Free play, learning outside, and other discoveries in education

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Issue 15: 19 May 2020
Every week, HEADlines brings you the latest news, stories and commentaries
in education and healthcare. This week, get insights on the latest developments
in education.  
Dreaming of the outdoors

It has been months since cities were locked down, and children have not been able to roam outside freely.

As countries prepare to ease lockdowns and draw up school reopening plans, Scotland looks to outdoor learning as a model of a new era of schooling. Besides offering ample space for children to observe social distancing, outdoor learning can also build resilience, encourage creativity and improve their mental and physical well-being. An outdoor school in England is helping migrant children build confidence and self-esteem while reconnecting them with nature.

Research has also shown that child-led, unstructured play is crucial to a child’s development. A school district in the US heeded this advice and incorporated unstructured play into its timetable, resulting in students becoming happier, better adjusted and readier to learn in class.

As schools formulate their reopening plans, it is important to keep in mind the importance of unstructured play, and make time for outdoor play in the new semester. 
Education in the Spotlight
Creating a social-capital approach to school and youth engagement can help develop young people’s occupational identity.
Practice makes perfect, but a teacher's guidance is important too.
Students here are no stranger to coding, tablets and digital badges. Nevertheless, teachers are well aware that technology can’t do everything.
Early puzzle play can build spatial thinking, potentially improving math and science skills.
We have witnessed what happens when we give the planet a break. So why not do it permanently?
These rankings highlight equity issues around performance and need to be viewed in context, on a regional basis.

That's all for the week!
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