On this week’s podcast, I talk with Eileen Garcia-Sanchez of the San Antonio Zoo in Texas. It’s a fully-accredited preschool that takes a lot of its inspiration from the world of outdoor education.
At the school, children spend a majority of their time outdoors, on both the school’s outdoor campus and in the zoo itself. Eileen and I talk about nature-based learning experiences, risky play, and, of all things, moss balls!
Safety is a big topic for informal educators who take their students into unusual (sometimes outdoor) settings. How can we justify putting our learners into situations they’re not equipped for? Climbing on rocky shores, exposed to biting insects, baking in the sun – aren’t we just asking for negative health consequences?
Well, as I discuss in this week’s blog post, the real risk is not exposing students to risk. Here’s what one researcher had to say about it:
Injury prevention plays a key role in keeping children safe, but emerging research suggests that imposing too many restrictions on children’s outdoor risky play hinders their development. (Brussoni et al., 2012)
That’s right – to keep kids safe, they need to take risks! Listen to the podcast below, and then for some more details and links, check out the blog!