Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Outdoor education key to tackling future climate change


Without making outdoor education a statutory part of every child’s schooling, the government risks undermining its ability to tackle important environmental issues such as climate change, the British Ecological Society has warned.

Reacting to yesterday’s adjournment debate on schools and fieldwork in the House of Commons, Debbie Smith, the BES education officer said: “Outdoor classroom education allows students to connect abstract scientific ideas with ‘hands on’ experiences. Biological fieldwork may provide the only opportunity for students to observe living animals and plants in their natural habitat and promote a deeper understanding of the investigatory approaches that underpin the whole of science.”

“The ability to address important environmental issues, such as the impact of climate change, will be undermined in the future if there is not a strong skills base in certain areas such as ecology and taxonomy. This will in turn have a significant impact on our ability to understand and manage changes to biodiversity and other natural resources in the future. The BES believes outdoor education is so important that the government must make sure that it is a part of every child’s education by making it a minimum statutory entitlement,” Smith added.

In its response to the House of Commons education and skills committee’s current inquiry into education outside the classroom, the BES recommends that, as well as making biological fieldwork a requirement rather than an option in the Biology curriculum at all key stages, government funding for fieldwork should be ring-fenced. Support for teachers also needs to be improved.

According to Smith: “There is now a critical shortage of biology teachers with the academic and professional skills to support planning and organising fieldwork in both schools and universities. Teachers, including trainees, need much more support in developing the skills, confidence and commitment to deliver out-of-classroom activities. There are presently no clear recommendations for outdoor teaching experience of biology fieldwork within the national curriculum for teacher training in science. Therefore, a minimum entitlement for every trainee teacher specialising in science to have experience in leading a fieldwork activity is needed to rectify this deficiency.”

A report published by the BES and the Field Studies Council in 2002 presented strong evidence of the decline in biology fieldwork in schools. Commenting on the report, Teaching biology outside the classroom: Is it heading for extinction? Professor Lord May of Oxford, President of the Royal Society said: “Our young people are being let down if their science education does not include a field experience. . . I urge the stark message of this report to be taken very seriously.”

Becky Allen | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Decision-making research in children: Rules of thumb are learned with time
19.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht Young people discover the "Learning Center"
20.09.2016 | Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>