This Froebel Trust webinar shared the findings of Dr Alison Moore and Marcella Towler's research project which fostered early childhood students’ understanding of outdoor learning spaces. Recorded in February 2024.

This webinar was recorded in February 2024 and is free to view.

About the project

Dr Alison Moore and Marcella Towler's research, funded by the Froebel Trust, explores how students can apply reflective practice, fuse theory with practice and develop observation skills to inform their knowledge and understanding of the potential of outdoor provision. In this recorded webinar, they share their approach to the study and the key findings and implications.

Working with the students, Alison and Marcella teach at University College Cork in Ireland. Their research project embeds Froebelian principles, incorporating students’ reflective accounts and demonstrating that:

  1. Students understanding of outdoor learning spaces is fostered through first hand experiences in outdoor spaces and from reflection on those experiences.
  2. Time for individual reflection and for reflective discussion with supportive peers and tutors/lecturers contributes to unfolding understandings of a Froebelian approach.
  3. A transition in mindsets towards outdoor learning spaces is needed. The natural aspects of open-air environments enlighten hearts and minds and nature nurtures an emergent curriculum.

The research is timely for Ireland and many other countries where outdoor play and learning are promoted as part of wellbeing, nature connection and sustainability strategies in Early Years education policy and practice.

Download a copy of the researchers' final report (March 2024)

The research

Investigating Early Years and Childhood Studies students’ understanding of outdoor learning spaces

Find out more about the project