Forest and outdoor research project

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Oak Tree nursery participates in Institute for Education’s research into outdoor forest experiences

Vicky Towell, Deputy Manager at Bath Spa University’s on-site setting, Oak Tree Day Nursery, joined Senior Lecturer Dr Lone Hattingh and a group of undergraduate and postgraduate students on a field trip to Denmark in December 2016, to study play pedagogy in three outdoor settings in Copenhagen. Vicky commented on the resilience of the children, who were able to sustain their activity despite the cold weather. They were able to explore freely and to focus and reflect on their play while they immersed themselves in the natural environment as they climbed, explored, and examined their surroundings.

This field work related to the Institute for Education’s Forest and outdoor research project, a multiple case study which explores outdoor pedagogy in a number of settings in Denmark, England and in the USA with our GALA partner at SUNY Geneseo. The Nursery is participating in the English case study, and will be contributing to the final report. The project aims to explore shared understandings of outdoor forest experiences in order to facilitate a deep understanding of the ways in which children benefit from forest and outdoor experiences.