This study investigates Early Years and Childhood Studies students’ developing understanding of outdoor learning spaces as they embark on their unique learning journeys as professional early years educators
Key findings from Murphy (2018) evidenced a direct link between the level of the adults’ understanding of the importance of outdoor provision on children’s learning and the quality of the outdoor space provided in the settings.
There is a dearth of research on outdoor learning spaces in Higher Education Early Years Degree Programmes, which signifies the originality of the proposed study. The study, delivered in two phases, will investigate Early Years and Childhood Studies students’ developing understanding of outdoor learning spaces as they embark on their unique learning journeys as professional early years educators.
The overarching research question will be:
How do students develop an understanding of outdoor learning spaces through a Froebelian lens?
The research by Alison Moore is significant and original because it will foster a re-imagination of learning spaces to include the outdoors as a natural extension of an early years indoor environment. Such free movement between the indoor and outdoor spaces is an aspect of the Froebelian approach (Tovey, 2017). Discussion, experiential pedagogy and reflection will be central to the research study as we nurture students' awareness of their explorations, activities and interactions in the outdoors. In phase one, through their own first-hand experiences, students will be engaged in the discovery of Froebelian principles and practices. In phase two of the research, students will be supported as they implement these ideas during their first professional practice placement.
Explore more Froebel Trust funded research focusing on student practitioners and their experiencesRead the report
Dr Alison Moore and Marcella Towler from University College Cork have created a sway document providing an overview of the project and outlining some of the phase one findings relating to Knowledgeable, Nurturing, Reflective Educators, the team is about to commence phase two of the project.
Access the Sway document here .