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In education, both classroom and outdoor learning are significantly important, as they both bring their own benefits.
For classroom learning, students and the teacher are confined and restricted in classroom settings, whereas outdoor learning usually allows for more freedom for lessons and activities, so teachers and students can engage with nature.
In this article, we will explore the five main benefits of outdoor learning.
Helps Them Self-Develop
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As students learn outdoors, they are no longer confined to the comfort of the usual classroom lessons and activities.
They will learn what to do when they get thrown into an entirely new situation, and this ability can help them thrive in the future.
They will learn how to be more independent and build their confidence when facing obstacles. It’s even better when the teacher organizes activities outside, not just lessons.
Improved Physical And Mental Well-Being
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It’s widely recognised that education in Singapore is extremely stressful and rigid, which leads to the rise of mental health cases in our country.
Students need the occasional stress relief breaks that they can get during lessons, and outdoor learning is a good way to get them.
Research shows that when humans spend more time basking in nature, their mood improves as well as their overall mental well-being.
It also improves their physical well-being since they get to move around and stretch rather than just sit in their classrooms for hours on end. All of this also applies to the teacher in charge.
Fostering Social and Emotional Development
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Outdoor learning also creates opportunities for students to interact and bond more with their fellow classmates.
This is especially true when there are activities conducted outdoors, be it group or individual. Students will learn to rely on one another and work together to complete the activities.
This helps to build their social and emotional skills, as well as their confidence to navigate challenges with others.
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Learning outdoors and getting exposed to nature more often means that students will be more aware of their surroundings and how the environment works.
For example, they can observe the biodiversity in nature and learn how different living organisms survive in nature.
This deepens their knowledge and understanding of the outside world and motivates their desire to take care of the planet in their own ways.
This also develops a sense of responsibility and determination to preserve the beauty of the environment.
Improved Creativity and Critical Thinking
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When students get exposed to learning in nature, they get exposed to so many new and different things that wouldn’t be possible in the classroom.
They get to explore nature, which has no limits or structure as compared to the classroom. This helps to build their curiousity and wonder for the world and expand their imagination and creativity.
Additionally, learning and completing activities in outdoor settings require the students to use their critical thinking skills and adapt to their surroundings in order to overcome challenges.
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Fortunately, outdoor learning has become more widely recognised as the years go by, as schools have created lessons and trips solely for that, such as overseas Values-In-Action (VIA) trips.
Incorporating outdoor learning into the educational curriculum further contributes to the growth of students and teachers.