Funding for Research Connecting Learning and Play

Funding for Research Connecting Learning and Play
If you’re worried children don’t play outside enough anymore, a local expert is working to change that.

A huge funding announcement for College research projects advocating childhood outdoor play has an Okanagan connection.

Dr. Beverlie Dietze, Okanagan College’s Director of Learning and Teaching, is working to move training and programing for Early Childhood Educators’ (ECE) forward to include the benefits of unstructured, outdoor play.

The Lawson Foundation announced funding for 14 projects across Canada as part of its $2.7 million Outdoor Play Strategy, and Dietze received a significant national funding boost on Thursday.

Dietze is leading the project at Okanagan College, with partners across the country.

She received a $195,000 grant to work on a training model for ECEs, with a focus on kids playing outside.

The course will be available online, or by book, at no cost to participants.

“Our research leading up to now has shown a serious gap across the country in accessible and affordable training about the immense benefit outdoor play has on children’s development,” said Dietze, in a statement. “Our aim is to provide the tools and necessary knowledge about outdoor play discovery and learning that will encourage those teaching our children to make it a priority in their programming.”

The project will cover different aspects of outdoor play like open space, intelligent materials, physical literacy, indigenous outdoor play practices, risk taking, accessibility, and diversity in children’s outdoor play needs.

They hope it will help the…
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