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IOL Blog - Comment from the Institute

 

19

Oct

2017

Horizons Magazine at 20 - a big anniversary and future ideas

Author: Institute

Key editorial by the Editor, Elspeth Mason, from Horizons 79 ahead of the 20th Anniversary issue number 80.

Reflection and future ideas.

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1

Sep

2017

The purpose of your outdoor learning practice

What have you done since the challenge at the 2016 IOL National Conference when  Valerie Hannon asked ‘what is the purpose of outdoor learning?’ and challenged us with the evidence of need for a changed approach to learning in a rapidly changing global community.

So what is the purpose of your outdoor learning practice?  For those working with schools it can be very easy with the regular work of the annual school cycle, to allow sole focus on the immediate learning programme content.  For those working to develop the effectiveness of businesses or provide impactful leisure experiences, the pressure of generating the right level of income can also lead to a short term focus.  Finding the space and asking such high level questions with potentially hard and far reaching answers, requires a change in mindset.  How do you achieve that?

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22

Aug

2016

Obesity and the outdoors

The recently published Westminster government's plan to tackle childhood obesity contains some encouraging elements that encourage regular exercise. The response of the press though has largely been around the responsibilities of the food and drinks industry and the retailers. Surely the debate should be about why people don't adopt healthy lifestyles and not how much tax should be levied on sugary drinks. It's worth reading what is a fairly short paper on the plan to tackle childhood obesity.

The Institute will be responding to the associated consultation. If you have strong views you want represented let me know. If you want to explore this further catch me at the IOL National Conference in October.

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18

Aug

2016

Creating a sustainable culture of outdoor learning in schools

The launch of the reported findings of the largest recent study of outdoor learning in schools, 'Natural Connections', is a helpful contribution to our understanding of the impact of outdoor learning in schools and the key factors that influence positive outcomes.  Less helpful from my perspective is the introduction of yet another acronym to the teacher's lexicon!  I fear that we may add a good deal of confusion with the introduction of the term 'Learning in the Natural Environment' or LINE, as a way of sub-dividing outdoor learning.

Acronyms to one side, the Natural Connections report is worth a read (full report). If you prefer to listen to others describe some key insights Natural England have produced a useful 10 minute film

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12

Jul

2016

Creating higher valued outdoor learning: IOL National Conference 2016

The IOL vision is ‘Outdoor learning as a highly valued form of development, education and employment in UK society’.  The desire to help others derive more value from engaging with the many different forms of outdoor learning lies at the heart of my commitment to IOL.  I’m clear we all need to develop our thinking and practices if we are to achieve this.

The Institute’s National Conference  is a key point in the outdoor learning calendar when we have the opportunity to join up our thinking.  It is a time to be challenged by others, to learn from their experience and to encourage practices that have greater impact and are more valuable for those we work with.  I spent some time over the past year considering what we might need to make the 2016 annual Conference sufficiently challenging, learning opportunity filled and encouraging to IOL’s diverse member population.  The result is an event that draws on innovative practice, academic research and lessons from outside the UK.

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12

 

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