Schoolisizing our Schoolyards: from a space to our place
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
This study has been conducted in the context of the master program in Outdoor Environmental Education and Outdoor Life, of Linköping University. It aspires to investigate a specific part of outdoor environments: the schoolyards. Particularly, the aim of the study is to investigate how the use of the school grounds as an educational resource is influenced by their environments -rural or urban. The research compares the school communities’ (principals’, teachers’ and students’) perceptions about the use of their school grounds during the educational process. The research sample consists of 10 Swedish elementary schools, from which the five are in rural and five are in urban environments. The participants are in total 10 principals, 51 teachers and 295 students. Alongside, an observation recorded in a list and photographs enhance the comparison between the rural and urban schools’ infrastructures. From the 1268 photos taken, a selection is included in the study and constitutes the observation part.
The study negotiates four controversial issues about school grounds’ capacities: space or place; good or bad; rural or urban; grounds of a school or grounds of a curriculum. The results, after all, reject the contradictions and the sections become respectively: a place for all seasons; neither good nor bad, just unique! ; Ideality stands for ideas; grounds for cooperation. It also becomes visible that even though the analysis of the responses confirms that the urban teachers hold the stereotypical idea that there are differences between rural and urban environments; the infrastructures of both environments do not appear different. However, the teachers’ different opinions and beliefs have a significant impact on the students’ responses. Specifically, significant differences are reported by students which align with the teachers’ differences. The rural and urban principals do not report significant differences, and in the great majority their opinions also align with their teachers’ opinions.
Finally, a model which is unfolded through this study has central role, namely the schoolyard circle. This model aims to facilitate a process that I introduce as schoolisization, in which school grounds are used to extend the stereotypical learning environment by adapting the curriculum to a school’s needs. Consequently, the schoolyards’ transformation from a space to our place can be finally proved an outdoor education approach that “bridges contradictions” and promises better educational results.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 116 p.
Schoolyards, Rural and Urban School Grounds, Schoolisization, Quantitative Research, Outdoor Learning and Teaching
Social Sciences Educational Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-109063ISRN: LIU-IKK-MOE-D--14/009--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-109063DiVA: diva2:736236
Subject / course
Master in Outdoor Environmental Education and Outdoor Life
2014-06-11, Key Building, Campus Valla, Linköping University, Linköping, 09:30 (English)
Carlestål, Eva, Universitetslektor
Nilsson Dahlström, Åsa, Universitetslektor