Experiences of Slovenian In-Service Primary School Teachers and Students of Grades 4 and 5 with Outdoor Lessons in the Subject Science and Technology
The present paper presents the results of a survey on outdoor lessons conducted by teachers of the subject Science and Technology in the 4th and 5th grades of primary school in the school’s vicinity. It examines differences between teachers themselves and between teachers and students, as well as the ideas and limitations of outdoor lessons. The study included 70 in-service primary school teachers of the 4th and 5th grades and 154 students of the 4th grade and 151 students of the 5th grade of primary school. The data were obtained with two questionnaires: an e-questionnaire for teachers and a paper-pencil questionnaire for students. The results show that 13 per cent of teaching time in the subject Science and Technology consists of outdoor lessons. Statistically significant differences were found between teachers with different amounts of teaching experience, while differences in the quantity of outdoor lessons did not arise among teachers of different school strata and among teachers who had an early experience with outdoor lessons in the vicinity of school themselves as students compared to teachers who had no such experience. The teachers had several specific and general ideas for outdoor activities for the thematic sets of the Science and Technology curriculum and reported similar difficulties in planning outdoor lessons to those reported in other countries. The results of the research show that the teachers report the use of outdoor lessons in the vicinity of school more often than recalled by the students. The students reported that such activities typically take place about twice a year, mostly in playgrounds, meadows, and forests. The results provide an insight into the state of the teachers’ initiatives for outdoor lessons in the subject Science and Technology and indirectly offer opportunities to reflect and act on outdoor lessons from different perspectives.
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