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Learning Outside the Classroom: Healesville Sanctuary
Transcript of Learning Outside the Classroom: Healesville Sanctuary
and Community. Healesville Sanctuary
day excursion What the research says Environment Community References Movement, environment and community approach provides a different perspective to teaching and learning.
The MEC approach incorporates and integrates a variety of learning opportunities for students and teachers; both formal and informal.
According to Rea and Waite (2009) students remember and get more out of learning outdoors as they do not perceive this type of approach as "learning".
As supported by Beames, Higgins and Nicol (2012), the approach asks teachers to take students outside for formal teaching. Why is it that we only allow students outside in their P.E specialist hour when they can learn and adapt their learning more realistically through experience and hands-on practice in other critical areas?
MEC allows more opportunities for cross-curricula learning and in a meaningful way that students will respond better to than a classroom type situation. Outdoor learning can be cross curricula and interdisciplinary allowing opportunities for students to move beyond the four walls of the classroom (Beames et al. 2012).
King (2011) states there is more engagement with the whole school and wider community through outdoor learning projects.
The learning capacity and engagement of students in play-based learning and group experiences is often underestimated (Harrison, 2012). This notion is also supported by Rea and Waite (2009) who see these as a means of encouraging creativity and inspiring motivation for lifelong learning.
Outdoor learning provides opportunities for environmental experiences and personal engagement with nature that are not provided for in the mainstream classroom (Gray, Martin & Boyle, 2012).
The Healesville excursion reflects the Education for Sustainability theories that Kemmis and Mutton (2012) discuss in their article "Education for Sustainability (EfS)".
The excursion will involve balancing between safe challenges for students and landscaped flexibility of teachers and learning opportunities (Waite, 2011). Waite (2011) states learning opportunities that will be opened up seem more authentic as they will be more grounded in real life situations at the Healesville Sanctuary. This excursion incorporates an overall environmental theme through:
Extinction of species.
Damage to ecosystems through human impact - through overuse of precious resources; toilet paper, electricity, gas etc.
Different habitats for different animals.
Sustainable living; how we can do it better in the future.
Global warming; the impact humans can and have had on the environment.
Pollution and its consequences especially with regard to habitats.
Rubbish and its effect on the environment. There are many ways that this excursion could be extended to connect with and include the wider community outside the school.
Through students passing on the 'sustainability' message.
Student driven campaigns
stop littering march
"clean-up community Fridays"
recycling and scrap paper initiatives
recycled toilet paper campaigns, etc.
"Adopt-an-animal" community style.
Switch off electricity hour Sunday's. Beames, S., Higgins, P. J., & Nicol, R. (2012). Introduction and overview [from 'Learning outside the classroom: theory and guidelines for practice'] Learning outside the classroom: theory and guidelines for practice. New York: Routledge.
Elliot, S. (2010).Children in the natural world. Young children and the environment: early education for sustainability. Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press.
Gilbert, R., & Hoepper, B. (2011). Teaching Society and Environment (4Ed). Cengage: Australia. Chapters 13 & 18, pp. 240-246 & 348-362.
Gray, T., Martin, J., & Boyle, I. (2012). Outdoor education and the Australian National Curriculum. Professional Educator, 11(4), pp.16-18.
Harrison, C. (2012). Watching the children watching Play School : indicators of engagement, play and learning. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37 (4), p.44-50.
Holden, S. (2010). Excursions and good risk management. Teacher; n.216 p.36-37.
Kemmis, S., & Mutton, R. (2012): Education for sustainability (EfS): practice and practice architectures, Environmental Education Research, 18:2, 187-207.
King, J. B., & Charuckyj, C. (2011). Students are MAD at Moreland with MEPA. Eingana, 34 (1), p.22-23
Rea, T., & Waite, S. (2009). International Perspectives on Outdoor and Experiential Learning. Education 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education, 37(1), pp. 1-4.
Waite, S (ed). (2011). Children Learning Outside the Classroom from Birth to Eleven. SAGE: London. Chapter 1, pp. 1-18
Healesville Sanctuary Website information and images sourced at:
www.zoo.org.au/healesville The MEC approach to teaching and learning Pedagogical Possibilities Connections with Curriculum "The national curriculum could provide a mandate for every child to experience the natural world based not on a scientific or sociological study, but on direct, instinctive and personal engagement with nature" (Gray, Martin & Boyle, 2012).
Levels 5 and 6 using AusVELS and the National Curriculum: Movement This excursion incorporates movement for the students in terms of:
Them walking from enclosure to enclosure.
Observing different animal movements (bird flight for example in "Spirits of the Sky")
Bus trip to get to Healesville
Life cycle of animals - stages
Opportunities for playing in the playground The excursion is a zone 3 that requires group transport as it is further away than a local neighborhood (Beames et al. 2012).
For grades 5 and 6 the zone provides the perfect opportunity for students to get together as a group and learn outside the classroom walls.
The Healesville excursion presents many different learning opportunities or pedagogical possibilities for the students in all areas, from maths and literacy, to geography and environmental studies.
As stated by Rea and Waite (2009) 'it is these outdoor experiences that students will remember' so we as teachers must make the most of these learning opportunities.
Healesville Sanctuary has the capacity to provide a rich range of activities with a group or individual focus to suit different students in their learning needs.
Students will have the opportunity to explore, research and investigate throughout the sanctuary and back in the classroom. Literacy:
Reading information about animals
Taking brochures for future research or project use
Discussing and asking questions of the guides and their peers
Using orientation and mapping to find animal enclosures
Life-span of animals
Costs involved in keeping animals
Distances between enclosures Learning across the curriculum:
Through taking classes outdoors, or to a zone outside the school, can be an extension of and an integral part of classroom activities that are linked to the ‘formal’ curriculum (Beames et al. 2012).
There are many links with the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2011) that can be made through the excursion to Healesville Sanctuary including the integration of subject areas.
Education for sustainable development:
Getting students to understand the global implications of our daily actions and taking responsibility for these through examples from the Healesville Sanctuary.
Using Kemmis and Mutton’s (2012) theory that “if they [students] know what they could and should do for the environment, they can act on that knowledge”.
In support of Beames et al. (2012) belief that this will help students foster their own ethic of care and sustain it by building strong relationships with the natural world
Learning through local landscapes:
Using the Healesville excursion, students can look in their own local environment to make connections with culture and the land they live in and who they share it with, including living organisms (Beames et al. 2012). They can develop their own
Harnessing student curiosity:
Jeff King (2011) discusses his findings through the “MAD – Making A Difference” campaign at Moreland Primary School where they took a trip to the Melbourne Zoo so much further than the classroom. To give them a “broad adventure” that provides situations that students can consider different courses of action which directly affect them and others (Beames et al. 2012).
Encourage the students to ask questions and take the answers as far as they want to, inside and throughout the wider community. Eight Guidelines for Outdoor Planning (Beames et al. 2012) Enabling students to take responsibilities
The Healesville excursion could extend throughout the community similarly to King’s (2011) findings of children taking initiatives beyond the school to local and connections with global issues.
“Changing the social-political relationships between people and other living and non-living things in the world” (Kemmis & Mutton, 2012).
Building community partnerships:
Using the MEC approach (Beames et al. 2012) we can work across age, gender and race to promote well-being and develop aims towards a better future for all.
Engagement with the community can establish wonderful meaningful and life-long connections which can be very powerful when student-driven and indeed very empowering (King, 2011).
Through the Healesville Sanctuary excursion students can take action into the community to initiate the change that they would like to see in the school and wider community (King, 2011).
Administration and risk management:
For the Healesville Sanctuary excursion I must ensure that I have assessed all risks and recorded them in a risk assessment table, written consent forms for all students, any dietary and allergy notifications, an emergency action plan, outing checklist available at all times (including names and contact numbers in case of emergencies), and be constantly monitoring and recording any incidents (Beames et al. 2012).
Students can take responsibilities through their own risk assessment and hazard brainstorm before the excursion to ensure they understand the strategies and appropriate behaviour to use.
Supervising people outdoors:
As stated by Beames et al. (2012) and reiterated by Steve Holden (2010), we must ensure that our students are safe and properly prepared for the outdoors. In terms of the Healesville excursion, there must be adequate supervision provided for the amount of students (Holden, 2010). Literacy:
ACELA1500 ACELY1699ACELY1796ACELA1516ACELY1709ACELY1816ACELY1714ACELY1704 Mathematics:
ACMMG141 Interpersonal Development
Civics and Citizenship
In terms of community projects and raising ideas or issues and initiatives to solve these.
The Humanities - Geography Science: