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Outdoor Learning and Health and Wellbeing

READ:

Health & Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes and GTCS Standard for Registration. Where is Outdoor Learning mentioned? How is Outdoor Learning related to Health and Wellbeing?

Although there is no direct mention of Outdoor Learning in the Health & Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes I believe many aspects can be linked which I will later address. GTCS Standards for Registration directly mentions Outdoor Learning in 3.1.3 and 3.2.1. directly highlighting the need for such contexts in practice. I believe Outdoor Learning can relate to Health and Wellbeing in many contexts for example, Physical Wellbeing as well as Physical Education can be enhanced through Outdoor Learning. In schools, children may not have access to an appropriate sized gym space which the outdoors can provide. By being outdoors children are also much more likely to develop their risk assessment. Children can also develop their awareness of Safe and Hygienic Practices under Food and Health. With the implementation of Forest Schools nationally I believe children can be open to the importance of effective hand washing after messy play. If children are aware of the correct measurements to take afterwards, I believe, are more likely to get messy in outdoor play as they know how to manage their mess laterally to please their parents in an ever expanding “cotton wool” society.

REFLECT:

What would your definition of ‘Outdoor Learning’ and ‘Health and Wellbeing’ be? Share your reflections in your e-portfolio.

I believe Outdoor Learning should involve all the natural resources that are of accessibility out with the norm classroom setting. However, some schools will be in a more favourable position in which resources they have to out with their school for example, schools in rural, urban areas opposed to those in inner city schools. However, I do not think this definition should restrict Outdoor Learning for example, if an inner city school wishes to engage with topics such as Maths by taking chalk, counters or other resources outdoors to enhance learning they should be able to do so.

LISTEN:

to ‘The Science of Resilience’ by Sian Williams on BBC iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07cvhrs (30 mins) where she talks about how her fight with breast cancer made her reflect on her own resilience and looks at the impact of resilience in an educational setting. What implications does lack of resilience mean for teachers (in both their professional and personal capacity) and pupils?

Resilience is the likelihood of being able to bounce back when something negative happens to us. However, as the first doctor concludes 30-50% of behaviours how we react in our resilience are dependant on genetic factors and as the second doctor concludes some of us are more sensitive than others. A lack of resilience, for teachers, means that teachers must be able to have suitable actions in place incase a child does not bounce back from negative experiences or stresses whether they be in an educational or personal situation. Pupils, if they have a lack of resilience, may develop other negative behaviours as they believe themselves to be failures. It is therefore, a teacher’s job to have appropriate actions in place to promote a positive classroom ethos in which mistakes are welcomed and are not made fool of for trying again when not correct the first time.

*WATCH:

James Nottingham’s animation of ‘The Learning Pit’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IMUAOhuO78 Who would benefit from this approach?

I believe all children would benefit from such an approach. In the early years, it can be used to introduce children to questioning their answers. In the upper years, children can then explore whether or not their wider world is as it seems. I particularly like this approach as it allows children to work collaboratively with a shared aim in mind and contributing their shared expertise. This can gather views from all different backgrounds to reach a valid conclusion. I also like the adoption of ICT to research findings which could strongly link with Technologies within CfE.

Scotland in Spain

Highland Fling 

Through my MA2 Placement I was able to travel to Almeria to teach in a local school over there. What amazed me most was the focus and importance on the English language. However, most of the children were not as aware of Scotland as they were of England.

I spoke with my class teacher and organised a series of lessons teaching the children about the Scottish culture and traditions. We looked at meals, clothing and daily routines as compared these with the typically Spanish – as these had already been covered in topic.

After this, usually on Friday afternoons I done a series of lessons making kilts and teaching highland dancing with the kids. The link above is the kids final performance of the Highland Fling. Although I enjoyed this, I would have liked to have access to a larger hall to do so. As you can see in the video everyone is a bit crammed for space. This was due to the school sharing a gym hall with the high school that was also in the same building, making physical activity a problem.

 

I chose this experience as the one I would focus on as part of my expressive Arts module. This was due to the children in the class being from a different culture. I gained a lot from these lessons and I feel that its an aspect I would implement into my practice here. However, I feel that within Scottish schools I would explore other cultures/traditional dances for example, Hindi and Irish to name a few but the limits are endless!

Developing Professional Skills and Abilities: Online Unit 3

Words/phrases relating to professionalism:

  • Competent
  • Knowledgeable
  • Calm
  • Skilled
  • Respectable
  • Punctual
  • Motivating
  • Encouraging
  • Enthusiastic
  • Constructive criticism
  • Passionate
  • Collaborative working
  • Going above and beyond

professionalismI chose to watch One Born Every Minute and believe that the midwives displayed all the characteristics I associate with a professional. I believe that the midwives displayed a great deal of commitment and dedication which was seen when encouraging the ladies through their labour regardless of their situation. There were no situations within the programme that I thought the midwives acted unprofessionally, they done everything in their power to ensure the best start to life for every individual child.

midwivesThis level of professionalism offered by the midwives made a lasting impression on all the families, I believe. For years to come the mothers especially will remember how motivating and encouraging the midwives were and without their help it would have been a very difficult situation.

I believe that it is important for the midwives to wear the uniform that they do as they all look the same and can easily be recognised. By wearing the uniform also the midwives also have a sense of authority.  Also, the colour blue, that the midwives wear, is known to be calming which I think is important for the mothers to be in their situations.

If designing the midwifery degree I would arrange the following;

    1. Attending lectures – 10%
    2. Background reading about relevant subjects – 10%
    3. Practical skills based training such as role play- 30%
    4. Work based learning- 20%
    5. Other (Placement0 – 30%
    6. What have you learned from the programme that you can apply to your own professional development?

dynamicFrom watching One Born Every Minute I have learnt that within the professions of teaching and midwifery that no two day are the same. Our professions are dynamic and we must have the level of enthusiasm and commitment to the profession to be able to adapt to all the different situations we will find ourselves in.

 

aaaaaaFrom looking back at my UCAS Personal Statement my opinion on the personal values that we as student teachers must posses has not changed. I believe that it is fundamental for teachers to display professional values as we are the role models that children will observe and mimic. I believe that it is important to have the personal value of considering everyone as an individual and that everyone’s situations are different. I also believe that it is important to sympathise with children by showing a great deal of empathy and not to judge the children within our care. I chose teaching as throughout school I noticed the lack of passion displayed by the teachers, and wanted to change this for the better. Teaching to me is one of the most challenging, dynamic, yet rewarding professions. I am eager to get into the classroom and observing children flourish as individuals of the future.

To me, to commit to this course a professional commitment must be made. To support myself on the course, I have decided that I will spend more time in the library and make use of the resources available to me. I have also committed myself to engage in all the relevant reading to continue my self development.

What are they thinking?

Everything that we do comes down to our brain and the way we think. It has been at the heart of psychologist’s fascinations for years.

ivanIvan Pavlov was the first psychologist to focus upon behaviourism through his ‘Classic Conditioning Test’ His conclusions were that we can change the natural reflex of human and animals. Furthering Pavlov’s findings, B.F.Skinner concluded that all behaviours are learnt through experiences, operant conditioning, through his experiments in the Skinner Box.

Behaviourism can be monitored through the use of reinforcement, especially in the classroom. We, as teachers can use a number of techniques to increase behaviour for example;

  1. Presenting a positive stimulus (positive reinforcement) e.g- hugs,praise, rewards of some kind from homework
  2. The removal of an aversive stimulus (negative reinforcement) e.g- buying a toddler a treat in the supermarket to stop their whining

Furthermore, there can also be techniques used to decrease behaviour which can be used as part of behaviour management in a classroom. Including;

  • An aversive stimulus is presented (Positive punishment) e.g – getting burned from touching a hot iron
  • Isolation fro a reinforcer (Time – out) e.g- asking a child to stand outside the classroom to cool down
  • The removal of a valued item (Response cost) e.g- TV/gaming/ ‘grounding’

behaviourHowever, there are many implications of these behavioural techniques. For example, If a child is isolated and sent out with the class, this can make the child feel like a ‘big man’ and they can repeat the actions for attention. These behaviour strategies also only dal with the behaviours and not the cores (doesn’t take into account of cognition)- why is it happening? is there any issues as to why the child is acting out? and also some children may start to manipulate the system and only behave until they receive a reward then act out.

However, Albert Bandura developed the Socio – Cognitive Theory and suggested that we learn from: environmental factors such as role models, instruction and feedback and also personal factors such as goals, sense of efficiency, attributes and process of self regulation.

jean piagetIn the 20th century, there was a very teacher led approach to education and children were seen as passive learners. Jean Piaget was a Swiss biologist who believed that children are not in fact mini adults but instead pass through 4 stages of development;

 

  1. Sensorimotor (0-2 years) – interaction with environment
  2. Pre-opertional ( 2-7 years) – representation of world symbolically
  3. Concrete Operational (7-12 years) – learning of rules – observation
  4. Formal Operational (12+ years) – focussing on the future – adolescent

Piaget also rejected any sense of authority and believed children develop more through peer interact. Of course, this proposed many implications within the classroom including; we must only teach children what they are ready to learn and treat every child individually and differently.

lev vygotskyWithin the 20th century, Lev Vygotsky also undertook experiments into the way a child mentally develops through thinking. Like Piaget, Vygotsky concluded that children acquire the tools of learning through social interactions. It is these interactions which build an ‘inner speech’ which then becomes thinking.

Neo-Piagetians explain Piaget’s stage theory in terms of information processing – so capacity and efficiency of processing. They have concluded that adults do have more capacity and efficiency and all that you sense you won’t necessarily perceive.

 

Our importance in the Physical Child

We have learnt that we, as teachers, mainly focus on cognitive development due to being conscious of role expectations. However, physical and cognitive functioning are closely linked. However, this factor is not always appreciated with young children. We, as teachers, need to consider all aspects of a child’s development as we look at the children in holistic terms: ‘the whole child’

aPhysical development in concerned with a child’s gross and fine motor skills, the way a child exercises their body in their surroundings. Physical development is an important aspect which is studied as growth determines the experiences a child has and also can affect the reactions of others.

Whilst, developing children are compared to ‘the norm’ this is the normal expectations of the child at their particular age. For example, by the age of 4 children should be piecing together sentences and be able to communicate with ease. The role of practitioners is to expose the children to environments which allow them to become aware of their senses and use appropriate language to help them make sense of these experiences.

Through doing this, children will be able to understand the key value, we have as teachers, that every individual is different and have different limits to what they can do, this will build empathy towards others that are not as fortunate as themselves.

aaTo strengthen children’s physical development, we can engage them with activities that will exercise their fine and gross motor skills. For example, running and climbing will build a child’s gross motor skills whilst developing the pincer grip through painting will develop a child’s fine motor skills, all of which will be beneficial as the child progresses into/throughout school.

Reflection: Online Unit 2

What is reflection?

  • Evidence of standing back from the event
  • A willingness to be critical of action or self
  • Recognition and consideration of events from other perspectives
  • An activity that helps us solve problems
  • Helps us learn from experiences
  • The key to taking control of our own learning
  • Actively engaging in reflection we will become better learners
  • Helps us take control of our own learning
  • Drawing on our experiences, emotions, beliefs, expectations and other sources of knowledge
  • A way of considering solutions to problems

What is NOT reflection?

  • Descriptive narrative
  • Pathetic, whining … (Narrator views himself as a victim)
  • Consideration of events from only one other perspectives
  • Dismissal of others opinions and viewpoints
  • Singly used – must be followed through with an action plan

Account 1

Reflective – Their account with meeting with Pam, their description (Paragraph 1) Feedback received on the essay (Paragraph 2) Reflecting that last year was a better year academically (Paragraph 3)

Becoming reflective – An action plan as how to improve to prevent returning to the same job (Paragraph 1) Going to Tim to have a look at his essays in order to improve theirs (Paragraph 2) Identifying that making the birth of the baby is the problem and an action plan is needed to work around this (Paragraph 3)

Account 2

In account 2 the problems are reflected upon earlier in the piece of writing. Identifies himself that actions need to be made in order to tell Angie of the struggles he’s facing. Clearly identifies that it was after the birth of the baby that problems started to arise. Agrees to meet with Tim and also considers referring to a study support worker for help.

I believe Account 2 demonstrated more reflection but not only reflection it also displayed action plans to each of the problems identified.

Account 3

Account 3 displays more reflection than Account 1 – In Account 3 he wrote down notes on how to improve essays (action plan). In Account 3 he also states that he will write a list of things that Pam requires from an essay now and work on them until they are achieved.

Reflective writing should identify the problems then follow through with an action plan. Problems should be throughly identified and the  plan of action should be well structured and carried through in order to improve.