Forum for Outdoor Education

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Photo: Åsa Nilsson Dahlström

Forum for Outdoor Education is a joint research forum for the faculties and departments at Linköping University, where researchers and teachers meet and discuss current issues within outdoor education and outdoor didactics. The research projects carried out by members of the Forum focus on the importance of place for learning and on the impact of outdoor education on learning, health and the environment.         

The interest in outdoor education has increased in recent years, resulting in interesting challenges for the research field. These are examples of research questions of interest to the Forum:

  • The development within information- and communication technology changes society in different ways and has also contributed to the problem of physical inactivity and poor health in children and youth. In what ways can outdoor education be used to increase the level of physical activities in outdoor environments among children and youth?
  • Research has shown that teaching and learning in relevant learning environments in the outdoors contributes to better abilities to concentrate and to learn. How can outdoor education be integrated in schools in order to accommodate different ways of learning and to increase the level of concentration among children and youth?
  • Stress is an increasing problem both within the school and work life. Research shows that activities in outdoor environments can lower stress levels and contribute to better health. In what ways can outdoor life and green learning environments be used in order to reduce and prevent stress?
  • Subject- specific didactics is interested in how a combination of theoretical and practical teaching and learning in different learning environments can contribute to a more holistic understanding of complex phenomena. How can outdoor education be used in, for instance, teaching and learning for sustainable development and addressing global environmental issues?
  • The importance of stimulating outdoor learning environments in school yards is of interest to outdoor education research. How can outdoor environments in school yards be designed to increase physical activities and thereby contribute to better health and learning abilities in children and youth? 

Forum for outdoor education is a resource for the faculties at Linköping University, and several departments offer courses in outdoor education and outdoor didactics within particular fields. Undergraduate courses on avanced level is offered within two master programmes: the Master Programme in Outdoor Environmental Education and Outdoor Life, which is a one-year master programme, and the Master in Educational Sciences, leadning to a one- or two-year master in pedagogics with an emphasis on outdoor didactics. Doctoral programmes in outdoor education and outdoor didactics are offered within the framework of the doctoral programme for pedagogics at Linköping University. 

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