What's the problem with education?

10 Jun 2014 12:00


canyoning

Taking the plunge: canyoning in the South of France with Voyager School Travel.

'What's the problem with education? Kids aren't feral enough.'

When was the last time your class went on a school trip to the countryside or went on an educational school tour? School trips or ‘adventures’ outside the classroom are a great way to boost confidence and learning because they are great fun. Being cooped up in a classroom isn’t the only, or best, way to make the grades.  In a recent article, Guardian journalist George Monbiot reckoned ‘a week in the countryside is worth three months in a classroom’. And, he’s got research from King’s College London to back him up. They discovered that children who spent time learning in natural environments were able to ‘perform better in reading, mathematics, science and social studies.’

All too often kids that ‘go wild’ are rather negatively referred to as feral. But what’s  so wrong with going a bit wild? Don’t we learn more if we have the freedom to explore?  To back up the feral theory, George spent two days in the company of a group of underprivileged ten-year-old as they were let loose in the wilds of Wales. Many of these kids hadn’t paddled in a stream, eaten blackberries they picked themselves, collected acorns or gone rock pooling and eaten fresh prawns before. George was impressed with the children’s exhilaration as they explored the natural world for the first time. He was particularly struck by one boy who showed extraordinary powers of ‘observation and intuition’. His teacher said this particular pupil would never have been told this before. Outdoor learning had clearly done something amazing for this child.

At Voyager School Travel we have some of the most exciting outdoor experiences for schools on offer. Whether we are getting kids kayaking or canyoning in the South of France, exploring the D-day landing beaches in Normandy, jumping from high ropes in the woods at our Château in Normandy or cooking up a paella on the beach in Spain, we know that the children on our school tours are getting something they could never learn in the classroom. Over to George: ‘Getting wet and tired and filthy and cold, immersing yourself, metaphorically and literally, in the natural world: surely by these means you discover more about yourself and the world around you than you do during three months in a classroom’. We say: ‘Look out for the three ‘e’s – explore, experience and enjoy!

To find out more, visit our dedicated Voyager School Travel website or call us on 01273 827 327.

Find the full Guardian article at:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/07/education-children-not-feral-enough 

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