Learning locally takes advantage of the natural, built and cultural amenities that exist in the community - just outside the school doors, often a short walk away, regionally or in wilderness areas.
WHY USE IT?
Learning that takes place in local settings contributes to improved thinking and problem-solving skills. Decision making in authentic contexts is most relevant to learners.
The world beyond the classroom provides a more inclusive learning environment for all learning styles (e.g., auditory, visual, kinaesthetic).
Programs with a significant amount of learning time spent outdoors contribute to improved behaviour and physical wellbeing.
Using local experiences for learning allows students to explore the complexity of the world beyond the classroom.
Local experiences are accessible every learning day as well as outside of school hours—supporting a view that learning occurs anywhere and anytime.
TIPS FOR TEACHERS
Bring real objects from the outdoor world into the classroom to support writing across all subjects, science & social studies inquiry, math skills (estimating, measuring & calculating), art & music expression, etc.
Tune students in to happenings in the natural world around them by drawing attention to local events, sharing fascinating stories and participating in seasonally-related programs (see Step Outside).
Whenever possible, teach outdoors. Clipboards, foam mats and an easel make a simple outdoor classroom.
Take frequent advantage of those human-built and natural places within walking distance that can be integrated into your programme. Guided neighbourhood walks can enhance a broad range of curriculum areas.
Look for opportunities to incorporate field trips that will require students to practice skills and apply what they have learned.