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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education : Education

Undergraduate Course: Outdoor Learning and Primary Education (EDUA10142)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course offers an initial step towards assisting teachers to incorporate outdoor learning into their teaching and curriculum planning. The aim is not to develop student-teachers as outdoor specialists, but to provide them with some understanding of the benefits, processes and skills related to learning in the outdoors. This interdisciplinary course is designed to give students the tools to teach across the curriculum in ways that carefully integrate outdoor and indoor settings.
Course description * Rationales for learning outdoors in authentic contexts.
* Outdoor learning, curriculum frameworks and policy contexts.
* Integration of indoor and outdoor learning settings.
* Place- and community-based education.
* Learning for Sustainability.
* Safety and group management in the outdoors.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Qualifications required for the MA Primary Education with... (Hons) and normally completion of years 1 and 2 of an undergraduate programme
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesQualifications required for the MA Primary Education with... (Hons) and normally completion of years 1 and 2 of an undergraduate programme
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Semester 2 is offered as part of the MSc LfS only. This is not available to undergraduate students.
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 75 %, Practical Exam 25 %
Additional Information (Assessment) In order to pass this course students will be expected to:

* in pairs, plan, facilitate and evaluate a minor outdoor activity (includes lesson plan and risk management plan - 1000 words equivalent);
* satisfactorily complete an academic paper outlining the theoretical underpinning of the lesson (3000 words).

Students should demonstrate:
* the ability to reflect critically on outdoor teaching and learning in educational contexts;
* an understanding of the potential for outdoor pedagogy within the Scottish school curriculum guidelines;
* ability to plan, facilitate and evaluate an outdoor learning session. 
Feedback There is an opportunity for feedback following the practical teaching session. The tutor will provide specific feedback which will inform the final theoretical written assessment.
There is also an opportunity for peer feedback following the practical teaching session. This may also inform the final written assessment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the broad concepts underpinning outdoor learning (Learning for Sustainability, place- and community-based education) and experience and critically reflect on the ways in which outdoor learning can be used for various educational purposes.
  2. Be aware of the ways in which curricular contexts, policy frameworks and outdoor learning may inform one other.
  3. Understand and apply principles of outdoor learning in authentic contexts.
  4. Apprehend the safety and risk management issues related to teaching and learning with groups of young people in outdoor settings.
  5. Developed a critical awareness of educational issues relating to outdoor learning and its interdisciplinary applications.
Reading List
Baker, M. (2005). Landfullness in adventure-based programming: Promoting reconnection to the land. Journal of Experiential Education, 27(3), 267-276.
Beames, S., Higgins, P. & Nicol, R. (2011). Learning outside the classroom. New York: Routledge.
Beames, S., Atencio, M. & Ross, H. (2009). Taking excellence outdoors. Scottish Educational Review, 41(2), 32-45.
Cooper, G. (1998). Outdoors with young people: A leader¿s guide to outdoor activities, the environment and sustainability. Lyme Regis: Russell House.
Dewey, J. (1938/1997). Experience and education. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Higgins, P. & Nicol, R. (2008). Outdoor education. In T. Bryce & W. Humes (Eds.), Scottish education: Beyond devolution (3rd Ed) (pp. 540-545). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
HSE. (2006). Five steps to risk assessment. Retrieved from on June 26, 2008.
Kolb, D.A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.
Learning and Teaching Scotland. (2009). Curriculum for Excellence. Retrieved July 6, 2009, from
Learning and Teaching Scotland. (2007). Taking learning outdoors. Retrieved August 24, 2008, from
Learning and Teaching Scotland. (2010). Curriculum for Excellence through outdoor learning. Retrieved April 21, 2010 from
Leonard, A. (2010). The story of stuff: How our obsession with stuff is trashing the planet, our communities, and our health - and a vision for change. London: Constable.
Orr, D.W. (2004). Earth in mind: On education, environment, and the human prospect. Washington: Island Press.
Scottish Executive. (2004). Health and safety on educational excursions: A good practice guide. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive.
Smith, G. & Sobel, D. (2010). Place-and community-based education in schools. London: Routledge.
Thorburn, M. & Allison, P. (2010). Are we ready to go outdoors now? The prospects for outdoor education during a period of curriculum renewal in Scotland. Curriculum Journal, 21(1), 97-108.
Wattchow, B. & Brown, M. (2011). A pedagogy of place: Outdoor education for a changing world. Clayton, Victoria: Monash University.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 3 generic cognitive skills (e.g. evaluation, critical analysis);
4 communication, numeracy and IT skills; and
5 autonomy, accountability and working with others.
Additional Class Delivery Information There is a mix of lectures and practical on-campus and off-site practical teaching sessions.
Keywordsoutdoor learning
Course organiserDr Jule Hildmann
Tel: (0131 6)51 6031
Course secretaryMiss Deirdre Houston
Tel: (0131 6)51 6381
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