03 July 2014

11 Jul (Fri): Seminar on "Learning Outside the Classroom"

Ever wondered what evidence-based research has to say about the benefits of learning outdoors and spending time in wild habitats?
Find out at this seminar organised by Vilma D'Rozario and Susanna Ho. For teachers, nature lovers and the general public. All are welcome!


All are warmly invited to join us for an afternoon seminar on “Understanding the Educational and Well-Being Implications of Learning Outside the Classroom” held at the Raffles Institution Innovation Centre Block H Year 5 & 6 Campus.

Date: 11 Jul 2014
Time: 2 to 5pm
Venue: Raffles Institution

The seminar is free but pre-registration is required at www.tinyurl.com/notjustawalkinthepark
Registration closes 8 Jul, 1000hrs.

Outdoor and environmental education as place-responsive pedagogy: An Australian perspective.
Dr. Alistair Stewart, La Trobe University, Australia.

Australia is home to many species of flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth. Since the arrival of Europeans in the 1700's Australia has undergone a substantial change in land ownership and use that has resulted in declining ecological health of many landscapes. With the rise of ecological consciousness in the broader community, outdoor education in south-eastern Australia has evolved over the last 20 years to include philosophies and pedagogy that are socio-ecologically critical. In this presentation I will discuss my efforts of the last 15 years to bring outdoor and environmental education together to develop place-responsive pedagogy.

Natural Connections and outdoor learning in England
Sue Waite, Associate Professor (Reader), Plymouth University, UK.

Assoc Prof Sue Waite will briefly share some thoughts and images about outdoor learning in England, focusing on a current project, Natural Connections, as an example. Reflections on how cultural influences shape what is desirable and what is possible to offer in mainstream schooling will be suggested with an invitation to everyone to consider how these may impact on the meanings of and motivations for outdoor learning in their own context.


Empowering Rural Youth through Environmental Education and Ecotourism: A Case Study from a Malaysian Fishing Village
Dr. Serina Rahman, UMCares - The Community and Sustainability Centre, University of Malaya, Malaysia.

A group of youth aged 9-18 were trained as coastal habitat monitors in a long-term outdoor environmental education programme. Their knowledge allowed them to gain recognition as local habitat experts as they were also trained as ecotourism guides and gave talks, performances and wrote newsletters for the local community and visitors. As a result of the programme, the youths' ambitions changed and academic results and personal behaviour improved. The wider community was also engaged through the programme and environmental awareness, concern and behaviour evolved through the initiatives and activities by the youth.

More about the speakers

Dr Alistair Stewart is the current Head of Department of Outdoor and Environmental Education, La Trobe University, Australia. His teaching and research interests include place responsive outdoor environmental education, natural~cultural history pedagogy, and autobiographical curriculum inquiry.

Dr Sue Waite is a Reader in the Institute of Education, Plymouth University, UK. She leads a large outdoor teaching and learning project, Natural Connections, enhancing the use of local natural environments for curricular learning in primary, secondary and special schools. She has researched and written extensively in the field of outdoor learning including Forest Schools, wellbeing from woodlands and transition from early years.

Dr Serina Rahman is the Community Engagement Manager in UMCares, University of Malaya. Her expertise is in community engagement and marine environmental education. Her passion lies in getting young people outdoors and in the sea - or on the beach doing yoga. Her day job is to encourage researchers, staff and students in the University of Malaya to go beyond their regular scope of duty and give back to those in need.

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