A framework for understanding the distinctive characteristics of an outdoor setting pedagogy: a comparative primary education case study approach

HOATH, Leigh Jane (2015). A framework for understanding the distinctive characteristics of an outdoor setting pedagogy: a comparative primary education case study approach. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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This thesis examines the characteristics of an effective pedagogy in the outdoor setting in the primary age phase o f schooling. It explores teachers’ practice with a tight focus on teaching rather than learning. The two participating schools were comparable in terms of city centre locations, number of pupils on roll and Ofsted Inspection outcomes, but differed in that one supported an established and dedicated approach to using the outdoor setting whereas the other made more ad hoc use of the outdoors for teaching. The study was conducted over an eighteen month period. Observations of teaching inside in the classroom and within the school grounds took place alongside interviews with teaching staff and the Senior Leadership Teams. The data from the two schools were compared and contrasted using Nvivo as a tool for supporting data management and analysis. Drawing on a range of theoretical perspectives such as Bernstein’s (1981) recognition and realisation rules and Aikenhead’s border crossing (1997, 2001) this analysis produced five distinct characteristics of teaching in the outdoor setting. These five characteristics highlight the importance of supporting transitions across the boundary between the classroom and outdoor setting and vice versa, making frequent use of the outdoors and preparing children both physiologically and psychologically before leaving the classroom. There is also the suggestion that transition back into the classroom requires management in a similar manner. The study contributes to the research base in this field by applying the concept of Bernstein’s weaker framing to the framework for effective pedagogy as a means of explaining changes in children and teachers’ dialogue between the classroom and outdoor setting and supporting better practice. It also utilises Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development and More Knowledgeable Other as a means of translating the characteristics emerging from this study into practice. Implications for practice are presented and these suggest the distinct characteristics emerging from this study are important as the National Curriculum for England includes specific detail of where there are opportunities for teaching outside the classroom. The thesis also proposes the pedagogical framework of characteristics developed in this study offers potential for other age-phases and educational settings beyond the primary school as well as within Initial Teacher Education.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Coldwell, Michael [0000-0002-7385-3077]
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2018 15:31
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:06
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18459

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