The open-air school during the crisis

L’école en plein air pendant la crise

Two teachers at the preschool of Québec give their lessons in the forest, since the return to school, to reduce the risk of contracting the COVID-19, and improve student learning.

Since 11 may, 26 young people from kindergarten to School of the Beau-Séjour in the Saint-Émile, go to class to finish their school year. However, it is a class rather special since it has no wall and it is located in the middle of the forest.

“With the COVID-19, the measures of distanciations social and all… back in a confined space for several hours with students, it frightened me a little,” says one of the teachers and instigators of the project, Marie-Eve Giguère.

Learn in nature

Thus, every morning, Ms. Giguère and her colleague Anne Gaudet lead their young in a small wooded area, a mile from their school, near the lake at Frogs.

With the help of a rope to which are attached “chips” of pools to two meters, the quota on a fifty-metre walks the route four times per day. They do not come back to school for dinner or during rainy days, they spend in the gym setting.

“We found that being confined to a place, it was going against the teaching by the game advocated in kindergarten, had of the misery with it,” says Ms. Gaudet, who adds that parents who did not want to send their children to school have changed your mind after the presentation of the project.

This initiative has also allowed the school Beautiful-Stay for free with a local for a class of first-year who must adapt to the new measures of the government.

It works

The new method of teaching which Mrs. Gaudet and Mrs. Giguère is the standard-bearer would be beneficial for the students, according to an american study published in January 2018.

The behavior of two groups of children aged 9 to 10 years, and for ten weeks was analyzed to measure the impact of an immersion in nature followed by learning the “regular” classroom.

Of the 100 peers of comparison studied, 61 showed an improvement of the climate of participation in class, if it had followed a period of ” nature “.

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