Understanding the effects on students and student learning through teaching mathematics and science in an experiential all-outdoor classroom
Haiderer, Michael John.
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Outdoor education has been on the decline over the past few decades as funding for education has been reduced and the importance of standardized tests has increased. I wanted to see if I could teach the same math and science standards that students would learn in a traditional school setting in the context of outdoor education. This study tested the effects on student learning and students themselves through their participation in an experiential all-outdoor classroom. Outdoor education is a teaching method, not a subject. I took students on four day long trips to learn math and science standards through experiential learning in the outdoors. The triangulation method was used to answer my purpose of study question. Pre and post test were used to determine how each student learned. Pre and post interviews and surveys were used to gather students' thoughts about their participation in the outdoor classroom. The results showed that students experienced high levels of learning through participation in an all-outdoor classroom. Additionally, the outdoor classroom was a positive learning experience, and all students interviewed expressed interest in attending in the future.