How can place support pedagogy? Application of the concept of cognitive affordances in research and design of outdoor learning environments

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Abstract / Description of output

This paper adopts an ecological approach to describe the opportunities offered by school landscape for children’s curricular learning. The approach is based on Gibson’s concept of affordances which refers to the opportunities offered by an environment to its users. The research conducted in school grounds in two different contexts – Scotland and Bangladesh drew on this theory to examine the relationship between the school landscape and children’s learning. Case study research included application of observation and behaviour mapping in school grounds, and interviews with participants in both contexts. Opportunities for teaching and learning offered by the school landscape in both cases were later defined as ‘cognitive affordances’ by the authors. ‘The concept of ‘cognitive’ affordances’ had limited attention in the field of landscape research. This paper thus introduces and defines the term to understand and study the potential of outdoor environments for development of children’s learning and cognition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalLandscape Research
Early online date25 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Dec 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • school grounds
  • cognitive affordances
  • children
  • learning
  • Bangladesh and Scotland

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