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IOL Blog

IOL Blog - Comment from the Institute

 

30

Jan

2019

We’re making progress...but where have all the youth workers gone?

IOL CEO Andy Robinsons' - 'Perspective' piece in Horizons magazine 84

Author: Institute

There had many reasons to pause and reflect in the last quarter.  The reasons include a clear endorsement of a more joined up sector from the HSE, a very encouraging and stimulating sector wide conference and the passing of Roger Orgill, a key influencer of the shape the Institute for Outdoor Learning is today.  All this and more has prompted me to revisit our common purpose as Outdoor Learning practitioners or put another way, to reflect on why we are striving to ensure what we all do is better understood, is more impactful and better valued?

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Article rating: 5.0

15

Oct

2018

Getting it together

IOL CEO Andy Robinsons' - 'Perspective' piece in Horizons magazine 83

Author: Institute

As I write this we are stepping up preparations for the 2018 UK Outdoor Learning Sector Conference. Its inception, planning, content and ultimately the event itself, has and will be representative of the evolution of the Sector in recent years. It will be attended by a wide variety of folk from a wide range of different outdoor learning practice areas, some long established and some more recently developed.

If you attend you will bump into people with a passion for ensuring the value placed on outdoor learning and the numbers participating continue to grow.....

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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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4

Jan

2017

It’s all about social mobility

Ministers’ of state come and go and those with a portfolio for education and training are no different.  There are obviously many challenges associated with frequent change of leadership in this way.  A significant one for those of us seeking a change to the value placed on outdoor learning is the emphasis and terminology associated with some of the key outcomes of high quality outdoor learning. 

The increasing focus on ‘character education’ driven by the previous administration appears to be gently fading....or is it?  My experience at a recent forum in Westminster was that though terminology and emphasis may have shifted the desired outcomes remain the same.  It is those desired outcomes of higher levels of educational engagement and attainment, increased employability, commitment to a role in wider society and responsibility for the environment we live in, that also remain key outcomes from well designed and facilitated outdoor learning activity.

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Article rating: 3.9

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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