Should Wilderness Education Be Taught In School

Categories: Education

According to Ben Fogle, "We need fewer exams and more wilderness in education." "Instead of pumping time and money into exams, we should focus on wellbeing and encouraging children to connect with the natural world."

Government plans to introduce national tests for seven-year-olds shows just how far our exam obsession has come. Our kids now face constant assessment as politicians attempt to measure the success of schools. Children have become tiny cogs in a box-ticking government machine. Education has lost its way.

This matters to me a great deal, especially since becoming a father to Ludo, five, and Iona, four. I don’t want my children to feel the same sense of failure I did growing up because they’re not good at passing tests. Let’s be honest, some people are better suited to exams than others in the same way that some of us are more sporty or arty.

There are a few of us whose minds turn to putty under pressure. Exams left me feeling worthless and lacking in confidence. The worse I did in each test, the more pressure I felt to deliver results that never came. When I failed half my A-levels, and was rejected by my university choices, I spiralled into a depression.

The wilderness rescued me. I have been shaped by my experiences in the great outdoors. Feeling comfortable in the wild gave me the confidence to be who I am, not who others want me to be. There is a natural simplicity to nature; it is far more tactile and tangible than the classroom. It’s a leveller; it strengthened my character and set me back on track.

"I want an education system that works inside out. The outdoors becomes a weekly topic – encompassing geography, environment, resourcefulness, home economics, science, and maths – undertaken outside. Classes could be in an inner-city park, scrubland or garden."

"As my own children step on to the conveyor belt, I am determined to give them a rounded education. I am in a fortunate position to share some of the wonders of the wilderness with my own kids. But we all have a responsibility to ensure every child has access to the same life-enhancing opportunities. The government should think long and hard before launching another budget-sapping exam and think about investing in the health and wellbeing of future generations."

"I don’t want my children to feel the same sense of failure I did growing up because they’re not good at passing tests."

Finish reading the entire article HERE

via TheGuardian

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