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Community by Nature: An examination of an outdoor learning intervention for young people at risk of exclusion

Gibson, B, Ashworth, E and Newson, LM (2022) Community by Nature: An examination of an outdoor learning intervention for young people at risk of exclusion. Project Report. Community by Nature.

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The present report outlines a mixed-methods examination of Community by Nature’s (CbN) outdoor learning intervention. The first phase of the examination was conducted with N=8 young people (aged 11-16) from a secondary school in Merseyside, who had previously been identified as at-risk of future exclusion. These young people participated in the intervention two days a week over a five-month period and completed two surveys (one at baseline and one following completion of the ntervention) that measured wellbeing and attitudestowards various pro- and anti-social behaviours. Inferential statistics (t-tests) indicated that young people’s goals and aspirations became significantly more positive after participating in the intervention, and their perceived stress levels reduced. Wellbeing and self-regulation scores also increased after receipt of the intervention, although this change did not reach statistical significance. A sub-sample of the young people (N=3), alongside intervention staff (N=2), school staff (N=1) and previous intervention recipients (N=3), later took part in semistructured interviews to identify longer-term perceptions of impact as part of the second phase of the examination. Reflexive thematic analysis was used to analyse interview data, and three themes (with associated sub-themes) were identified: 1) the outdoor intervention as a preferable learning environment (opportunities for novel experiences, building confidence, developing trust and mutual respect), 2) the outdoor intervention as a transformative
experience (social development, emotional development, changing lives), and 3) the future of outdoor learning interventions (recommendations for CbN, making outdoor learning even better). These themes indicated benefits to wellbeing, pro-social behaviour, and the young people’s prospects over time as they talked of the future, the advantages of being outside, learning practical skills, working as part of a team, and making new friends. Overall, we found the intervention showed promise in supporting the varioussocial, emotional, and behavioural needs of young people, particularly those at-risk. We have enclosed our recommendations for the future of the intervention within.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Community by Nature
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2023 12:13
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2023 12:13
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/21473
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