Primary school teachers on learning and teaching outside school space Teja Gosenar and Majda Cencič
Summary: With regard to location, learning and teaching can take place within or outside school buildings, e.g. in the school playground, in the yard, in the garden, on a farm or in various cultural and other institutions in the form of fieldwork, research, project, or experiential learning, etc. To summarise, learning and teaching outside school space can have a number of advantages, as it promotes physical activity, contact with nature, multisensory learning; it is suitable for a variety of learning styles, etc. All school subjects, too, include learning objectives that can also be attained outside school space. Based on a questionnaire that was conducted on a sample of primary school teachers from all statistical regions in Slovenia it has been found that sports and natural sciences still prevail among the subjects that are carried out outside school space, while subjects such as Slovenian, mathematics, and foreign languages are as a rule not carried out outside school space. With regard to the frequency of execution outside school space, there is no statistically significant difference according to the education cycle (the first vs. the second triennium), there is, however, a statistically significant difference according to the location of school (urban, suburban, rural). Teachers in rural and suburban schools perform lessons outside school space more often than those in urban schools. Given the results of the survey we conclude that the wider school space (e.g. the town, the village, cultural and other institutions) are insufficiently utilised. As—according to the reviewed objectives of basic school syllabi—teaching and learning outside school space is suitable for all subjects; it should probably be promoted more, so teachers would utilize it more for teaching and learning of all school subjects.