In recent years there has been growing debate about the value of out-of-classroom experiences designed to ‘build character’. However there have been no school-based studies to show the effectiveness on participants over time, until now.
Dr Simon Beames, from the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh, carried out a unique study designed to deeply understand the lasting influences of out-of-classroom experiences, which have been part of Gordonstoun’s ‘broader curriculum’ for more than 80 years. First, an online survey was completed by 1183 alumni and 235 parents of current students. Second, the main findings from the surveys were used to inform themes explored through focus group interviews with 100 students, 50 alumni, 30 parents of current students, and 22 staff members.
94% of respondents to the survey said that out-of- classroom learning experiences, such as expeditions, sailing and community service had an overwhelmingly positive influence on their personal growth.
74% said it had a positive influence on their career path, with many choosing to contribute to society through their career choice or by volunteering.
For a summary of the University of Edinburgh research follow this link - The Lifelong Value of Out of Classroom Experiences
This morning (09/05/18) Dr Simon Beames appeared on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme to talk about his research. Listen here.
Later in the programme presenter Hayley Millar spoke to Education Consultant, Keir Bloomer, and Phil Thompson, Development Manager for the Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre at Lochgoilhead, about the benefits of outdoor learning. Listen here.
Source: BBC News (This item is available on iPlayer until 06/06/18).