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Table 3 Contributions of outdoor learning and teachers’ quotes

From: Teacher views on inquiry-based learning: the contribution of diverse experiences in the outdoor environment

  Outdoor learning contribution Teachers’ quotes
Impacts Affective (72.4%) The activity outdoors and the exploration were fascinating
Incorporating inquiry in a field trip/field study was a wonderful experience, educative and enriching. The experiential learning leaves the insights and learning for long time and makes you want to experience this again
The essence of going to the outdoors and to nature and being exposed to the “minor evidence” (such as the remains of an ancient oven, finding a cactus, wildlife traces) and the continuous initiation of curiosity in an attempt to understand what’s going there make you happy and content
Cognitive (65.5%) I will always remember our results. If I had only read about Hoshaya village instead of being there, I would never remember and know so much
Learning from the environment gives you insights and perspectives which are different than “couch learning” (books, computers etc.)
… it gives you a system perspective—integration of humans with the environment, adaptation of plants and animals, thoughts about harmony in nature…
Social (24.1%) Sharing knowledge and experiences was throughout all activities
I liked the way we collaborated in our team. Each and every one was responsible for everyone’s learning
Teaching Authentic learning (58.6%) In an ecological inquiry, you need to use the near environment for teaching, and reduce formal (classroom) teaching, to let the students explore and investigate the real outdoor environment. I’ve always taught using pictures and physical models of the ecosystem. In the future, I’ll teach them outside
I especially loved seeing and touching artifacts 2000 years old (a piece of a Hellenistic bowl). I never imagined such things can be found just lying there on the ground. I enjoyed experiencing how wearing the “archeological lenses” for a moment and getting the experts’ support changed my vision and understanding
Active learning (55.2%) We looked for evidence ourselves. We had to figure out the meaning of each piece of evidence, which was a challenge
I learned what fieldwork is all about. I have taken part in many investigations, but they were all in labs. I have participated in many field trips too, as a student, but I was always a passive observer and listener. There is no doubt, when you’re an active learner outdoors, learning is more meaningful because you use your five senses to do the work and then you understand better—like I really understood the difference between the planted pine forest and the Mediterranean chaparral
  Social interaction (24.1%) Sharing knowledge and experiences was throughout all activities
I liked the way we collaborated in our team. Each and every one was responsible for everyone’s learning