For a while now the outdoor spaces at SEK International School Guatemala have been incorporated as part of the learning process for various reasons in the different departments.
Before the outbreak of COVID-19 we saw that childhood was being spent indoors and that screens were occupying their leisure time. Due to this, play and outdoor learning had been reduced to only concrete moments. One of the most effective sanitary measures to avoid contracting Covid-19 is ventilation in closed spaces and outdoor activities. At SEK International School Guatemala outdoor methodology is already our reality and one of the strengths of our school, which has a spacious building and many green areas.
Every approach needs to be balanced. In the same way that technology in the school has a pedagogical use in ways such as gamification, flipped classrooms or programming this pedagogy applies when you go outside to give your classes. It doesn’t mean that you replicate the same situation in the classroom outdoors, you take advantage of the interactions that happen between the students and the natural environment. For this reason there is special attention paid to the planning of these activities. This methodological approach is completely compatible with academic excellence.
2020 is turning out to be a year that we can consider to be like a big social experiment. One where we are made conscious of the importance of physical and social contact between people and the effects of confinement on children and adults. Before, we understood that a classroom was more than just four walls because we observed the benefits of being outdoors with our students both in parameters of health and academic performance. However, maybe this situation has offered a historic opportunity to claim the playground as another space for learning.