Learning outside the Classroom

M.A, Psychology
Clinical psychologist
@Islaah Center for Psychological Wellness

A decade or two ago most schools focused on the conventional way of learning where the teacher shared her subject knowledge and students learnt through listening. Repetition and memorization constituted most part of the learning process. Though this method of learning helped students in developing their leadership quality and interpersonal skills it did not help them develop their critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making skills. Now through research and experiments we know that there are different ways in which a student gains knowledge (auditory, visual and kinesthetic).So, to make sure that no student is left behind most schools today are following the concept of learning outside the class room. The benefits of learning outside the classroom are innumerable. A child learns something new every day. It allows them to have a new level of understanding which the 4 walls of a classroom filled with posters, board and benches that restricts his movement would have ever given him.

Learning outside the classroom can be defined as using places other than the classroom or school premises for teaching such as a botanical garden, work shop and farm .Students are exposed to a new environment that is authentic and this real world experience will help them question, analyze and find answers on their own. These experiences will prepare them to succeed not only in academics but in the real world too. Be it Math, Science or Social students can learn it all from this open class room where the teacher becomes a “facilitator”. Even a boring lesson becomes interesting and students take part enthusiastically when they learn things in a new way.

Students who experience learning outside the classroom benefit with increase in self-esteem and become more focused. Evidence suggests that it can help raise achievement, improve classroom behavior and improve the engagement of students, including those who are hard to engage in the classroom environment. Not to mention there will be less of absenteeism. It also improves students’ personal, social and emotional development.

As the emphasis is on learning rather than the pedagogy or the teaching method it has proved to be a great help for students with learning difficulties. For a student who is weak in Math’s or someone who gets confused with colors can all easily learn through the free resources available outside the classroom which should be smartly utilized by their teacher.