Inspiring Places: Exploring Outdoor Learning Spaces with Young Children




Burgess, Natasha

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The purpose of this project is to explore young schoolchildren’s involvement in selecting and creating outdoor learning spaces. The question leading this investigation is, “how can Canadian educators involve young children’s voice in the development of inspiring outdoor learning spaces?”. The review of the literature examines emergent curriculum and outdoor play, finding that these approaches to educating young children are complimentary. Multiple factors impacting children’s engagement in outdoor learning will be examined, indicating that duration, frequency, proximity, availability of engaging materials, and an invested adult all play a part. As the studies discussed in this project will demonstrate, there is a gap in the Canadian literature involving young children in research. A future study using a mixed methods approach, combining the Mosaic approach and case study analysis, is proposed, involving young children in designing outdoor learning spaces on school grounds in Canada.



education, outdoor learning, young children, emergent curriculum, Mosaic approach, case study analysis, outdoor play, nature, loose parts