Julie Russell’s Movement Journal #3 October 14th

It seems unanimous that having physical education classes outside is favoured. I agree. People need fresh air. People need sunshine. These are hard to get when we are boxed up all day. And when those people are children, I think being outdoors is more needed.

It’s funny because though there is a consensus that being outside is needed and wanted, it seems that going outside for classes (including P.E. class) is not a daily thing in a lot of schools/classes. I guess the thought is that  things have to get done. I guess it’s easier to keep 25 kids in a boxed area. I guess sometimes it’s too cold or too hot.

I think it will take effort and planning to create the time to take a class outside. A friend of mine teaches grade 6. He loves the outdoors and has taken his students to do the Grouse Grind several times. He often instagrams photos of his class reading outside. He has even posted photos of his entire class with their desks outside. I think the children appreciate his effort and planning to do this. And I think it is something I am going to have to think about as a teacher. How am I going to implement this time to be outside? How can we learn outside? What things could we do outside? And, like Steve was getting us to do, where/what places can we use to do these things?

Thank you to the scavenger hunt group for showing us another way to do P.E! It was fun, active and involved collaboration.




2 thoughts on “Julie Russell’s Movement Journal #3 October 14th”

  1. I agree, people need to be outside, especially little people. When my kids are driving me nuts I usually take them outside and then immediately they seem less annoying. Many of my mom friends say the same thing. I don’t know whether they are better behaved outside or whether I am just less grumpy once I get outside, but whatever it is, its convinced me that children belong outdoors.
    So I am especially concerned to realize that my daughter, who is now in kindergarten, spends almost all of her school time inside. It makes me extra sad because we’ve been having such a beautiful fall, so there isn’t even the excuse of cold and rain. When the children are allowed out at recess and for half of lunch they can only play in a little fenced junior playground area. This is one of my daughter’s main complaints about school. I can really appreciate her frustration because she is very physical and used to more challenging and “riskier” environments.
    I know that schools and teachers are scared, both of the “risk” of the outdoors and of maintaining control over students in a less restricted environment. I think its time, though, to start addressing these fears head on and really acknowledging that staying inside and staying “safe” has some pretty risky consequences as well.

  2. Hello Julie,

    I will also take the effort to plan and create the time to conduct lessons outdoors. Steve brought up many things that I would consider when planning. To get parents involved I would take pictures of the students outside and send an email to them with details of our activities. I would also include a map of the place with some tips on what to do and what to wear so that parents could go on outings with their children. We also talked about mitigating barriers to outdoor education. One of the barriers is the amount of time it would take to get outside. Finding outdoor spaces close to the school can mitigate this. The cost of going outdoors is also an issue. Staying close to the school and having some extra clothing available for children to wear would mitigate this.
    I think it is very interesting that lately we have been learning about the importance of outdoor education in our other classes as well. In our Aboriginal education class, we learned about land- and place- based education, in which learning about the local land and cultures is of utmost importance and learning is hands-on (J. Hare, personal communication, October 19, 2015). Indigenous people also believe in being in harmony with the natural world. By taking students outdoors for PE, we can also teach them about Aboriginal ways of knowing. In our Education, School, and Social Institutions course, we learned about natural history, one of the three educational traditions dedicated to local context. Its primary motive is to encourage students to get outside so that they can appreciate and conserve the natural environment (Furman & Gruenewald, 2004, pp. 59-60).
    Overall, this past week I learned about the importance of outdoor education and that it is not as difficult to implement as I originally thought.


    Furman, G. C., & Gruenewald, D. A. (2004). Expanding the landscape of social justice: A critical ecological analysis. Educational Administration Quarterly, 40(1), 47-76. doi:10.1177/0013161X03259142

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