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“Outdoor Learning” or “Learning Outdoors”? What’s the Difference?

November 16, 2020

Read Juliet Robertson's blog post about the importance of outdoor learning.

‘I’d like you to image a scenario where you are standing in a classroom and there is a choice of 2 doors to get outside. Both are brown. When you open either of them, they lead into the school grounds or a forest or a beach or any other place outside.

You turn to your colleague and ask which brown door you should open. She looks at you, shakes her head and says “Hmm… well the door on the left is the brown door, but the door on the right is brown. You need to know the difference, my friend.” At this point you would probably be wondering why your colleague is being grammatically pedantic. Does it really matter whether you say “The door is brown” or “The brown door”? Perhaps you have gone down a rabbit hole like Alice and hadn’t realised such differences matter in this strange new world.

If you look at my book title, it’s called “Dirty Teaching: A Beginner’s Guide to Learning Outdoors“. When asked what I do for a living, I state that I am an education consultant who specialises in outdoor learning and play. I use “outdoor learning” and “learning outdoors” interchangeably. It is a normal and natural thing to do. This is in line with national guidance within Scotland. There is not one single national document that advocates a difference between “outdoor learning” and “learning outdoors.”’

Read the full blog post here.

Click to find out more about Juliet’s books Messy Maths and Dirty Teaching.


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