By Ritesh Rawal
When we think about “classroom” we see a room full of benches, a teacher’s table, notice-board with charts from students and maybe a projector. But if we think about an educational trip, we see teachers and students exploring a concept, moving around in a museum, we see curious and happy faces of students which ensures students are having fun at learning. It is because learning and education are never confined to a classroom. Learning is more of a blended experience from both inside as well as outside the classroom.
However, today the concept of learning outside the classroom has become more relevant when children have created their entertainment or play time limited to mobile screens.
In broad terms, learning outside the classroom includes multiple activities such as a visit to a museum, physical education or projects, adventure activities, environmental education and others. There are no boundaries when it comes to outdoor learning but it has a common goal to be achieved, to offer a unique experience to learn in collaboration. Experts in the field of education agree that outdoor learning sessions are more motivating for students and they are more willing to explore a subject matter. The concept is certainly a credible means to introduce students to a concept which they can never forget because experiences are hard to erase from one’s memories.
As a result of outdoor learning, the teachers and parents can see instant positive changes among the children not only in studies but also in overall behaviour, and approach towards anything in life. In general, students with a balanced exposure to the classroom and outside learning are more active, interactive and curious to learn about new things.
Outside learning coupled with skilled teaching becomes a very powerful mode of education as it encourages a stimulating learning experience with personal and social growth. As opposed to classroom learning that encourages students to develop better-listening power, outside learning encourages students to be more interactive as well as productive when it comes to achieving a common goal. When learning outside, students have displayed amazing skills to combine their knowledge acquired from books with a practical problem at hand. Therefore, we can say that outside learning encourages students to develop a more enterprising attitude required to solve real-life problems, beyond textbooks.
Many subjects that students read in the classroom come alive with real-life situations presented in the outside learning sessions, making theories more relevant. Since outside learning does not have any boundaries, any subject from creative writing to mathematics can be taught creatively and effectively outside the classrooms.
Students have a wonderful chance to leverage their knowledge from the classroom to analyse, respond, or cope with the change as per the situation in hand while learning outside. The students deeply understand themselves as well as their peers around them, when learning in collaboration. This allows the students to also start developing emotional intelligence with healthy competition instinct.
The most important benefit of outside learning is the overall improvement in varied subjects, which is also reflected in the report card of a child. With an opportunity to better engage with a subject enables students to understand a subject, even of least interest to a student. It has also been found that students with better and practical exposure to the subjects can make better career choices and hence make a better living, both financially and otherwise.
Education institutes from schools to colleges must design their course with special focus on outside learning as well.
(The writer is an innovator and entrepreneur.)