Ghanaian teacher students’ view on using outdoor pedagogy when teaching natural science
Abstract: The aim of our study is to investigate what possibilities and challenges Ghanaian teacher students express regarding outdoor pedagogy, in order to find out their view on using it as a method when teaching natural science in primary school. The teacher education in Ghana has not yet a course in outdoor pedagogy to offer their students. The view of outdoor pedagogy that is presented in this paper shows a learning situation where the learning context is moved to the natural landscape, which opens up for practical learning and the interaction between the senses of the pupils and the environment. Furthermore, reflection and concrete experiences in authentic situations are highlighted. The research took place at the University of Education, Winneba and the method consisted of qualitative interviews and a workshop with 20 teacher students of the department of basic education. We gathered our data before, during and after the workshop, therefore our result is divided as such. The results of the analysis show three main themes of the teacher students’ view on outdoor pedagogy; the learning context, teacher’s and student’s role. In the results section, each of these themes are categorized in possibilities and challenges expressed by the teacher students. Possibilities that can be found in the results is the fact that the learning will become practical and hands-on, it will involve the senses and therefore lead to deeper memories. Furthermore, the teacher students express a possibility for the pupils as they get an opportunity to take control of their own learning when sharing their knowledge with their peers. This affects the teacher's role which becomes more guiding than authoritarian. Difficulties the students expressed includes issues on behalf of the teacher in keeping control of the class due to the great number of pupils in the classes and the safety aspect with dangerous animals. Another category that recurred was the challenge with placebound prerequisites; to find a safe place suitable for the topic to teach. A difficulty on behalf of the students might be a fear of contributing to the teaching due to the lack of experience in sharing and talking in the classroom environment.
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