Out-of-School Learning

Out-of-school learning, an educational concept first proposed by Lauren Resnick in the 1987 presidential address, consists of curricular and non curricular learning experiences for pupils and students outside the school environment.

The point of out-of-school learning is to overcome learning disabilities, development of talents, strengthen communities and increase interest in education by creating extra learning opportunities in the real world. In a study performed by the UCLA National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) it was proven that out-of-school learning increases the interest in education and school itself.

Out-of-school learning is typically not coördinated by the school itself. Out-of-school experiences are organised with community partners such as museums, sport facilities, charity initiatives, and more. Out-of-school experiences can range from Service Learning to summer school and expeditions or more commonly occur in day to day experiences at afterschool with creative ventures such as arts courses and even sports. Some other examples of out-of-school learning are:

    homework and homework clubs
    study clubs – extending curriculum
    mentoring – by other pupils and by adults, including parents
    learning about learning
    community service and citizenship
    residential activities – study weeks or weekends

It has been found in research by the Wallace Foundation that out-of-school learning can be a great opportunity to discover and develop talents. Especially if a professional organisation develops a learning environment that guides groups of pupils/students in their co-operation in creating a professional and publicly visible product, presentation or performance. Companies, cultural institutions and non governmental organisations can offer valuable out-of-school learning experiences.

Organisations will see results accordingly to the quality of the experience, whether they aim to promote active and healthy lifestyles, increase community involvement and visitors/members, to an interest in a companies corporate responsibility projects and employment opportunities.