Learning environment

Exercise, outdoor learning and well-being at school

There is little knowledge in Finland about the extent to which teaching in primary school takes place outside the traditional classroom and what effects the use of outdoor learning environments can have on students' learning, on their physical activity, health and well-being and nature relations, and what opportunities and challenges teachers experience. in relation to this. Folkhälsan Research Center's Learning Environment study seeks answers to these questions.

Folkhälsans Learning Environment: movement, outdoor learning and well-being in school

The new curriculum in Finland came into force in 2016, emphasize the use of diverse learning environments. There is little knowledge in Finland about the extent to which teaching in primary school takes place outside the traditional classroom and what effects the use of outdoor learning environments can have on students' learning, on their physical activity, health and well-being and nature relations, and what opportunities and challenges teachers experience. in relation to this. Folkhälsans' Learning Environment study seeks answers to these questions. The results from the study provide a basis for which factors related to health and a good learning environment are important among school children. The study contributes knowledge that can be used to promote learning and well-being in school, both among students and teachers, and support schools and teachers in their work.

The Learning Environment study fields and objectives

The Learning Environment study consists of a) a survey of the use of learning environments outside the school building, where the research material is used to clarify to what extent different learning environments are used in the Swedish-language primary school lower classes and what factors (including perceived benefits and obstacles, experience of self-determination and support) related to this and b) the main study where the questionnaire material, results from academic tests and the measurements with motion meters are used to examine students' physical activity, health and well-being, school results and nature relationship and how the class teacher's use of different learning environments and other factors are related to these. Before the two sub-studies, a pilot study is carried out where the purpose is to test how feasible and suitable the data collection methods planned for the studies are.

Data and methods

Data for the study are collected in the autumn of 2021 in a national survey in Swedish-language primary schools lower classes among teachers and principals, and in the spring of 2022 in Swedish-language primary schools grades 3-6 in Turku and the surrounding area among students, guardians and class teachers. Data is collected with electronic web surveys and the students' physical activity is measured with a movement meter during a week when a diary is also filled in. Academic tests are performed during lesson time.

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Nina Simonsen, PhD, Project Leader

Nanna Wackström, MSc. (Health sciences), Project Coordinator

Jenny Ray, BA, Research Assistant

Svenska kulturfonden, Foundation of Eschnerska Frilasarettet, Johanna och G. A. Petrelius foundation.

Folkhälsan association in Åboland

    • Nina Simonsen

      PhD, Scientist

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