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IOL Blog - Comment from the Institute





Joined Up and Affective!

IOL CEO Andy Robinsons' - 'Perspective' piece in Horizons magazine 81

(Adjective) Relating to moods, feelings, and attitudes. English Oxford Living Dictionaries

You might reasonably accuse me of banging on a bit about the need for affective experiences in and through the outdoors.  It’s not only me getting excited about the role of outdoor learning experiences that involve significant feeling or emotion.  Natural England’s Strategic Research Group are also clear that environmentally sustainable behaviour and healthy lifestyles are a product of affective experiences in nature.  The concept of Nature Connectedness, so clearly spelt out in DEFRA’s recently published 25 year environment plan, is based on affective experiences leading to personal relevance and care for the natural environment.

So what are we doing about it?  Well quite a few things actually and I’m keen that we all consider the role we play in ensuring that the role of outdoor learning is well understood and valued.


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Outdoor Learning: It’s not just an educational thing

IOL CEO Andy Robinsons' - 'Perspective' piece in Horizons magazine 80

Outdoor Learning:  It’s not just an educational thing
With the increasing emphasis in education on evidence base and sharing of good practice it is possible to lose perspective when outdoor learning meets national and local government aspirations.

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Outdoor Learning: a standalone exercise?

Perspectives article by Andy Robinson, IOL CEO, from Horizons 79

The recently published report by the Department for Education into Character Education (August 2017) could be viewed as an exercise in re-branding but I think there is more to take from it than that.  The reference to character traits in the report such as resilience, self-esteem and confidence, communication skills, self-regulation, perseverance and motivation, respect, tolerance and empathy, may lead an outdoor learning professional to think that they might be at the heart of a school’s approach to delivering Character Education.  Think again!  The survey of schools behind the report makes little to no reference to outdoor learning.

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Categories: IOL Blog





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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Categories: IOL Blog





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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