Teachers across the country are desperate to inspire their pupils and find creative new ways to engage and educate. But the challenges of increased classroom sizes, prescriptive syllabus and constant testing can create barriers to reaching a diverse range of individuals and learning styles that has a knock on effect to the whole class. So how is it possible to provide individual focus whilst working with a whole group? And how can it be that society’s entrenched desire to avoid ‘risk’ and ‘failure’ can be used to achieve where traditional methods fall short?
We believe our friends in the Outdoor Education and Adventure industry might have the answer... But we’re not the only ones…
“Children who spend time learning in natural environments ‘perform better in reading, mathematics, science and social studies’. Exploring the natural world ‘makes other school subjects rich and relevant and gets apathetic students excited about learning’.” - King's College
Well designed Outdoor Adventure activities can be used to liberate children’s personal development through an accelerated focus on working together, sharing resources, creative problem solving and managing risk in ways not easily possible in formal environments.
By exposing students to risk and not flinching at the prospect of failure, young people can test their boundaries and learn to exceed them in a safe and fun manner. Individuals will often learn to find the courage and self-esteem that leads to a respect for their peers and their teachers through the intensity of the experience and how they manage the perceived risk.
The fundamental element of this learning process is change. Outdoor education supports change because it is about adventure, discovery and exposing individuals to real life dramas. The output of this change process, amongst many positive benefits, is an improvement of those intrinsic social skills that are so difficult to liberate in school such as leadership, successful relationships, creative thinking, determination and how to manage feelings.
In order to liberate your teaching we challenge you to adopt a new maxim - ‘There’s no such thing as failure – Only feedback’; and explore an alternative paradigm by deliberately exposing individuals to ‘a bit of risk’. Creativity by its very definition is about thinking outside the box, so in order to make a shift in creative thinking, you could do well take your thinking outside the classroom.