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Science - Grasp outdoor potential

The Association for Science Education has urged the Coalition Government to develop a co-ordinated programme in teacher training, making use of outdoor sites and venues.

In a report published by the ASE last week, entitled Outdoor Science, the association's Outdoor Science Group called for a teacher training programme in fieldwork to promote a more effective and inspirational approach to teaching science and mathematics using outdoor sites and venues in towns and the countryside.

Authors stressed the wider educational benefits of teaching and learning science through fieldwork, including teamwork, motivation and its potential to influence the choice of science as a future subject of study in a positive manner.

More than 100 leading science educators were involved in seminars leading to the report, which was sponsored by the Nuffield Foundation.

Marianne Cutler, executive director for professional and curriculum innovation at the ASE, said: "Many teachers lack confidence, competence and expertise to take children out of the classroom for quality and effective science experiences. The opportunity for trainee and practising teachers to develop their own pedagogy and practice outside the classroom is needed."

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