Outdoor Learning


A review of Research on Outdoor Learning

National Foundation for Educational Research and King’s College London


There is growing concern that opportunities for outdoor learning by school students in England have decreased substantially in recent years. In response to this, and recent Government calls for ‘schools to make better use of the outdoor classroom as a context for teaching and learning’,1 the Field Studies Council (FSC) and several partner

organisations commissioned the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) to undertake a review of research on outdoor learning.

This document summarises the key findings of this review, which critically examined 150 pieces of research on outdoor learning published in English between 1993 and 2003. The literature encompassed three main types of outdoor learning with primary school pupils, secondary school students and undergraduate learners:

  • fieldwork and outdoor learning visits
  • outdoor learning adventure education
  • school grounds/community projects.



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