Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education


North American Association for Environmental Education


This narrative review examines the history and future implications of Forest School, a pedagogical approach to early years outdoor education. Forest School is considered a philosophical perspective towards learning outdoors that values holistic development. There are numerous benefits to Forest School and the opportunities that it presents for young children to learn within a natural environment and to engage with nature. Due to the significance of a region’s culture and history, the consideration of education and outdoor learning differs greatly depending on the geographical context. The theory of social constructionism allows for a more precise analysis of Forest School’s history as it developed first in Scandinavia, then in the United Kingdom and North America. Forest School is a relatively new phenomenon within the realm of outdoor education that has taken on unique characteristics unique to the cultural setting. Forest School is becoming popular, yet more research is needed to understand the complexities of standardization and Forest School’s application within distinct cultures.



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