Teacher and student perceptions of an outdoor classroom
A six-week study was conducted with two kindergarten teachers and 37 kindergarten students aged five and six to determine their perceptions of teaching and learning in a traditional indoor classroom compared to a newly constructed outdoor classroom. This mix-methods study took place in a charter school located in the southeast region of the United States. Observational data was collected in both the outdoor and indoor learning environments during the literacy block called “LMNOP time” as well as during recess or “free time.” The teachers and children were also surveyed and interviewed. Of the 37 children who participated in the study, five of the children had special needs. Quantitative observations and qualitative interview records were analyzed to compare the impact of the learning environments on children with and without disabilities. The data revealed that both the teachers and the students reported an increased perception of wellbeing, pleasure, and interest when teaching and learning in the outdoor classroom. In addition, research assistants noted that the children with disabilities were less distracted and more on-task when working in the outdoor classroom.
Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Guardino, C., Hall, K.W., Largo-Wight, E., Hubbuch, C. (2019) Teacher and Student Perceptions of an Outdoor Classrooms. Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education, 22(2), 113-126.