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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Association of Education Outside the Classroom and Pupils' Psychosocial Well-Being: Results From a School Year Implementation

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BACKGROUND: Education Outside the Classroom (EOtC) is a teaching method that is gaining traction, aiming to promote learning and well-being. However, research on the association between EOtC and well-being is limited.

METHODS: This quasi-experimental trial involved pupils (9-13 years) from 16 Danish public schools which implemented EOtC in some classes. Pupils (N = 511) from 27 classes were regularly exposed to EOtC (2-7 hours per week), and pupils (N = 120) from 7 parallel comparison classes were much less exposed (less than 2 hours per week). The pupils' psychosocial well-being was measured at the beginning and end of the school year using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. The results were compared between the groups.

RESULTS: Pupils regularly exposed to EOtC showed the greatest improvement in prosocial behavior. Negative associations were seen between EOtC and hyperactivity-inattention and peer problems in pupils of low socioeconomic status (SES). The observed improvements were smaller when the EOtC was spread over a larger number of sessions. Results were independent of sex.

CONCLUSIONS: Regular exposure to EOtC was found to promote social well-being, especially for pupils of low SES, and was most beneficial when concentrated in fewer, longer sessions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of School Health
Volume89
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)210-218
Number of pages9
ISSN0022-4391
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

    Research areas

  • mental health, outdoor learning, school-based health promotion, school-based outdoor education, udeskole

ID: 56395422