Spending time in nature or an outdoor environment is a healthy practice that can provide many mental and physical benefits. Thus, outdoor learning is an instructional strategy that can capitalize on these benefits and that is engaging for students. Outdoor learning can encourage student engagement in the content, while offering authentic learning opportunities. Outdoor learning can positively impact students’ learning and intrinsic motivation, their social and behavioral needs, as well as improve their problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Teachers may face a variety of potential barriers when attempting to facilitate outdoor learning. These obstacles are described and addressed by providing strategies for teachers to promote and integrate outdoor learning into their instructional practice. Developing and nurturing a school culture that encourages outdoor learning experiences is discussed.




Elementary and Literacy Education Department


Mary Schoeb grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and although she attended the University of Minnesota right out of high school, it was not until she returned to school later in life to graduate from Western Governors University with her degree in Elementary Education in December 2017. Mary was lucky enough to find a position teaching 4th grade at the School of Engineering and Arts (SEA), a S.T.E.A.M. magnet school in the Robbinsdale Area School District in Minnesota. She lives close to school with her husband and two young sons. She recently completed her Master’s degree in Elementary Education, with an emphasis in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S.T.E.M.) from Minnesota State University, Mankato. When Mary is not teaching or wrangling her energetic children, she is either reading or spending time outdoors. She is grateful for the incredible knowledge she has gained while at Mankato. Mary is dedicated to creating a space where student voices are amplified, and social justice ideals are integrated into the culture of the class. She is excited to take her passion and knowledge to create learning opportunities that further engage and inspire her students.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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