By Deirdre O’Neill, Orla McCormack and Regina Kelly (University of Limerick)
Literature plays an important role in informing us of tried and tested approaches used for Education Outside the Classroom (EOC). We, at OTTER, are interested in another layer of EOC practices – How EOC can help to teach Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths subjects. Through a literature review we outlined studies that did just that! Our study explored the link between STEAM and EOC practices. It revealed a diverse range of topics including: Climate Change, Sustainability & Conservation, Rock Formation, Zoology, Botany & Anthropology, Evolution, Space, Motion Force and Energy. Some of the ways that these topics were presented were through virtual reality or use of tablets, museum exhibitions, informal and non-formal learning environments, playgrounds and trips to venues outside the classroom.
Our study highlighted that Science is mostly reported in the field of EOC practices, with some studies in Technology, Art and Maths. Engineering was one of the fields in STEAM that was underrepresented in the literature when investigating impacts of Education Outside the Classroom. This study outlines the opportunity for engineering education research to create cross-curricular links and report on interesting education outside the classroom opportunities in the subject.
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Photo by Anete Lusina