Environmental and Outdoor Education

Environmental and Outdoor Education LogoIn the AMDSB, we are committed to:

  • outdoor teaching and learning; and 

  • action for the environment.

It is through spending time outside that we develop ecological literacy and caring attachments to the land. 

Knowing the land where we live and learn will help our students and staff develop greater concern and responsibility for the more-than-human world and to become active agents for environmental change.

Benefits of Outdoor Learning

Outdoor learning enhances: 

  • creativity and inspiration;
  • problem solving skills; and
  • ability to focus.

Outdoor learning develops:

  • a greater sense of belonging outdoors;
  • curiosity about the places where we live and learn; and
  • responsibility to care for the more-than-human world.

Outdoor learning means:

  • moving more and sitting less;
  • stress relief; and
  • improved mood.

Outdoor learning allows for:

  • less individual work and more collaboration;
  • building a sense of identity; and
  • improved resilience and self-regulation.

Outdoor learning offers:

  • greater context for learning;
  • enjoyment and interest; and
  • motivation.
  • Edwards-Jones, A., Waite, S., & Passy, R. (2018). Falling into LINE: school strategies for overcoming challenges associated with learning in natural environments (LINE). Education 3-13, 46(1), 49–63. Long Marston: Routledge.
  • Fagerstam, E., & Grotherus, A. (2018). Secondary School Students’ Experience of Outdoor Learning: A Swedish Case Study. Education (Chula Vista), 138(4), 378–392. Project Innovation.
  • Harvey, D., Montgomery, L., Harvey, H., Hall, F., Gange, A., & Watling, D. (2020). Psychological benefits of a biodiversity-focussed outdoor learning program for primary school children. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 67, 1-8. Article 101381.
  • Mann, J., Gray, T., Truong, S., Sahlberg, P., Bentsen, P., Passy, R., Ho, S., et al. (2021). A Systematic Review Protocol to Identify the Key Benefits and Efficacy of Nature-Based Learning in Outdoor Educational Settings. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(3), 1199-. Switzerland: MDPI AG.
  • Mann, J., Gray, T., Truong, S., Brymer, E., Passy, R., Ho, S., Sahlberg, P., et al. (2022). Getting Out of the Classroom and Into Nature: A Systematic Review of Nature-Specific Outdoor Learning on School Children’s Learning and Development. Frontiers in public health, 10, 877058–877058. Switzerland: Frontiers Media S.A.
  • Martin, W. (2016). By the numbers: the benefits of outdoor learning. The Times Educational Supplement, (5220). London: TES Global Limited.
  • Outdoor Play Canada. (n.d.). Position statement on active outdoor play. https://www.outdoorplaycanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/position-statement-on-active-outdoor-play-en.pdf

Schoolyards

Schoolyards are the most reliably available space for engaging in outdoor learning.

We are committed to creating outdoor learning spaces at all schools that are accessible, inclusive, safe, and useful for all staff and students in all seasons.

Outdoor and Environmental Education LogoEquity, Inclusivity and Diversity logo