Boredom is a common consequence of the outdated schooling system which affects children of all ages. Because of this system we lost something very important- the ability of children to touch, to smell, to walk, to climb, to experience. Learning has become primarily theoretical, pictures and representations of the world instead of the world itself. It has, therefore, become highly important for the schools to find new, innovative teaching methods so that students remain interested and focused while learning even though many top schools in Ajman, Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
“Nearly half of the students feel bored at schools every day with half of the students admitting to skipping school at least once or twice according to a study conducted by the Indiana State University in 2014.”
One important strategy that all schools must follow is “Outdoor Education”. It usually refers to the organized learning that takes place in the outdoors. It also means experiencing a variety of adventurous challenges and outdoor activities like group games, hiking, field trips and more. Some aims of Outdoor Education are to-
- Learn how to overcome adversity
- Enhance personal and social development
- Develop a deeper relationship with nature
Out of all the benefits of Outdoor Education, here are some of the benefits that are explained in a way which gives answer to our question- why Outdoor Education is necessary for students?
1. It builds community-
From the groups travelling together on the bus to the groups doing some field work that keep rotating through activities, students learn the team spirit which is not possible on an individual level. It has been seen that with the help of Outdoor Schooling, students are able to make new friends many of whom they don’t know personally but have shared academic phase with them. Relying on other people builds trust and working in a group establishes strong relationship with coworkers.
2. It builds confidence and improves social skills-
Activities that involve sharing of things and participating in events as a team encourages children to work together as a group. This not only strengthens their bonds with their peers but also fortifies their social ties. Outdoor activities also build confidence as a result of the freedom and space they are given while learning. This helps each child to determine the level of independence at his own rate.
3. Better health-
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity stated that outdoor activities can be a key factor in avoiding childhood obesity. Author Richard Lou has coined the phrase “nature-deficit disorder” to describe the harmful effects on kids of too much indoor over-stimulation, including attention-deficit disorder, anxiety, and depression, and yes, obesity. As he puts it, “As young people spend less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow, physiologically and psychologically, and we deny them access to a fundamental part of their humanity.” Being concerned about the health of students, many nurseries, schools and even universities in Sharjah, Ajman, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have started to organize at least one outdoor activity in a month.
4. Improved academic performance-
It comes as no surprise that outdoor lessons and environmental programs have proved to boost the understanding of scientific concepts. Researches have shown improvements in the basic skills and reading in the students who are regularly involved in the outdoor education. Outdoor activities help students to learn critical thinking skills in order to help society solve a plethora of issues thus helping them in becoming “real world problem-solvers”.
5. Better attitude towards environment-
Many outdoor schooling activities help students understand how their decisions and actions affect the environment thus building knowledge and skills necessary to address complex environmental issues to keep the environment healthy and sustainable for future. Many nursery schools in Dubai and other Emirates are organizing these environmental trips in order to develop the environmental-friendly skills within the kids from an early stage.
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