The nature of learning at forest school: practitioners' perspectives

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This paper investigates forest school practitioners perceptions of learning at forest
school to identify the topics covered, the learning styles, and the philosophies
underpinning its delivery, based on interviews with experienced forest school
practitioners. Practitioners identified the focus of learning at forest school as social
development: teamwork, relationships with others, self-knowledge, and learning to
take risks. Children also engaged with nature and developed an attachment to the
woods where forest school took place. Learning styles were kinaesthetic, sensory, and experiential. Forest school leaders saw themselves as facilitators of learning rather than teachers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-291
Number of pages20
JournalEducation 3 to 13
Issue number2
Early online date11 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2017


  • forest school; primary school; outdoor learning; negotiated learning;


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