Investigating “Outdoor Education” course designs for pre-service preschool teachers: A comparison among European countries, Australia and Turkey

Yalçın, Fatma
Cengizoğlu, Seçil
In related literature, a number of studies exist that focus on outdoor education in early years from different aspects. Some of the studies focus on the importance of outdoor play in early years in terms of physical, cognitive and social development (Fjørtoft, 2001; Ouvry, 2000; Rakison, 2005; Aasen, Grindheim, & Waters, 2009), some others focus on the advantages of risk taking in natural outdoor settings (e.g. Little, 2010; Sandseter, 2010, 2012). In addition, there are other studies which focus on the relation between spent time in outdoor environment and academic performance in subsequent years, health and environmental awareness (Chawla, 1999; Faber Taylor & Kuo, 2006; Wells, 2000; Wells & Lekies, 2006). Although importance of outdoor education is widely acknowledged, it is far from being universal (Garrik, 2009). In some part of the world including Nordic countries, England and Germany and Australia, children’s access to outdoor environment is important (Sandseter, 2010, 2012; Ärlemalm-Hagsér & Sandberg, 2013) in other parts such as Tukey, it is recent but growing field (Yalçın, 2015). In the countries, like Turkey, there is a need to extend the education to outdoors by presenting facilitative teacher involvement. However, almost all of the conducted studies to investigate in-service teachers’ beliefs and practices of outdoor education stated that teachers should be trained about how to facilitate outdoor education. In-service and pre-service education were proposed as educational implications (Dyment & Coleman, 2012; Goodling, 2017; Ihmeideh, & Al-Qaryouti, 2016; McClintic & Petty, 2015; Yalçın, 2015). As those researchers indicated, in-service teacher training could be one way to form teachers’ beliefs and improve their outdoor education practices. However, when teachers are graduated from university and participated to the regular system, they have generally configured their beliefs in relation to teaching and learning. When it is considered that beliefs are resistant to change (Clark & Peterson, 1986; Kagan, 1992), the role of pre-service teacher training programs in constructing pre-service teachers’ beliefs comes into prominence. In other words, pre-service teacher training programs might be more effective to construct pre-service teachers’ beliefs of outdoor education and to make them capable in terms of facilitating children’s outdoor learning. In this regard, several research that have been conducted to examine the role of pre-service teacher training programs in forming pre-service teachers’ beliefs (Nettle, 1998; Ng vd., 2010; Stuart & Thurlow, 2000) constitute an evidence for this foresight. At that point, it is a matter of interest whether the faculty of educations and pedagogy in different universities involve a course at undergraduate degree specifically focused on outdoor education. The aim of the current study is to reveal how outdoor education courses are designed and applied in undergraduate level. The researchers in this study motivated to investigate course catalogue of universities based on the idea that early childhood professionals could inspire from the practices of different universities in this issue. To this end, as possible as, the syllabuses of the courses will be obtained from course catalogues and/or the instructors of target courses.
Citation Formats
F. Yalçın and S. Cengizoğlu, “Investigating “Outdoor Education” course designs for pre-service preschool teachers: A comparison among European countries, Australia and Turkey,” presented at the ECER 2019, (2-06 September 2019), 2019, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: