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Asher Cooper
Asher Cooper

Understanding The Danish Forest School Approach: Early Years Education In Practice (Understanding Th

This fully revised edition of Understanding the Danish Forest School Approach is a much needed source of information for those wishing to extend and consolidate their understanding of the Danish Forest School Approach. It enables analysis of the essential elements of this particular approach to early childhood teaching and the relationship it holds with quality early years practice.

Understanding The Danish Forest School Approach: Early Years Education In Practice (Understanding Th

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The current edition provides an excellent introduction to Danish early childhood education and the principles and pedagogy of forest school. The publication is well organised, the key points and implications at the end of each chapter are useful guides. The text is concise and readable by a broad audience. The main audience is in-service and pre-service early childhood educators.

Understanding the Danish Forest School Approach is a much needed source of information for those wishing to extend and consolidate their understanding of the Forest School Approach in Denmark and how it is used in the teaching and learning of young children. It will enable the reader to analyse the essential elements of this Approach to early childhood and its relationship to quality early years practice.

In this column, I put this renewed interest into context by reviewing the past 200 years of ideas and practices in nature-based education for young children. In doing so, I explain concepts that help us understand the approaches of nature-based early learning programs past and present, and how we might adapt these approaches for implementation moving forward.

Although some have examined nature and child development from a theoretical or philosophical stance, others have aimed to put their ideas and values into practice. As noted earlier, two prominent nature-based education approaches have included nature study and forest schools.

Abstract:Popular demand for school-based outdoor learning is growing throughout the world, but there is relatively little use of international comparisons to inform the development and support of this growth. Motivations for providing outdoor learning may vary within and across countries/areas. Through understanding how different purposes are being approached internationally, we can learn how outdoor learning might best be supported to achieve particular outcomes. Eighty expert commentators on outdoor learning from 19 countries/areas responded to a short online survey about motivations for and practices in school-based outdoor learning, based on their experience working in this field. The survey was designed using a conceptual framework of student outcomes from outdoor learning, derived from policy analysis and five major reviews of the field. The three most frequently reported forms of outdoor learning practiced in schools were field studies, early years outdoor activities, and outdoor and adventure education. Among identified purposes for outdoor learning provision within schooling, supporting environmental awareness and action and pupil health and well-being were the most common. Some alignment of forms of outdoor learning and specific outcomes are discussed and implications for future policy, practice, and research considered.Keywords: policy; purposes; practice; barriers; outdoor learning; outdoor and adventure education; international perspectives; comparative

An increasing number of early years practitioners are adopting the forest school approach to support outdoor learning in their provisions. The forest school experience offers many benefits to young children and encourages development across all areas of the EYFS, writes Elizabeth Walker.

There are an increasing number of forest schools throughout Britain today despite local authority cuts to these services and they can take on many different forms depending on the needs and the location of the early years provision.

Many provisions have very limited outdoor space but are still able to give children the full range of benefits that forest school has to offer by going off site. If early years practitioners do take children off site they must be aware that under some circumstances the site may have to be registered with Ofsted because the duration and frequency of forest school sessions could meet the requirements for registration.

Forest school therefore supports the EYFS curriculum and can be linked to other themes being covered at the early years provision or to experiences at home. Parents and carers should be well informed of what takes place at forest school, and inviting them to join sessions reinforces the positive experience for children.

Neoliberal education policy with its focus on high stakes testing and performance outcomes increasingly shapes the spatial practices of school life. Consequently, time spent outdoors and its relationship with intrinsic learning has declined in many schools. With many schools placing less importance on outdoor learning, children and young people have become further alienated from engaging in different ways with their environments. Further, data highlighting the link between forest school and children's interest in plants and other animals have not been the subject of much research.


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