There is a great movement happening; educators and settings are begin to remove the classroom walls and take learning-about-the-outside-world outside! This move enables experiential learning, learning in context, learning with real objects and real-life. However, while children and teachers are stepping out of the classroom, for many the classroom is still following them.
This is the "classroom ghost", the ghost that interrupts with 'teachable moments' and 'scaffolding to further a learner'. We spot it where we see clipboards, books and activity sheets to 'reinforce learning', worksheets to fill their time, directed activities to tick boxes. Crowd control creeps in to get everyone's attention, and children's choices and human rights fade away.
With classroom ideology being such a strong influence in our culture and very much alive in the mainstream education model, at first, we may find this classroom ghost hard to see. Many of us have classroom ideology embedded through firsthand experience from our formative years. Others of us have been trained to install and maintain classroom ideology, as a way to teach a one-size-fits-all cirruculum and manage large crowds. Making this ghost hard to shake.
It takes a while to see the difference between taking books with you into nature and 'taking books and the ghost with you into nature'. Or taking a group of children to work and play outdoors and 'taking a group of children to work and play outdoors with the ghost'.
When we step away from treating children like empty vessels, step away from mass rote learning to a captive audience, then we also need to step away from the ghost of classroom ideology. First, we have to see it. Do you see the ghost of classroom ideology?
Authentic Learning Environment - taking education outside 'the box'