Education Experience at Warwickshire
I have worked in the English education system for many years and in this time I have held many positions including the current administrative position as an inspector. Over the years, I have learnt that sometimes conventional teaching methods are not as effective as they are expected to be. In such instances, teachers and other regional education administrators are expected to come up with innovative and complementary alternatives to the conventional teaching approach to optimize the learning process.
The relevant education bodies in England continue to emphasize the implementation of a dynamic teaching approach in a bid to address changing learning needs and to cater for varying student attributes. As an education inspector, I was picked to visit various counties across England to assess alternative teaching methodologies that were being implemented and to offer a report on the effectiveness of these methods. In the course of the trip, I found myself in the West Midlands region of England.
I was supposed to assess alternative teaching methods and approaches in the county of Warwickshire and to make a professional recommendation. At the end of the trip, I rated the environmental and outdoor education activities in Warwickshire among the best alternative approaches to the conventional learning methods.
How Learning Inspired Me
My trip across England was strictly professional and I was not supposed to engage in any leisure activities during working hours. I had never been to Warwickshire before and I was immediately enchanted with the beauty of the rural county and its serene environment.
I had read a great deal about the historical significance of the region and I planned to sneak a few hours each day to visit some of the renowned historical landmarks in the region. However, when I started my assessment, I realized that I would have the chance to visit some of these places while I was still working, thanks to the region’s outdoor learning and environmental programme. Schools in the region had organised various outdoor education activities in various parks, museums, and other informative venues in the region.
In this light, I joined various groups on these outdoor excursions and enjoyed breathtaking sights and informative lectures during the assessment sessions. Amazingly, the students appreciated these trips very much and after consulting with their teachers and reviewing their grades, it seemed that the outdoor teaching methodology was enhancing their performance. Additionally, the region had implemented a highly effective environmental education programme, which complemented the outdoor programme by sensitizing the students on environmental matters.
A Gratifying Education Event
Towards the end of my assessment, I was invited to attend an education event that sought to reward students between the ages of 14-24 years on outdoor participation and excellence, the Duke of Edinburgh’s award. The award comprises of three achievement levels, Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
The three achievement levels differ in terms of time of completion for each level, the degree of challenge to the participant, and the minimum age of participation. Students are rewarded for participating and excelling in various physical and outdoor activities including; climbing, archery, team building activities, bush craft, and canoeing among others. The award was presented by the Trustee and Gold Award holder, HRH the Earl of Wessex. One of the most amazing things I witnessed during the event was the electrifying presentation made by some of the students, who had participated in the gold award expedition.
There was also a glorious musical performance by students before and after the presentation. However, the most amazing thing about the learning methods used in Warwickshire is that the emphasis on outdoor learning seemed to enhance student performance. I obtained a list of all the students awarded during this event and reviewed their academic performance. Amazingly, all the students rewarded were performing very well academically.
Additionally, academic performance improved once students started participating in outdoor learning activities and optimized when they became active in these activities. I do not know whether it’s the calming environment in this region that makes outdoor learning effective, all I know is that this region is producing exemplary students.