‘Reading Woods’ with Teachers in Icelandic Schools in the 21st Century

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Brynjar Olafsson Gisli Thorsteinsson


The curriculum development project, ‘Reading Woods with
Schools’, focused on cross curricular outdoor education in
Icelandic woods. The participants were 105 teachers from
twenty-two elementary schools: these teachers were
trained via an in-service teaching course and given a
woodland area prior to the project. The aim was to
ascertain how teachers could utilise woodland in enabling
students to gain an understanding of the ecosystem of the
woods, use of the woods in craft, learn about sustainability
and understand that woods are resources that influence
the wellbeing of the human race.
The article outlines the curriculum project ‘Reading Woods
with Schools’ and reports on a survey that was undertaken
in order to examine teachers’ views and experiences, in
terms of the use of local woods in projects. One teacher
from each of the participating schools reflected on the
project and answered the survey. The main aims of the
survey were to examine how the activities were organised,
to what extent the woods were used, hindrances in using
the woods for schools, knowledge gained via the project
and what kind of support the schools required in running
the project. The survey concluded that the activities were
mostly dependant on teachers’ initiative, as outdoor
education is not a part of the Icelandic National Curriculum
(Menntamalaraduneyti, 2010). Furthermore, teachers must
have access to outdoor education training, educational
materials, good facilities and it is important to establish an
online database, featuring a collection of different projects,
for teachers to access during their courses.

Article Details

How to Cite
OLAFSSON, Brynjar; THORSTEINSSON, Gisli. ‘Reading Woods’ with Teachers in Icelandic Schools in the 21st Century. Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, [S.l.], v. 19, n. 3, oct. 2014. ISSN 1360-1431. Available at: <https://ojs.lboro.ac.uk/DATE/article/view/1970>. Date accessed: 08 dec. 2019.
curriculum development, local woods, outdoor education, nature, elementary schools, survey