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IOL Field Studies PPG

IOL Field Studies PPG Home Page

About the Field Studies Professional Practice Group

 

The Field Studies Professional Practice Group is made up of members who are engaged in, or have an interest in delivering study led programmes in Field Studies or Environmental Education. Many members are based at residential centres, but we also have members who organise day visits either at private venues or work in partnership with other organisations. Both Fieldwork and Environmental Education are long established ‘branches’ of outdoor learning and members have a wealth of experience to share.

Aims; Our main aims are to be the specialist voice of Field Studies and Environmental Education; to ensure this voice is not lost. To share good practice among organisations and practitioners and aid the personal/ professional development of all those working in Field Studies and Environmental Education. To promote Field Studies and Environmental Education both regionally and nationally, using all the contacts and resources at our disposal.

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Field Studies PPG Committee

Chair - Tom Davis - Email Tom

Secretary - Vacancy

Treasurer - Nikki Rutter

Committee: - James Dawkins, Tom Humphreys, Matthew Smith, Karen Wheeler

 

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Standards

The IOL Field Studies Professional Practice Group is committed to shaping and developing good practice in field studies, fieldwork and environmental education with organisations, teachers, leaders and instructors.

 

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IOL Accredited Training

Attend an IOL Field Studies Professional Practice Group event and benefit from the experience, passion and collective wisdom of professionals in the field.

 

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Resources

Get in touch with the committee to get answers to your question, no matter if it is big or small.

 

Field Studies Events

Field Studies News

Annual Geographical Association Conference Report

Annual Geographical Association Conference Report

The end of April saw the Annual Geographical Association Conference at Surrey University which was well attended with around 750 delegates from the UK and abroad. Members of the Field Studies PPG attended the conference as exhibitors and delegates. Thanks goes to Cranedale and Keith Mitchelmore who invited us to share their exhibition space with our banners - very much appreciated.

The IOL Field Studies PPG represented at Ken Hoy Memorial Gathering

The IOL Field Studies PPG represented at Ken Hoy Memorial Gathering

As some of you may be aware, a memorial gathering was held for the late Ken Hoy in Epping Forest on Friday 21st April. He was a key figure in our sector for many years and his memorial was well attended.
 
IOL and the FSPPG was represented by Chas Matthews and Tony Thomas. Here are some comments and memories from them both....

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Field Studies? Does ‘Fieldwork’ mean something different to ‘Field Studies’ is there a difference between the definitions?

Different people tend to use different words and may mean different things, but the terms ‘Fieldwork’ and ‘Field Studies’ are often used in the same way; usually to mean the academic or practical study of the natural world and the interaction between people and the natural world, most commonly within the subjects of Geography, Geology, Biology and Environmental Science. Most of these subjects require ‘field work’ (by which the exam board or curriculum usually means a practical investigation) as part of the criteria for completing the course.

What about Environmental Education? Is that different?

Again; some people might describe their work as Environmental Education rather than Field Studies or Fieldwork, but they are likely to be doing much the same thing, or at least talking about similar topics in their practise. Most of the variation between FS PPG members is in the setting or style in which they work with groups, but most are delivering courses about the environment, landscape, natural world or human relationships with those things.

Didn’t you used to be called NAFSO? What happened there?

Yes; an organisation called NAFSO – the National Association of Field Study Officers existed for many years as an independent membership organisation, promoting the work of centres and providers in this sector of outdoor learning. It was decided in 2015, to join the Institute of Outdoor Learning and become a Professional Practise Group, to increase access and awareness of the work of the group and to work more closely with others in outdoor learning. It’s going very well so far..!

What does a typical Field Studies session look like?

There are quite a range of possibilities! One classic example might be a river investigation. Students visit various points along a river and collect data about the river, including width and depth, but also looking at the surrounding environment, the landscape, and the human activity in the area. Depending on their age and academic level they might focus on particular areas, or practise measuring techniques, or just be aiming to learn some geography in a fun way..! This might take a large part of the day and involve walking or travelling by minibus or coach to different parts of the river.

What qualifications do you need to tutor/teach/deliver/be a practitioner of Field Studies?

There isn’t a fixed, universal definition of what qualifications are required, but many centres will use a ‘relevant degree’ as a minimum pre-requisite. This is because schools will often expect centre staff to have a degree, especially if they are facilitating sessions and courses to A-level standard. Some centres recruit staff with teaching qualifications also. It does depend what level of course or session the centre is running though – some providers may be running simple guided walks and just require bags of enthusiasm! Just like in the adventure activities world, it really depends what is being delivered.

How can I bring Environmental Education or Field Studies into my adventure sessions?

That’s probably too big a question to answer here, but it’s exactly the sort of issue our members will be really happy to help you with. Just get in touch with us, or perhaps you could consider joining the group and meeting lots more members who can help you?

 

 

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