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Learning during lockdown: did prior attendance at a Forest School programme alter children’s home learning experiences, during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Content, Sarah (2021) Learning during lockdown: did prior attendance at a Forest School programme alter children’s home learning experiences, during the COVID-19 pandemic? Other thesis, University of Essex & Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

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Abstract

Forest School is a child-centred, regular, outdoor learning programme, that was developed in Scandinavia. The Forest School movement is being increasingly adopted by United Kingdom (UK) education settings, however at present there is limited rigorous evidence that has shown the efficacy of the approach. This research captured parent and child views on what they felt children learn from Forest School and whether they felt this learning generalised to the home learning environment, during the COVID-19 pandemic. It then explored whether there was a difference in children’s’ home learning behaviours, between those who had and hadn’t participated in Forest School. A cross-sectional mixed methods research design was adopted and associations between Forest School and the presence of skills related to learning was explored. An online survey that investigated lockdown learning experiences was completed, comparing 44 parents whose children had participated in Forest School and 47 parents whose children had not. No significant differences were found between groups for any of the parental responses regarding learning behaviours. However, when the Forest School group was limited to those who had participated in Forest School for 6 months or more, a significant difference between groups was found, with the Forest School group spending more time learning independently. Interview data was also collected from five parents and five children, regarding children’s home learning and Forest School experiences. Parents interviewed reported that Forest School brought a number of benefits to their child that they couldn’t get in the classroom. Children interviewed reported Forest School brought them enjoyment and opportunities for learning. Children and parents interviewed reported largely positive home learning experiences, drawing some parallels with Forest School experiences, such as the importance of learning being outdoors and practical. Differences between the survey and interview findings were discussed along with implications for future Educational Psychology research and practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > L Education (General)
Depositing User: Sarah Content
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2021 12:10
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2021 12:10
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31120

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