I want to start this blog by reiterating two things many teachers and educators already know:
1) Engaging children with fun and interesting lessons makes learning so much easier.
2) Encouraging children to learn and develop outside of the classroom helps foster a love of learning, increases self-confidence, and helps build grit.
With this being true, I want to do a short post on: Learning outside of the classroom!
Explorative play and experiential learning activities outside of the classroom have the potential to positively impact the lives of young people. Whether it be setting up a lemonade stand, planting flowers, playing make-believe, or even creating YouTube videos, these types of learning experiences help lay the foundations for shaping a child’s growing knowledge, confidence, self-awareness, and personal identity. On top of this, this type of play and exploration has been shown to help children develop grit, creativity, communication skills, and teamwork skills – all skills that will serve them well in the future.
And if that is not enough, children who engage in explorative play and experiential learning activities outside of the classroom often achieve better grades at school, have greater levels of physical fitness and motor skill development, have increased confidence and self-esteem, display enhanced leadership skills, and are often more socially competent and environmentally responsible than their non-playing and non-experimenting peers.
This being the case, isn’t it time for parents and teachers to bring ‘playtime’ back? Isn’t it time to encourage our kids to experiment with tasks and activities (suited to their maturity and experience levels) and let them learn by doing? Yes, that’s right! It is that time!
Learning outside of the classroom in action.
Check out this video by Jenny – a perfect example of a young person learning by doing.
1) Communication skills
2) How to edit a video and use a camera
3) Researching skills (I am sure she looked up what other YouTubers do to make cool videos)
4) Grit (I am sure she had to redo certain sections – not giving up until the task was complete.)
5) The power of social media (I am sure she is learning more about the power of social media.) and how to use it for the right reasons.
I am sure Jenny learned many other things too, many of which won’t become apparent until later in life when she draws on these skills to help her at school, university, or in her profession.
In closing I would like to just say this - Let the children play, create, and experiment, it’s good for them!
Thanks for reading,
Keep English (and Education) Real!
Malone, K. (2008). Every Experience Matters: An evidence based research report on the role of learning outside the classroom for children’s whole development from birth to eighteen years. Report commissioned by Farming and Countryside Education for UK Department Children, School and Families, Wollongong, Australia.
Gopnik, A. (2012): Let the children play, it's good for them. Smithsonian Magazine.