Views from the staffroom: Forest School in English primary schools
Kemp, N. 2019. Views from the staffroom: Forest School in English primary schools . Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning.
Forest School is a form of outdoor learning that is increasingly popular within English primary schools although little is known about the experiences of teaching staff who engage with it. This paper identifies three prevailing discourses within existing Forest School literature in relation to schools and teachers: as “critical stakeholders”, “unenlightened” and “consumers.” Drawing upon semi-structured interviews conducted with teaching staff from seven rural primary schools in South East England, a fourth discourse is proposed. In this additional discourse, teaching staff are “agentic” and engagement with Forest School is an act of resistance against the mainstream standards agenda. In a further act of resistance schools adapt the Forest School approach to fit their specific context. This raises a dilemma for the Forest School movement about the extent to which it is willing to support the agency of teaching professionals by providing flexibility to adapt its principles to meet school priorities.
|Keywords||Agency; Forest School; Outdoor learning; Primary schools; Primary education|
|Journal||Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1080/14729679.2019.1697712|
|Online||27 Nov 2019|
|Publication process dates|
|Accepted||25 Nov 2019|
|Deposited||13 Feb 2020|
Accepted author manuscript
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