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Thu Jul 2, 2020, 11:18 PM

"Outside Schools Are Trending. But Are They Feasible?"

Last edited Thu Jul 2, 2020, 11:56 PM - Edit history (1)

"Outside Schools Are Trending. But Are They Feasible?" By Devan McGuiness, Fatherly Magazine, July 2, 2020. Sure, it all looks good on paper.

The end of the school year was a stressful one for everyone. A lot of kids have been out of the classroom since March and were thrown into distancing learning—with no time to prepare for the challenge. As some schools across the country now begin planning for the upcoming school year, experts and data are pointing to the benefits of having school outside. But, while the data may show outside school being an option, is it really feasible? Experts agree that closing school was the right thing to do to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. But no one realized just how hard the pandemic would hit. At first, parents believed the closing of the school would last only a few weeks.

However, it quickly became clear that we were in this for the long haul. Schools closed for the year, but as officials start planning for the new school year, there’s a lot of questions about what it’s going to look like—and data is coming in from everywhere.
- The idea for outside school reportedly came from Denmark. Surprisingly, Denmark was able to reopen schools and daycare sooner than anywhere else and was the first country in Europe to do so—mainly due to the focus on outdoor learning. “The morning is spent doing maths or science, where we include children who are still at home, via Zoom,” Claire Astley, a teacher in Vester Skernige, on Fyn told The Local.

“Then we’ll go outside and do activities like digging in the school garden, getting tadpoles from the lake, or going on bike tours to the forest or beach.” And it had a positive impact on the students, too. “The shorter school day, which is from 0800-1300, the emphasis on outside projects and smaller class groups has actually improved behavior,” Claire said.
Italy’s education minister announced its school plans to incorporate outdoor lessons to safely reopen its school year in the fall, according to The Local. Scotland will be utilizing the city’s parks, natural heritage centers, and woodlands as outdoor classrooms when its school year begins in August, Edinburgh Live reported. Ontario, Canada has reportedly been looking into the potential of outdoor classes as well.

- All of this looks good on paper, according to the data. These schools aren’t just getting the idea of outdoor schools from thin air. According to statistics from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the spread of COVID-19 is much higher indoors vs outdoors. “Activities are safer if you can maintain at least 6 feet of space between you and others because COVID-19 spreads easier between people who are within 6 feet of each other,” the CDC stated. “Indoor spaces with less ventilation where it might be harder to keep people apart are more risky than outdoor spaces.”
And this is backed up by a study out of China where researchers found that out of 7,324 coronavirus cases, just one stemmed from the transmission that happened outdoors. “All identified outbreaks of three or more cases occurred in an indoor environment, which confirms that sharing indoor space is a major SARS-CoV-2 infection risk,” the study concluded. And that’s huge, and it’s no wonder why schools are looking at how to continue education outdoors, where the risk of spreading the virus is lower.

- Experts say that kids should return to in-class learning as soon as possible...

Read More, https://www.fatherly.com/news/outside-schools-september-data/

ALSO: "Education Advocates Push For D.C. Schools To Have Outdoor Classrooms," June, 2020.

- DDOT Urban Forestry Outdoor Classroom - Langley Elementary School, Oct 18, 2019.
The DDOT Urban Forestry Team has partnered with a few schools in Washington D.C. to supply them with wooden benches and seats for their outdoor classrooms. For more information about the Urban Forestry Division visit their website. https://ddot.dc.gov/page/ddot-urban-f...

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Reply "Outside Schools Are Trending. But Are They Feasible?" (Original post)
appalachiablue Jul 2020 OP
Karma13612 Jul 2020 #1
appalachiablue Jul 2020 #2
MontanaMama Jul 2020 #3
appalachiablue Jul 2020 #4
MontanaMama Jul 2020 #5
appalachiablue Jul 2020 #6
NickB79 Jul 2020 #7

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Thu Jul 2, 2020, 11:51 PM

1. Sounds great until you hit 32F in January

And toes start to freeze up!!😀

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Response to Karma13612 (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 2, 2020, 11:58 PM

2. You return to the classroom, of course! Alternate

and modify for weather and other factors.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 12:12 AM

3. Wow. Good idea unless

kiddo’s live in MONTANA. Good grief, my neighbor’s son and his girlfriend just went up to the Bob Marshall to do a quick backpacking trip for three days...they got to the trailhead and found themselves in two feet of snow. June 29th.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 12:40 AM

4. Denmark and Scandinavian countries have world-class

education systems and successful partial outdoor learning. Maybe you're right that Montana couldn't manage it.

"Towards an understanding of udeskole: education outside the classroom in a Danish context," Peter Bentsen , Erik Mygind & Thomas B. Randrup, Published online: 13 Mar 2009.

In the past decade, an increasing number of Danish public, private and independent schools have introduced regular compulsory education outside the classroom for children aged 7–16 as a weekly or biweekly ‘outdoor school’ day – known in Danish as udeskole.

An analysis of this form of outdoor education, its impacts and provision has been undertaken. Findings suggest that udeskole can add value to normal classroom teaching especially with regards to health, social and well-being perspectives.

Future recommendations include collaborative strategies between researchers, local government sectors, and educational and landscape planners and managers to improve the impact and provision of udeskole in the Danish school system. Further, it is important to understand this grassroots movement of devoted teachers from both an educational and green management perspective.

Keywords: outdoor education, outdoor teaching, place-based education, use of nature and green space


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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #4)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 12:46 AM

5. Maybe we could manage it.

If Scandinavian countries could pull it off....some of the time. Part of the challenge would be the cold and another would be the darkness.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 02:46 AM

6. As noted in another piece I read, Danes also adjust school

classes for the darkness like other Scandi countries.

Avid nature lovers, some Scandinavian employees arrange work schedules to leave early for a chance to walk, hike or ski a bit before evening. They know the value of exercise and healthy time outdoors.

~ Montana could give it a try!

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sat Jul 4, 2020, 04:47 PM

7. I'm in Minnesota

It's either -30F blizzards, 90F heatwaves, or swarming with mosquitoes in between.

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