I have watched this episode of The Simpsons many times and always wanted to do something with it.
It gives me a lot to think about, and I know that I have a lot of work to do to improve my outdoor opportunities. Sometimes I don’t always feel confident with the open ended nature of learning outside, I don’t always know how to plan it and how to explain it to others. Sometimes we are not prepared for weather with the right clothes and I know that is always the best times to be outside (puddles, mud, snow). Sometimes I’m not always prepared to take the risks involved in climbing, building etc.
I always look to educators like Alistair Bryce-Clegg @ABCDoes and his early years blog www.abcdoes.typepad.com for inspiration and guidance. My friend has been lucky enough to have training sessions from an Early Years outdoor education provider recently. The message from this training said that being outside is all about the risk taking. It’s no use taking inside activities outside, we should be providing risks. As adults who apparently spent more time outside in our childhood, roaming the fields and streets, we have many more tales to tell of the risks we took. My friend recognises children need to be outdoors at school more because children spend less time outside at home. But, she asks if any of your tales of the risks you took outside are ones happened in school time?
We are talking about something like this:
Nonetheless, we both agree we need more opportunities for outdoor education and improved provision. I have had a few successes in the last few years, and I’ve blogged about one of my favourites here: https://enabling-environments.co.uk/2011/05/21/education-for-sustainability/
Here’s The Simpsons and what they have to say about outdoor education in these 4 clips I have chopped up to support this case. Enjoy and discuss by posting comments below, I’d love to know what you think to these clips.
The Theory: watch here
The Wow Moment: watch here
The Risk: watch here
The Child’s Voice: watch here