10 innovative methods and models to make students fall in love with science

Summer came, bringing us the opportunity to vary our learning activities in the middle of nature!  Not only students will be more active and engaged, but they will experience a variety of innovative activities.

By Mihaela Rusitoru

How and for what reason? 

Organising activities outside the classroom helps both teachers and students to get familiarized with different methods of teaching and learning. Depending on the type of activities – field trips, museum visits, biodiversity education - teachers can emphasise the pedagogy and the learning experience using different methods and models: 

  1. Experiment: during the outside the classroom activities, students can explore other learning contexts, such as museums, farms, or forests, and discover the reality in a real context and not virtually.
  2. Learning by doing: promoted by John Dewey, this method offers the possibility for students to do things by themselves and to learn from their own experiences.
  3. Participatory exchange: students get the opportunity to reflect more and to share their knowledge related to issues addressed by science education, for example (collection of waste, recycling garbage, etc.).
  4. Phenomenon-based learning: which helps students to explore a phenomenon from nature from different and complementary points of view.
  5. Inquiry-based learning: starting from the knowledge already acquired on the topic, students can broaden the content and enrich it.
  6. Tutoring: working in pairs or small groups helps students to share good practices and to become “mentors” for their colleagues, explaining things they master well on a preferred topic.
  7. Scientific writing: It supports students to draft essays and develop intellectual skills such as questioning, formulating, testing hypothesis, or doing research. 
  8. Scientific portfolio: experimental learning helps students to work on a common project and to better synthesize and restitute the findings.
  9. Questionnaire or survey: helping students to get familiarized with the most important knowledge and skills linked to the topic discussed, but also to start thinking in a research approach.
  10. Self-assessing or peer-assessing: education outside the classroom helps students not only to enhance knowledge and skills but also to evaluate their own progress or the progress made by their classmates.

These methods and models are complementary to traditional learning and contribute to developing self-discipline, research investigation, respect for nature, and more friendly relations between students. Thus, the acquisition of lifelong learning skills is guaranteed! 



  • Franc Serge, Reynaud Christian and Hasni Abdelkrim, « Apprentissages en éducation à la biodiversité   à   l’école   élémentaire :   savoirs   et   émotions   au    sujet    des arthropodes », RDST [En ligne], 8 | 2013, mis en ligne le 17 février 2016. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/rdst/776 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/rdst.776
  • Lange Jean-Marc, « Éducation au développement durable : éléments pour une problématisation de la formation des enseignants », Carrefours de l'éducation, 2011/3 (HS n° 1), p. 71-85. DOI : 10.3917/cdle.hs01.0071. URL: https://www.cairn.info/revue- carrefours-de-l-education-2011-3-page-71.htm
  • Lémery Edmond, « Á l’origine, la « classe-promenade ». Le nouvel éducateur, 183, November 2006. Available at: https://www.icem-freinet.fr/archives/ne/ne/183/183-8.pdf
  • Nicolas Lara, « L’école-forêt de A à Z – 26 clés pour comprendre l’Éducation par la Nature ». Book freely available upon request at: https://mapetiteforet.fr/la-sylvopedagogie/

Photo: Mariana Mata-Lara

10 innovative methods and models to make students fall in love with science