A Review of Research on Outdoor Learning

January 7th, 2004 | RESEARCH

There is growing concern that opportunities for outdoor learning by school students in England have decreased substantially in recent years. In response to this, and recent Government calls for ‘schools to make better use of the outdoor classroom as a context for teaching and learning’, the Field Studies Council (FSC) and several partner organisations commissioned the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) to undertake a review of research on outdoor learning.

This document summarises the key findings of this review, which critically examined 150 pieces of research on outdoor learning published in English between 1993 and 2003. The literature encompassed three main types of outdoor learning with primary school pupils, secondary school students and undergraduate learners:
• fieldwork and outdoor visits
• outdoor adventure education
• school grounds/community projects.

The project was undertaken during a six-month period from August 2003 to January 2004, and was funded by the Field Studies Council, Department for Education and Skills, English Outdoor Council, Groundwork, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.



Team Members

Mark Rickinson, Author, National Foundation for Educational Research
Justin Dillon, Author, King's College London
Kelly Teamey, Author
Marian Morris, Author
Mee Young Choi, Author
Dawn Sanders, Author
Pauline Benefield, Author


Funding Source: Other
Funding Amount: £27,900


Audience: Administration | Leadership | Policymakers | Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Evaluators | Learning Researchers | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Undergraduate | Graduate Students | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Education and learning science | Geoscience and geography | Life science
Resource Type: Literature Review | Research Products
Environment Type: Higher Education Programs | K-12 Programs | Park | Outdoor | Garden Programs