Unit 1 Task 1 – Learning and Development
Theories of learning and development and their relevance to Forest School
These are suggested resources and you should read around this topic to gain a full understanding before beginning your written work.
Schema – Piaget
A schema (plural schemata or schemas) describes a pattern of thought or behaviour that organises categories of information and the relationships among them. It can then be used to identify things we know, see or experience at a later date or to identify new things.
Self directed, collaborative play – Montessori
The Montessori approach promotes exploration and child-led learning, offering a very key link with the Forest School ethos.
Hierarchy of needs -Maslow
Maslow created a model called a ‘Hierarchy of Needs’, explaining how a persons cannot move to the next stage of their learning without first being provided with a number of needs.
Progressive education – Dewey
John Dewey was a hugely influential American psychologist, making clear link between learning in children and access to nature.
Kinder-garten (children’s garden) – Froebel
Friedrich Froebel, the German educationalist, is best known as the originator of the ‘kindergarten system’.
An example of a paragraph explaining how you will incorporate these theories in your Forest School sessions might look like this:
The delivery of my Forest School program will be based upon all of these theories including
that of Maria Montessori and also John Dewey. The approach I intend to undertake will be
to ‘facilitate learning’. In other words, to provide a safe, engaging and inspiring
environment, based upon the natural, exploratory and investigative nature of young
children. Although this will include the specific teaching of how to handle and use tools
safely and effectively, the approach will be fundamentally child-led. This means that
children can make their own choices and follow their own interests and learn new skills
along the way. The adults will provide the equipment, the guidance, the language and the
encouragement. Some activities in which children will be able to choose to participate, will
be planned by adults.