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  • Writer's pictureAlison Willis

Get Outside!

I have been fortunate to work as an outdoor educator for the past 13 years. This has given me the chance to work with students across Australia and in Asia. My classroom is primarily the natural environment and my educational focus has been working with students in allowing for the affordance of nature to underpin the learning process. Working with small groups in natural environments develops a particular type of student/staff relationship that is unique as you each have to deal with the weather, steep hills, heavy backpacks, early mornings and sometimes very late nights cooking under torch light. The natural environment also provides a different framework that allows many students to prosper compared with more traditional formats of education. This difference often enables a deeper level of engagement. There are many times that when I return from a one or 20 day trip with students where I feel I have learnt as much and if not more due to the unique shared experiences that come from group processes in natural environments. I am grateful that I have the chance to go on learning journeys with my students, and that natural environments afford me the opportunity to be an enabler and to present educational experiences that allow them to become educators in, of and with natural environments in the future.

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