Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Susan Schramm-Pate

Abstract

New policy at LHP (pseudonym) requires all teachers to implement the Danish Forest School approach and integrate the natural outdoor areas surrounding the campus in their curriculum and pedagogy. The purposes of the present study are to identify the cognitive, affective and psychomotor impact of the Danish Forest School approach on students and to design a professional development plan for teachers that enables them to combine this approach within an interdisciplinary framework that will include the State Standards that are required of all third-grade students in this southern, private, parochial school. Action research methods were used to collect observational data in both the indoor and outdoor classrooms. Data was analyzed to compare the two settings. Data findings include: 1. Teacher resistance; 2. Student-to-student interactions; 3. Student attention spans; and 4. Student anxiety to the outdoor classroom. An action plan is designed to enable teachers to effectively design curricular plans that integrate the Danish Forest School approach with state standards and are sensitive to students’ needs.

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