‘There is no better way to study science than to collect and analyse data in your own yard’: Outdoor classrooms and primary school children in Bangladesh

Matluba Khan, Sarah P. McGeown, Mohammed Zakiul Islam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The design and use of outdoor spaces for primary school teaching and learning has been given little consideration in the present context. The existing evidence base is mostly from western perspectives. In this study, an outdoor classroom was designed and built in a primary school in Bangladesh and used to teach children (n = 30) their science curriculum. Multiple methods were used to investigate the impact of the outdoor classroom on students’ learning and engagement, including achievement tests, a questionnaire and focus groups with children and teachers. Children’s science scores were significantly higher after they had been taught outdoors, compared to indoors. Physical qualities of their outdoor classroom (lighting, acoustics, seating), in addition to greater enjoyment and active participation in learning likely explained improved attainment. Qualitative insights from children and teachers supported the quantitative findings. These results provide empirical support for building outdoor classrooms as an effective environment for teaching and learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-230
Number of pages14
JournalChildren's Geographies
Volume17
Issue number2
Early online date19 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • outdoor classroom
  • science
  • mixed methods
  • attainment
  • engagement
  • Bangladesh

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