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Can outdoor environment improve children's motivation to learn?

Khan, Matluba, Bell, Simon, de Oliveira, Eva Silveirinha and McGeown, Sarah 2016. Can outdoor environment improve children's motivation to learn? Presented at: EDRA 47 Raleigh: Innovation: Shifting Grounds, Raleigh, NC, USA, 18-21 May 2016.

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Abstract

A growing body of research has linked spending time in the outdoors with attention restoration, informal learning and improved physical activity. However, research exploring the potential of the school ground to increase children’s motivation to learn is scarce. The study adapted a quasi-experimental action evaluation strategy to investigate the role of an improved school landscape on children’s motivation to learn, in the context of Bangladesh. A primary school ground in Bangladesh was designed, developed and used as a context and tool for teaching the children content from their formal curriculum, as well as a place for informal play. Statistical analyses of the questionnaire, focus groups with children and interviews with teachers, all conducted before and after the changes to the outdoor environment, revealed a positive relationship between outdoor learning and children’s motivation. Learning in the outdoor environment was positively associated with behavioural and affective domains of children’s motivation, and also improved school attendance. Following further analysis, a set of design guidelines for designing school yards will be developed to benefit policy makers, design professionals, teachers and education officers. Implementation of this research to a wider scale can provide opportunities to gather more evidence for effective design and use of the outdoor environment to impact positively on children’s motivation to learn.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2020 13:15
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/136012

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