Affordances of coastal environments to support teaching and learning: outdoor learning at the beach in Scotland
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Barrable, D. and Barrable, A. (2022) ‘Affordances of coastal environments to support teaching and learning: outdoor learning at the beach in Scotland’, Education 3-13, pp. 1–12. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/03004279.2022.2100440.
Outdoor and natural environments have been steadily recognised as conducive to learning and social development. Most practice and research in this field has mostly focused on green spaces, such as forests and parks, and practices such as forest school. This particular paper looks at outdoor learning in a coastal environment, which has not received as much attention. Through the lens of affordance theory, we examine the possibilities for practice in such a space. Interviews with experienced early years and primary-school practitioners provide a rich narrative of ways that the beach environment can support and extend teaching and learning. Findings suggest that space, natural resources and the elements provide a wealth of opportunities for different types of pedagogical approaches and self-directed learning and play. We examine the potential for beach environments to be used more widely for learning in primary settings.