The Impact Of Outdoor Work In Teaching And Learning Geography

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The Impact Of Outdoor Work In Teaching And Learning Geography

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Fieldwork is critical in geography education because it allows many geographical phenomena to be observed in their natural environment and better understood (TMNE, 2012), real life experiences to be gained by putting theory into practice (Fuller, 2006), and thus leads to a better understanding of the real world (Fuller, 2006). (Fuller, 2006). Geographic field visits (Doanay, 1993) provide access to the field, which serves as a laboratory for geographical study (Garipaaolu, 2001). Theoretical knowledge is put into practice through field visits (Girgin, 2001). Field visits can also help with concept teaching (Rudmann, 1994), learning permanence (Balc, 2010b), cognitive skill development (Rudmann, 1994), and transferable skills (Rudmann, 1994). (Scott, 2006). Furthermore, geographical fieldwork improves students’ ability to synthesize and appraise ideas (Akbulut, 2004), has a beneficial impact on students’ geographical expectations (Balc, 2012), and assures that students are in a stable and engaging learning environment (Kent, 1997). The relevance of fieldwork in geography education has demanded research on geography teacher candidates’ self-efficacy perspectives. In its most basic form, self-efficacy refers to one’s conviction in one’s ability to plan and carry out the actions necessary to achieve certain goals (Bandura, 1986), or one’s judgements or views about one’s capability or performance (Bandura, 1977). Self-efficacy can also be defined as an individual’s reaction to queries such as “What can I do?” in addition to these definitions. “Can I perform this task?” (Lopez, 2002) or “Can I do this task?” (Donald, 2003); an individual’s self-confidence; an individual’s assessment of his or her abilities; or an individual’s belief based on his or her experiences (Köseolu, 2004). Fieldwork, defined as any curricular component that entails leaving the classroom and participating in teaching and learning activities by first-hand experience of reality, has a long and well established presence in British geography education. “Geography aims to move youngsters outside the classrooms and into the streets and fields… and into the rain or the sunlight,” Alastair says, referring to this practice. The Geographical Association’s’ manifesto’ for geography in schools, combined with the Royal Geographical Society’s long-standing and unwavering support for fieldwork, leaves no doubt that learning in the’real world’ is considered absolutely essential, contributing particular qualities that run through geography’s identity as a subject discipline: its commitment to exploration and inquiry, as well as its concern to discover and be curious about the world (Girgin, 2003). Fieldwork, as mentioned above, is also critical in the sciences. It is sometimes compared to laboratory work, with geographers’ ‘the field’ equating to scientists’ ‘the lab.’ Fieldwork, on the other hand, is best viewed as a subset of practical science. “There are distinctions,” writes Duncan Hawley. The separation of items from their contexts is inherent in laboratory and classroom investigations… However, in the ‘natural’ sciences, we can only discern how things and rules function in terms of empirical consequences by placing them in certain situations.” Thus, as one of the workshop participants put it, “not all science happens in test tubes, and young people need to understand this.” Fieldwork is highly evaluated by students in both the sciences and geography, according to a large body of research (Akbulut, 2004). For example, Amos and Reiss6 report that students chose ‘going on a scientific trip or expedition’ as the most entertaining and fifth most beneficial and successful means of studying science out of eleven potential tactics. There is considerable consensus in geography at all levels, including higher education, that fieldwork may increase motivation, reduce worry about learning, and encourage deeper rather than more superficial approaches to learning. It typically gives unique experiences and a dedication to seeing an investigation through from beginning to end, often requiring collaboration and teamwork (Açkgöz, 2006). Fieldwork in geography qualifications for 14-16 and 16-19 year-olds has a long history. Of fact, this broad statement encompasses a considerable lot of variation and change across time. Thus, previous to current regulatory frameworks, an individual fieldwork inquiry at AS/A level may contribute one-third of the final mark – externally evaluated, with a selection of students even being examined orally. That was not the norm, and it is unlikely to be repeated again, however it should be remembered that after the introduction of GCSEs in 1986, coursework was worth up to 40% of the total grade in some specifications. It is currently difficult to obtain a geography degree at the age of 16 or 19 without a fieldwork component, albeit the weighting is now much lower (Balc, 2010). Outdoor activity is now included in GCSE ‘controlled assessment’ (though this can be avoided by schools opting for GCSE exams) and is part of the AS/A level skills paper. However, the goal of this study is to determine the function of field in geography teaching and learning.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The teaching of geography material in various disciplines does not seek to meet the objectives of environmental education, which include awareness, knowledge, values, skills, attitudes, and willingness to engage in environmental workshops, seminars, and conferences. Only a few educational modalities, such as fieldwork, project-based learning, and theater, handle these difficulties thoroughly. It has been observed that residents of the study region and its surrounds have a casual attitude toward the environment (Akbulut, 2004). In irresponsible trash disposal, indiscriminate harvesting of vegetal resources, quarrying gravels and sands, and a lack of effective urban planning and land use system, the bad attitude and recklessness are evident. Environmental deterioration is causing ozone layer depletion, erosion, deforestation, and indiscriminate trash dumping, according to national and international protests. These have a significant impact on people’s health and living standards. This is because individuals are unaware of the environmental consequences of their actions. The global population is increasing in a geometrical manner, whereas resources are increasing in an arithmetical manner. The resources present in the environment must be able to support this rising population (Girgin, 2003). Poor environmental management, particularly of agriculture and farming, has an impact on food supply, which is required to maintain the growing population. Population expansion is also putting more strain on the environment and hurting food availability. In contrast, if the environment is adequately cared for, the population will thrive. According to Laleye (2010), 40% of all applicants failed the geography section of the NECO SSCE 2010 in June/July. In Nigerian secondary schools, this is a regular occurrence. Many factors contribute to mass failure, including candidate carelessness, poor expressiveness, lack of syllabus covering, and bad teaching methods, to name a few. Field studies and investigations utilizing primary and secondary sources are important to all students’ geographical education and experience, according to the WAEC chief examiners report (2007). Similarly, it was discovered that SSCE applicants showed a terrible attitude toward environmental concerns, resulting in low grades and a few cases. Even those who sought to take their pupils on field trips were expected to uphold the highest standards, given the low and inadequate performance in this area (The Chief Examiner Report, 2002). There are several teaching techniques for various fields of study, but none has been found as the most effective approach for imparting environmental philosophies and ideologies to the general public who interact with the environment. The issue is hence the role of fieldwork in geography teaching and learning.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The primary goal of this research is to determine the function of fieldwork in geography teaching and learning. The study’s specific goals are to:

  1. Determine the importance of fieldwork in geography teaching and learning.
  2. To find out how field work affects students’ performance in geography classes.
  3. To determine the impact of fieldwork on Niger State College of Education students’ attitudes regarding geography.
  4. To determine the impact of fieldwork on lecturers’ ability to teach geography at Niger State College of Education.

1.4 Research Question

  1. What is the importance of fieldwork in geography teaching and learning?
  2. How does field work affects students’ performance in geography classes?
  3. What are the impacts of fieldwork on Niger State College of Education students’ attitudes regarding geography?
  4. What are the impacts of fieldwork on lecturers’ ability to teach geography at Niger State College of Education?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The impact of outdoor activities in teaching and learning geography is the subject of this research. This study looked at how the outdoors affects students’ understanding of geography from a variety of perspectives.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The impact of outdoor activity in teaching and learning geography will be explored in depth in this research project. Students and teachers in a designated Local Government area will be included in the research.

1.7 Definition of Terms

Outdoor Work:

Work done outside of a business’s premises.


Geography is the study of the earth’s physical characteristics and its atmosphere, as well as human activity as it affects and is impacted by them, such as population distribution, resource distribution, and political and economic activities.


Are defined as a significant effect or influence.

The Impact Of Outdoor Work In Teaching And Learning Geography

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The Impact Of Outdoor Work In Teaching And Learning Geography


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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of outdoor learning?

Taking the curriculum outside can improve attainment, increase engagement, and develop a wide range of skills including problem solving, communication and resilience. Outdoor learning also provides endless opportunities for experiential, contextual and applied education.

How can the Institute support teachers in bringing outdoor learning into curriculum?

The Institute has a range of resources to support Teachers in bringing Outdoor Learning into their curriculum. We are strong supporters of the aims of the government’s ‘nature-friendly schools programme’ announced to create school grounds that support learning about the natural world and also keep children happy and healthy. Horizons Article Archive

Is there a case for outdoor learning in early years?

In this article Paula Richardson, Geography Advisor and member of the GA Field Studies Working Group, argues the case for outdoor learning and suggests ways in which fieldwork could be made more manageable for early years and primary teachers. The following pages are only accessible to GA members.

Why is fieldwork important in geography?

Geography fieldwork Fieldwork is an essential component of geography education. It enables pupils to better understand the ‘messiness’ of ‘geographical reality’, develop subject knowledge, and gain a range of skills that are difficult to develop in the classroom alone. 

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