The Open Air School Movement

Once upon a time many years ago progressive educational thinkers proposed that learning would be better done outside in the open air. Classes were held in the out of doors as well as in specially constructed schools which had walls which could be moved out of the way to let in the fresh air and the sunlight.

This movement apparently took hold in the nineteenth and early twentieth century in western Europe. Without trying to seem irrelevant or perhaps irreverent not to mention ironic I though it might be interesting humorous and instructive to view some of the historic photos of these open air class rooms in this time of no school except at home in lock down. Perhaps this will inspire you to take the kids out into the garden for their home schooling. I am sure that your WiFi will reach if you don’t stray too far from the house.


In this time of COVID-19 isolation we are being asked to think ‘outside the box’ in order to live our lives and educate our children as well as seek our amusement and entertainment. This series of photos shows that we have a history of unconventional thinking in the field of education. And now we likely should consider being unconventional again!

Check out this lengthy posting by the interesting Messy Nessy who apparently does her blogging from Paris France. I found these photos both historically interesting as well as amusing. Share them with the kids as a lesson in history.

Classrooms without Walls: A Forgotten Age of Open-air Schools

Published by Resources 4 Teachers & Parents

Resources 4 Teachers is an education website that provides material, activities, lesson plans, books and videos created by teachers for teachers, students and parents.

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