In & Out: Learning outside the classroom

The aim of this project is to support pupils' subject related learning outside the classroom. This is done by qualifying the collaboration between a dual target group consisting of representatives from formal and non-formal learning environments.

In and out classroom
  • In European primary and lower secondary schools, learning outside the classroom is mostly understood as an appendix to academic learning, randomly added to areas traditionally linked to the outdoor setting, such as environmental education or personal development. 

    In this project the concept is defined as moving regular curricular-based education and learning activities outside the traditional classroom. 

    Learning outside the classroom

    Learning outside the classroom is not integrated in the European formal and non-formal educational systems and its didactic potential remains largely unexploited. One of the reasons for not using learning outside the classroom as an integrated part of the curricular is lack of competencies among teachers and educators. The lack is especially in regards to “classical” subjects in the European schools systems e.g.. Language, Math, Science, Arts & Craft. 

    Innovative and diverse teaching 

    The project aims at contributing to making the teaching in schools more innovative and diverse by focusing on to interrelated needs: 

    1. In primary and lower secondary schools there is a need to further develop curriculum-related activities in learning outside the classroom settings through a systematic lift of competencies among teachers in the didactics of learning outside the classroom 
    2. Educators in the non-formal learning settings possess strong communicative skills and are competent at facilitating activity-based learning processes but need training in didactics and learning theory. 

    Training course package 

    The partnership will develop a further training course package, aimed at teachers in primary and lower secondary schools and educators in non-formal learning settings. The further training course will be interdisciplinary thus the dual target group will follow the course activities together. 

    The course package consists of two parts: 

    1. A foundation course with a general introduction to the didactics of learning outside the classroom 
    2. A subject-specific course, integrating the subject areas such as Mathematics, Arts & Craft, Science, and Language.
  • Partners in In & Out


    VIA University College (lead partner)

    Faculty of Education and Social Studies 

    Karen Barfod, Dept. of Teacher Education, Nr. Nissum
    E: Project manager 

    Mikael Skånstrøm, Dept. of Teacher Education, Nr. Nissum
    E:, Subject expert in Mathematics 

    Helle Villekold:, International Project Office
    E:, Administrative project manager 


    University of Bucharest 

    Alexandru Andrasanu, Faculty of Geology and Geophysics, Geomedia Centre
    E: , Subject expert in science 

    Mihaela Nicula, Open Distance Learning Department
    E: , Project administrative 


    Linköping UniversityNational Centre for Outdoor Education 

    Eva Kätting, Subject expert in language

    Katarina Johansson, Subject expert in language

    Lena Örnestrand, Project administrative


    University of Marburg

    Faculty of Ecducation, Dept. of Physical Education and Motology 

    Martin Lindner, Subject expert in physical education

    Robert Grafe

    The Municipality of Lemvig, Denmark 

    The Municipality of Lemvig 

    Gunnar Nordestgaard, Secretariat for Family and Culture

    Axel Christophersen

    Heidi Lind

    External advisors 

    Martin Gröger
    Universität Siegen 

    Guy Martini
    European Geoparks Network

  • All materials are free to download

    Project results 

    The course package consists of two volumes: 

    • A foundation course with a general introduction to the didactics of outdoor learning 
    • A subject-specific course, integrating different subjects into outdoor learning 

    Practical exercises in language, mathematics & science 


    Conference paper 

    Barfod, K.; Alesandru, A.; Lindner, M.; Kätting, E.; Johansson, K.; Skånstrøm, M. & Gräfe, R.: 

    "In and Out – into the outdoor classrooms adaption of new subject-related approaches in different learning environments", 2012 

    Conference paper (pdf) 

    Literature list

    Supplementary readings in this field could be: 

    • Bentsen, Peter: “Udeskole: outdoor teaching and use of green space in danish schools”, PhD thesis, Faculty of life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 2010 
    • Braud, Martin and Reiss, Michael (eds): “Learning Science outside the classroom”, RoutledgeFalmer, 2004 
    • Falk, J.H., and Dierking, L. D. : “The Museum Experience”. Washington D.C., Whalesback Books, 1992 
    • Hein, George E. and Alexander, Mary: “Museums, places of learning”. American Association of Museums Education Committee, 1998 
    • Rickinson, Mark et al (eds): “A review of research on Outdoor learning”, National foundation for educational research and Kings College London, 2004 
    • Wattchow, Brian and Brown, Mike: ”A pedagogy of place – outdoor education for a changing world”, Monash University 2011 
    Statement of External Advisors

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Frontpage of the magasine Learning outside the classroom

Project results

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Girls learning outside the classroom

The European Perspective

In this project, we have sought to strengthen the cooperation between formal and non-formal learning sectors.
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A teacher is teaching outside the classroom

Learning outside the classroom

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animal in clay

Life of project

Find further information about life of the project and the workpackage.
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