Learning Outside Formal Education: current and completed projects

ESRC International Partnership and Network Award

Sue Waite and Dr Rowena Passy led the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded network ‘Understanding educational and wellbeing implications of learning outside the classroom through cross-national collaboration’. Partners in this award were from Australia, Singapore and Denmark.

 

Natural Connections Demonstration Project 

Commissioned by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Natural England and English Heritage, the £600,000 Natural Connections Demonstration Project led by Sue Waite, Dr Rowena Passy and Ian Blackwell aims to encourage and support schools in building learning outdoors into their everyday practice. Through a model of cascaded responsibility in five areas of high deprivation in the south-west of England, the project has recruited 125 schools, and a further 70 schools have been involved in teacher continuing professional development events. Schools have been involved in a wide range of activities that include developing sustainable approaches to learning outside. Early project research findings from teachers suggest that learning outside engages pupils with learning, has a positive impact on their behaviour, develops children’s social skills, and improves their health and wellbeing. There is also some evidence that these foundational aspects to learning contribute to higher attainment.

Comparing and Analysing Teacher Expertise: CATE

Dr Pete Kelly, Dr Nick Pratt and Dr Ulrike Hohmann have been working on a longitudinal comparative research project since 2010. With colleagues from Aarhus University, Denmark and Freiberg Pedagogic University in Germany they have been exploring how culture shapes pedagogy in lower secondary classrooms across UK, Denmark and Germany.

Image: Plymouth Music Zone Sensory Room

Beyond Words

This two-year longitudinal project is one of only eight national projects funded by the prestigious Arts Council Research Grants Programme. In partnership with community music organisation Plymouth Music Zone it explores how learning music can facilitate communication and wellbeing for those who struggle to be understood in words: including those with dementia, autism, strokes and mental illness. It explores the non-verbal in music making and implications for the Arts in a post human world. The project is led by Professor Jocey Quinn and Claudia Blandon