Integration of Indoor and Outdoor Learning

While education is crucial for everyone’s livelihood, there are aspects of education which are significantly critical in the development and growth of individuals. I find that education is broad and encompasses various means and methods of instilling knowledge. While the education systems has incorporated online systems and libraries for teaching subjects; the hands on experience has been neglected more so the outdoors experiences and hands on teaching. Therefore, there is a need to integrate indoors learning with outdoors learning.

I have observed that the education system has continued to rely on the internet for learning and research purposes. It is not surprising that most students do not have an affinity for the outdoors experiences or learning. Since, the internet has numerous information, students feel that they do not need to go anywhere to find what they need for education, leisure or executing daily tasks like ordering goods from stores. Consequently, education has neglected the environmental aspect of learning. For instance, I have heard a fellow student describing the exhilaration of hunting, the thrill of stalking prey and the anticipation of the successful acquisition of the prey. However, when I queried his experience, it was astonishing to realize that he was referring to an online game and not an actual outdoors experience.

While the argument for internet and online learning resources is undisputable given the advances in information technology, it is my belief that continued reliance of the internet for educational resources continues to diminish the student’s appreciation of the environment and nature. While I confess to appreciate and rely on the internet for a significant percentage of my school work, I have found that leaning indoors and experiencing things in the outdoors has a higher affinity in impacting on a student’s knowledge and appreciation of the subject in question. For instance, during the weekends on a visit to town, I observed an oily and smelly runoff leaking from a processing plant into an adjacent rivulet. It occurred to me that the runoff comprised of environmentally harmful materials which have the potential of killing the marine life and ecosystem, in the rivulet.

Meanwhile, a group of people sensitive to the effects of the runoff towards the environment were protesting at the processing plant’s gates. Some of the people held dead fish as evidence of the harmful effects of the waste materials leaking into the rivulet. In spite of my knowledge of the harmful effects of waste materials from industries, I had not experienced hands on the effects of industrial pollution to the environment. While, observing the protesters, I realized that without firsthand experience, it is almost impossible to make a person appreciate the gravity of the situation. Consequently, learning of issues and subjects without experiencing them at any one point creates a population full of knowledge but lacking the outdoor exposure or experience to appreciate and put into use the acquired knowledge.

Online learning resources have a significant impact in today’s world; however, while the education systems has impressed upon the use of these resources, the integration of practical experience is critical not only for students but for teachers as well. I realize that among the factors that make a teacher to have an impact on his students is the ability to demonstrate practical application of the subject matter of the lesson. I often hear my fellow students describing things which they have never seen or experienced, yet they have significant amounts of information on a subject.

A student can describe the formation, development and attributes of an object but has never held or seen one except on online libraries and websites. I feel that this trend in not only creating an indoors culture, but it leads to an inactive population. An inactive population culminates to health challenges like obesity and antisocial tendencies. An education system should facilitate a leaning environment which integrates indoor and outdoor learning. This creates a healthy learning environment while exposing students to actual challenges in the real world.

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