The value of outdoor learning: evidence from research in the UK and elsewhere

Justin Dillon, Mark Rickinson, Kelly Teamey, Marian Morris, Mee Young Choi, Dawn Sanders, Pauline Benefield

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article summarises the key findings of a review that critically examined 150 pieces of research on outdoor learning published between 1993 and 2003(Rickinson et al., 2004). The Field Studies Council and partner organisations commissioned the review in response to the growing concern that opportunities for outdoor learning by school students in England have decreased substantially in recent years (Harris, 1999; Barker, Slingsby and Tilling, 2002).We found substantial evidence to indicate that fieldwork, properly conceived,adequately planned, well taught and effectively followed up, offers learners opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills in ways that add value to their everyday experiences in the classroom. In this article we distil some of the review’s findings of particular relevance to secondary schoolteachers. We look first at the impacts of fieldwork and outdoor educational visits, and then discuss what is known about effective practice before concluding with a look at barriers to fieldwork.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTowards a Convergence Between Science and Environmental Education
Subtitle of host publicationThe Selected Works of Justin Dillon
EditorsJustin Dillon
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781315730486
ISBN (Print)9781138844292
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Cite this

Dillon, J., Rickinson, M., Teamey, K., Morris, M., Choi, M. Y., Sanders, D., & Benefield, P. (2017). The value of outdoor learning: evidence from research in the UK and elsewhere. In J. Dillon (Ed.), Towards a Convergence Between Science and Environmental Education: The Selected Works of Justin Dillon (1st ed., pp. 179-185). Taylor & Francis.