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Book Review: Moving the Classroom Outdoors

Title: Moving the Classroom Outdoors: Schoolyard-Enhanced Learning in Action, by Herbert W. Broda. Stenhouse Publishers, 2011.

Description:  Teaching inside closed classrooms removes students from the world around them. Accordingly, research shows that combining indoor and outdoor learning leads to improved academic achievement for students.

To show how it can be done, the book uses examples from schools that have already incorporated outdoor learning programs and spaces into the curriculum. That effectively puts the idea of outdoor learning in context for readers. Further, the author discusses tactics for developing both programs and learning spaces, and shows a variety of options—from log seats to community gardens.

The book is illustrated with black-and-white photos, which add a key visual element that’s needed when imagining such a different style of learning.

Bottom Line:  Moving the Classroom Outdoors is a valuable resource for teachers, principals and other administrators who are interested in incorporating outdoor elements into instruction. This comprehensive book covers everything educators need to know about getting started with outdoor learning, including creating the right setting (is a pavilion with picnic tables okay, or would an amphitheater be better?) and using technology to enhance outdoor learning. The title also addresses the challenges that urban schools face in taking learning outside, and how those challenges can be overcome.

About the Author:  Herbert Broda teaches education at Ashland University in Ohio. Though he’s a professor now, he began his teaching career in grade schools. When his sixth-grade class went to a resident outdoor education camp, his interest in outdoor learning was sparked. Matthew Broda also contributed to the book. He’s an assistant professor of education at the College of Wooster.

How to Purchase:  Moving the Classroom Outdoors retails for around $23 and is available on the Stenhouse Web site.

Related resources

See an excerpt from this book.


Article by Sarah W. Caron, EducationWorld Social Media Editor
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