In early childhood education, play is a key pedagogical tool that helps stimulate virtually every aspect of a child’s development. Through primary and into secondary education play is gradually eliminated as learning becomes more standards driven. This presentation argues for educators to bring play back into our teaching so that young people can learn to collaborate, manage risks, grow their self-confidence and improve mental health and well-being. The role of the educator is critical to allowing play to happen in healthy and authentic ways and includes what you need to do and just as importantly, what not to do.
Celia is passionate about getting children outdoors and into Nature. She is a strong advocate for nature play, risky play, building resilience, and improving mental health and well-being through nature. Celia originally studied outdoor recreation and adult education and with 20+ years experience in outdoor education and teaching, she now runs professional development training for teachers on all things nature.
In contemporary times there is often a desire to find solace in what we know has worked for us in the past. When presented with several courses of action the ‘precautionary principle’ would suggest that we should select the one with the most predictable outcome, rather than the one where there is greater uncertainty.
The events of 2020 have revealed that we need to learn to do more than just ‘live’ with uncertainty – we need to help young people to embrace uncertainty if they are to thrive. Drawing on research and some examples from the field this presentation looks at how uncertainty, and the other three components of adventurous learning, can be incorporated into quality outdoor (and indoor) learning experiences.
Mike Brown is Associate Professor of Outdoor Learning at AUT. He has recently returned to a teaching and research role after managing the country’s largest maritime PTE. He is the co-author of A Pedagogy of Place (2011) and Adventurous Learning (2016). He is actively involved in a range of outdoor organisations from hands-on fieldwork through to governance roles.
Mark Jones (Senior Lecturer of Outdoor Education at AUT)