It is almost the end of the final term and students are now working on their final projects. To complete their projects on time, students even prefer to work on weekends. Due to which, students usually spent their left-over time playing indoor games or chatting with their friend over social media. One such experience was shared by a parent last week when she comes to observe one of my classes. She started with her childhood memories where she was praising the time when technology did not exist in their lives, and people usually spent times meeting in places like parks and gardens. On that note, I started to wonder and even at one point, I asked the same from that parent, does technology recently took place in our lives like a decade or so? The technology was there even in the 50s or 60s, in a manner of high-end automobiles, media and even household items like microwave oven and refrigerator were commonly use by the individuals. If technology was not an issue, then why today’s young minds do not prefer to go outside and spent times in ‘REAL TIME’?
Being human sometimes we believe we believe that children should provide a healthy and safe learning environment and for us ‘healthy and safe’ means no outside encounter. Most of the time parents themselves offer an option to their kids whether they want to go outside, messed around, makes their clothes dirty and stained or they want to stay at home safely, away from any trouble. What do you think, what an adolescent mind will be going to accept? Research says that the majority of time children want to go outside and explore the world around them by meeting new people or play new challenging outdoor games. However, due to lack of enough playgrounds in the city area, children usually get bored as they believe ‘there was nothing to do there…. There weren’t enough challenges.’
Another reason that makes adolescents stay at home is the matter of ‘Convenience’. When I can stay at home, in my convenient cloths, with an unlimited supply of games in my console where I can connect with my friends while playing CS Go or Pub G, why should I need to go even outside and waste my valuable PUB G time? The question that should pop up in every parent’s mind who is reading this article ‘does it mean that we stop our children from not to engage in any online games and stuff? It’s a legit question, but if I were you, I should ask ‘How would I make an adjustment in my children’s timetable where they can familiarise with the technology as well as they also got time to play outdoors and learn from the natural environment.
It was the year 2016 when I first published my research Learning Outside the Classroom – Students’ Responses and Learning Outcomes, where I discussed the significance of the natural environment in students’ educational life. However, since 2016, I encountered several cases during my teaching, where parents and students share their anxiety towards outdoor learning. Some consider outdoor as an unsafe and unhealthy environment, while some consider it even a waste of time and energy. And I always ask one question from them. What if one of the reasons a child is having difficulty concentrating in lessons is the absence of green environment in his/her lives?
Think about it.