Mr Ian Neville1
1Federation University, Mt. Helen, Australia
Walking in the natural environment can have powerful outcomes. Away from the distractions and business of everyday life and surrounded by the healthy environments nature provides, there are many learning opportunities to be had. Indigenous peoples utilised authentic outdoor experiences to educate and Socrates walked the outdoor market places to challenge and extend the thoughts of those who debated with him. Plato and Aristotle created outdoor learning spaces for educational purposes, while Dewey believed in the outdoors for authentic experiences, of which Hahn implemented into his various outdoor institutions.
Today, we educate our students in artificial environments, utilising artificial pedagogies to obtain artificial understandings. Yet, on simple walks, we can bring back some of the collaborative, critical and deep thinking, to engage and challenge our students into authentic discussion, situation and circumstance in order to gain a true understanding of the world we live in and the knowledge within it.
This session will look at some of the outdoor pedagogies used to extend the interest and learning experiences of students and discuss the benefits to such pedagogies. Various examples will be given to allow participants to try them in their own educational setting.
Ian is impassioned to see the outdoors utilised for authentic learning experiences. He is continually trying new outdoor pedagogies to educate by occasionally looking backwards through time in order to move forwards in the present. Ian uses journeying as a great metaphor to educate his students and allows time to shape the learner in a safe and supportive manner.