This case study investigated the process of teaching outdoors in a primary school. Data collection from 15 participants included a written survey and a follow-up interview providing examples of outdoor teaching practice. Thematic coding was used to categorise data concerning the school’s setting and educators’ practice in response to their physical and social context. The Environment is used as an Integrating Context (EIC), seamlessly integrating indoor learning with outdoor experiences to enhance student engagement and motivation. Educators report that outdoor teaching activities using experience-based learning strategies engage all students in learning across the curriculum, reduce misbehaviour and foster environmental learning and skills. Involvement in the kitchen garden project has prompted educators to regularly venture outdoors to teach across the curriculum. The Principal’s enabling leadership has resulted in a supportive culture amongst educators, and the allocation of resources to continually improve the green school grounds and fund the kitchen garden project. Education for Sustainability principles and teaching strategies are evident in the regular outdoor learning activities conducted at this school. Teaching outdoors has considerable potential to facilitate primary school curriculum delivery, particularly EfS. The research findings provide practical support for the delivery of the Australian Curriculum’s cross-curriculum priorities through EIC and outdoor teaching. Application of this research methodology to other school ground settings will contribute further to knowledge regarding the practical process of teaching outdoors and EfS.
Submitted in the fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Education (Coursework by Research), University of the Sunshine Coast, 2015.