The Use of Outdoor Learning from the Perspective of Preschool Teachers and Principals (Lehte Tuuling, Aino Ugaste, Tiia Õun)
Lehte Tuuling, Aino Ugaste, Tiia Õun The Use of Outdoor Learning from the Perspective of Preschool Teachers and Principals Abstract According to contemporary preschool pedagogy, it is important to create opportunities that involve indoor as well as outdoor learning, thus ensuring varied and creative activities that also provide good conditions of socialization for children� The Estonian national cur- riculum for preschool childcare institutions (2008) emphasizes the importance of studying through games, observation, researching and testing in different environments� The goal of this research was to determine the implementation practices of outdoor education in Estonian kindergartens based on the evaluation of responses made by kindergarten teach- ers and principals� The research method selected for the study was a written questionnaire� A total of 204 preschool principals and 490 teachers from Estonian preschools participated� The findings of the study revealed that teachers’ and principals’ views regarding the pos- sibilities of using outdoor learning in Estonian preschools differ� Typically, principals rated the opportunities and feasibility of using outdoor learning in preschools more highly than teachers� Keywords: outdoor learning, curriculum, teacher and management opinion Introduction Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive impact that being active out- doors can have on the development of a child’s motor skills, health and concen- tration (Hayward, 1974; Barbour, 1990; Fjørtoft, 2000; Serap, Sadettin & Mustafa, 2011)� According to Canning (2010), successful outdoor activities offer flexible opportunities where children engage in imaginative, creative play, develop their communication skills and build relationships with other children and adults� Dedicated time and...
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