Teaching in Nature


This website, hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences (Education) at University of Stirling, publishes material generated through a project called Teaching in Nature.

For the purposes of this research we took 'teaching in nature' to mean the efforts of teachers to educate through a variety of strategies that happen as a lead up to, while on, or after excursions in natural settings.

In the project, teachers from primary and secondary schools across a range of subject areas used collaborative action enquiry to plan and execute pupil excursions to local outdoor natural areas. A report accompanies the website.

SNH Commissioned Report 779: Teaching, learning and play in the outdoors: a survey of school and pre-school provision in Scotland

It can be found at https://www.nature.scot/snh-commissioned-report-476-teaching-nature (August 2011).

The outdoor areas visited were designated National Nature Reserves (or other local wild places such as areas of Special Scientific Interest).

Teachers were entirely free to try any approach they wish. Each group of teacher-researchers worked closely together, sometimes using a theme or focal topic, to visit their site to conduct planning and to design their class visits. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) staff members acted as guides and also advised on where to find local knowledge about the place. Funds were made available for cover for teachers while they engage in planning / attending workshops.

The university staff and the teacher researchers collected a range of evidence of the activities undertaken. Some of these are here on the website in the form of video, audio, pupils' work and teachers' plans and commentaries.

If teachers or other readers wish to discover where their local National Nature Reserve is located, they may visit http://www.nnr-scotland.org.uk/. If you are interested in using your local NNR for educational visits, please contact sharon.cunningham@snh.gov.uk for advice and for contact details and names of your local reserve managers.

Carnwath at Cleghorn Glen