The Movement and Play/Science TIGs on the move – updated

“Green school yards. Affordances for learning, movement, sustainability and play”.

Movement, Play, Health, and Outdoor Learning. Link to TIG page
Science and technology in a digital era. Link to TIG page.

Abstract :Teaching science in primary school is focused around meeting the natural environment, understanding physics concepts and creating understanding by inquiry-based learning. Furthermore, a natural environment affords opportunities for play and movement. At the basis of teaching are fostering a sense of wonder in the students and promoting love and care for the world we live in, encouraging sustainable behavior.
We make the case that nature based school yards facilitate teaching and sustainability. In a growing number of school yards in The Netherlands, concrete slabs are being removed and replaced by natural elements like scrubs, grass, water features and trees. Research shows that these nature based school yards have several advantages over “grey” school yards (Maas, et al., 2021). At green school yards children engage in more physical active play, social play, exploratory play, constructive play, and risky play. Furthermore, children engage with the natural elements of the school yard with all their senses, using their body to fully ‘understand’ their surroundings. This embodied learning helps children to grasp complex abstract physical concepts. A nature based school yard can also be a restorative place where children regain their concentration and feel better (Prins, et al., 2022). Schools in The Netherlands are often situated in highly populated neighborhoods where the biodiversity is limited and under stress. Nature based school yards can be a hub for biodiversity. Increased biodiversity in schoolyards creates a richer teaching environment. Finally, a green school yard can contribute to climate change resilience. Unpaved areas, wadies and ponds buffer the runoff of rain, and mitigate heat stress.
In this workshop we will visit a nature-based schoolyard and use an assessment-tool to observe different aspects of the schoolyard. Together we will discuss and consider all the opportunities the yard offers. Participants are encouraged to view the yard from their own expertise and share their perspectives. The workshop will take place outdoors.

This post will be completed by the authors below. Stay tuned for updates!

Marian Joven-van Sluis
Isa van der Plank
Mart Ottenheim

Some more material

The Potential of Green Schoolyards for Healthy Child Development: A Conceptual Framework
Nicole van den Bogerd,
Dieuwke Hovinga, Jelle A. Hiemstra and Jolanda Maas

Please enjoy the film below – with sound. Could be a bit hard to download.

Gumboot dancing

Categories: 2023 Nürnberg, Conferences, Movement/Play/Health/Outdoor, Science and Technology in the Digital Era

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