ASE launches its outdoor science report

Students making notes and observing by a pond

Source: Photodiem/Shutterstock

Not long after its annual conference, the Association for Science Education (ASE) launched its 'Outdoor Science' report, making six recommendations to reverse the long-term decline in outdoor education in science.

The ASE's Outdoor Science Working Group released the report, which is the product of discussion with over 100 participants over a series of seminars held in 2010. The recommendations they make include establishing a programme of teacher training in fieldwork, creation of a dedicated outdoor science website to share resources and local contacts, and a call to leading education bodies, learned societies and supporters of outdoor education to use their influence to raise the profile of fieldwork.

An Early Day Motion (EDM, number 1298) in support of the report, tabled by MP and scientist Julian Huppert, gathered 32 signatures. The EDM urges the Government to 'develop a co-ordinated programme of teacher training in fieldwork to promote effective pedagogy and to support a coherent approach towards the increased uptake and improved quality of teaching and learning through fieldwork in science and mathematics education.'

ASE CEO, Annette Smith, said 'This is a very timely and welcome report as the science education profession considers how the curriculum should be constructed in future'.

The Royal Society of Chemistry offers many free resources for chemistry teachers and student. Many of these could be adapted in school for use with outdoor science and fieldwork, including the Joint Earth Science Education Initiative website, the books Chemistry in the Environment and In Search of More Solutions (both books available to download for free).

The report is sponsored by the Nuffield Foundation and can be downloaded from the website.

Also of interest

Joint Earth Science Initiative

JESEI aids the teaching of Earth Science by providing material within each science specialism.

 ASE Outdoor Science 

The report from the ASE Outdoor Science Working Group

 Outdoor Science EDM 

Early Day Motion 1298 in support of Outdoor Science