Child Initiated Learning and the Outdoor Environment: A Review of the Literature
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Classroom preparedness is a common issue facing young students. Often children are not developmentally prepared both socially and psychologically, to begin learning in a traditional classroom environment. When children struggle to keep up with the early stages of curriculum, they may continue to fall behind throughout the rest of their education. Reviewed literature suggests that child initiated learning may be the solution to help children prepare for the academic setting. Child initiated learning allows children to move at their own pace when practicing new skills and concepts. In order for a child to succeed using this method, there must be a structure of adult guidance. The role of the adult in Child initiated learning is to provide the environment and the fundamentals that the child needs to work independently. Often this involves manipulating the toys and tools the child has access to as well as the environment itself. A common environment that utilizes child initiated learning is the outside classroom. Nature provides an outlet for the child to move freely, experiment, and explore. The children are able to fully act upon their own curiosity and develop skills necessary for school as well as life. It is believed that this method of learning could be the most beneficial to those who struggle in a formal classroom setting. It is possible that incorporating child initiated learning in public schools could help benefit children who fall behind in the classroom and help them thrive.