Schoolyard-Enhanced Learning: Using the Outdoors as an Instructional Tool, K-8 (Paperback)
Schoolyard-Enhanced Learning: Using the Outdoors as an Instructional Tool K-8 shows how the school grounds—regardless of whether your school is in an urban, suburban, or rural setting—can become an enriching extension of the classroom. In this comprehensive handbook, Herb Broda blends theory and practice, providing readers with practical suggestions and teacher-tested activities for using the most powerful audio-visual tool available—the outdoors.
Emphasizing the practical, this innovative book offers teachers step-by-step guidance to help ensure success when they take a class outside. It provides:
- Background that helps present the case for outdoor learning: educational theory that supports the concept; overview of the terminology; research on the benefits related to student achievement; alignment of outdoor learning with current teaching practices.
- Ideas for making the schoolyard an effective outdoor classroom: the planning process; enhancing and maintaining the site; developing gardens and attracting wildlife; finding community resources and funding.
- Advice on working with a class outdoors: garnering administrative and parental support; considerations before going out; making the most of your outdoor time; using GPS as an educational tool; building on the outdoor experience back in the classroom.
- An array of proven activities that utilize the schoolyard: activities related to specific subject areas; activities that teach process skills; activities that encourage initiative and build community.
At a time when children's natural curiosity about the outdoors is eclipsed by the demands of busy schedules and the ever-present glow of video screens, schools may be the only place where they are encouraged to interact with nature. Schoolyard-Enhanced Learning can help teachers unlock the powerful learning experiences that exist just beyond the classroom door.
Herb is a professor emeritus of education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Ashland University in Ohio. He teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses with an emphasis on middle school education, instructional methods, and outdoor/experiential education.
He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Ohio State University and his doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction from Kent State University. His long career in teaching includes experiences as a sixth-grade teacher, resident outdoor education program teacher and co-director, conservation summit faculty at the National Wildlife Federation, and environmental education summer workshop series faculty at Kent State.
"A genuine enthusiasm both for teaching in general, and the discipline in particular, is what brings a classroom alive,” says Herb. “Enthusiasm is infectious. It's hard to be around a person who is excited about a topic and not at least pause to give some thought to what is being said.”
Herb's areas of specialty include the use of the outdoors as an instructional tool, resident outdoor education, middle school education, instructional planning, place-based education, environmental education, and the use of the schoolyard as an instructional tool.
"Professional development needs to be ongoing throughout a career, and should consider the career stages, as well as the perceived needs and interests of teachers. The implementation of new ideas requires the provision of learning options that consider the differing needs of teachers. It's critical that teachers be an active part of the staff development planning process."
As reflected in his books Schoolyard-Enhanced Learningand Moving the Classroom Outdoors, Herb has a real passion for using the outdoors as a teaching tool. "I enjoy helping teachers explore ways to step outside and use nature in their teaching."
Herb and his wife, Janet, live in Ohio. They have three adult children--Emily, Matthew, and Michael--and thoroughly enjoy their roles as grandparents.