Well-being and outdoor pedagogies in primary schooling: the nexus of well-being and safety

Humberstone, Barbara and Stan, Ina (2009) Well-being and outdoor pedagogies in primary schooling: the nexus of well-being and safety. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Society today is inundated by a multitude of messages regarding the risks and dangers that affect youngsters, with media constantly talking about ‘cotton wool’ kids (see Furedi, 1997, 2001, 2006) and an ‘obesity epidemic’ (see Wright and Harwood, 2009). A social panic has been created by the media, which ignores the positive outcomes of risk-taking, sensationalises risks, and focuses on the dangers of the world. In popular discourse contradictions are in evidence, on the one hand adults are concerned about the safety of young children; on the other hand many argue that society wraps children in ‘cotton wool’ such that they are denied opportunities to play outdoors for fear of accidents. Research has shown that negotiating risks and relating them to individual capacities is essential for the development of young children and their ability to learn from their mistakes and become aware of their personal health and safety (Fenech, Sumsion, & Goodfellow, 2006). This paper is based on a pilot study that explores young children and their significant others’ perceptions and experiences of risk and safety, looking particularly at the ways in which experiences of outdoor learning may affect the well-being of children. Using an ethnographic approach the research examines how parents and teachers define well-being, and how being in the outdoors is seen to affect pupils’ well-being. This paper, a work in progress, asks if and how outdoor activities, through outdoor learning, contribute to the physical and emotional well-being of young children, briefly touching on theories of power and control.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: outdoor learning, children, well-being, risk
Depositing User: Elizabeth Chamberlain
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2009 15:33
Last Modified: 08 May 2014 10:01
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10239/146

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