"Learning outside the classroom should be built into planning for all learners, every week and all year round. It is a powerful tool that is proven to raise attainment, bolster social, emotional and personal development and contributes to the health and well being of children and young people." (LOTC, 2011)
Treejumpers believe that Outdoor Learning opportunities should
be so much more than a fun day out - they should be designed to
ensure that the experience has a lasting impact on participants -
leading to real results back in the classroom. Outdoor Learning
should be an integral part of the education system and part of
improving schools and the life chances of their students.
All Treejumpers activities are designed around the 3 Ps of positive psychology:
- Permanence -When things go
wrong, optimists see this as a one-off setback, pessimists as
something that always happens. Our instructors are trained to
facilitate positive outcomes from setback and failure.
- Pervasiveness -When things
go wrong, optimists realise it was because of a particular
situation, pessimists see it as spreading right through their
lives. Our activity design allows for 'learned optimism' to be
- Personalisation -When things go wrong, optimists take control of events; pessimists sink into a depressive state imagining that the whole world is against them. Treejumpers challenges this state.
What does the research say?
Am I really building learning skills within my students:
- Learning to learn and other skills-based programmes such as De
Bono's 6 hats or 'Brain training' might have an impact within one
context but the skills tend to remain as 'inert'. They do not
become transferable and do not come to mind spontaneously when they
might be needed. (David Perkins, Harvard)
- A better way forward is to not focus on skills but on 'dispositions.'
"One aspect of being smart is being ready, willing and able to be curious and ask questions. Another is being ready, willing and able to use your imagination in different ways. Another is being ready, willing and able to persist in the face of difficulty."(Claxton)
Am I being adventurous enough with my students:
"Two hunters in the woods are suddenly confronted by a huge grizzly bear. One immediately gropes in his pack for his trainers and slips them on. The other says scornfully, 'you don't think you can outrun an adult grizzly, do you?' 'No', says the first, 'all I have to do is outrun you.' (Sternberg, 1996)
- Many young people's learning energies are engaged more deeply, and their minds are therefore being stretched and expanded more powerfully, when they are working over time to shape and craft physical material, than when they are working only with listening, reading and writing. (Claxton, taken from Papert, S.)
Am I limiting my students by only seeing them learn in the classroom?
- Students who over a period of time are treated as if they are intelligent, actually become more so. If they are taught demanding content, and are expected to find and explain connections, they learn more and learn more quickly. They come to think of themselves as learners. They are better able to bounce back in the face of short-term failures. (Resnick)
How can Treejumpers help?
- Treejumpers is run by people who understand the messy and complicated nature of learning as well as having a deep understanding of schools and the examination system.
- Our Director of Education was Vice Principal at Ark Academy, (Outstanding Nov 2010) and a facilitator for Teaching Leaders as well as an AST. Teach First recognize him as a world leader in creating transformational classrooms.
- Our instructors are trained to facilitate reflection and leaning. A major impact here is when teachers see their students learning in a new environment. Any labels that may wittingly or unwittingly have been applied to a student tend to disappear.
- Thus our knowledge and experience allows us to design a series of packages that focus on developing specific learning outcomes and 'habits of mind' whilst being able to tailor them to the specific needs of individual schools.