdoor classrooms in northern Ontario from Wawa to Sudbury, he says. That’ll be followed by installation of 16 classrooms in the province’s southern half.

Bienenstock says he began worrying about the impact of COVID-19 back in December, when he was first alerted to a possible pandemic by his father John Bienenstock, a renowned expert in mucosal immunology and director of the Brain Body Institute at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton. Despite strong interest, Bienenstock says signing up boards and schools typically involves a lengthy, bureaucratic procurement process and so some parents have skirted those hurdles by sourcing their own logs for cheaper and less-complicated seating areas they can install themselves.Galati says an arborist has agreed to give her school free tree trunks that can be used as outdoor seating, but efforts to collect other donated items including tarps and yoga mats were unsuccessful.

“One of the things we’ve discovered is that we won’t be allowed to have our nutrition programs running so there’ll be no breakfast, lunch, or snacks, which is a huge issue in our neighbourhood.”As an Indigenous woman, Galati says she hopes outdoor learning experiments will include land-based teachings, which use an Indigenous and environmentally-focused approach to education that addresses physical and spiritual connections to the land.

“There’s also a lot more mental health issues and substance use we’re seeing in the community, so in our local playground we’ve been finding a lot more needles and pipes and stuff,” says Galati, whose kids are ages 5 and 11. Rina Diaz of the Surrey District Parents Advisory Council questioned the value of outdoor learning if those same kids would still be exposed to infection risk by indoor classes, bussing to school, and extracurricular activities.Because school gyms have been deemed off-limits, Nova Scotia’s back-to-school plan encourages outdoor classes, but especially for physical education.

Source: Education Headlines (educationheadlines.net)


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