Outside/Inside: A gallery of provocations and speculations

Outside/Inside: a gallery of provocations and speculations describes how to connect experiences of the natural world with classroom activities. The project it is based on was extensively documented in our Fantastical Guide to Hinchingbooke Country Park. This is the third in our series of resources for practitioners interested in creative learning in outside spaces, this time with a focus on the classroom as a space that connects experiences in the wild with enquiries and meaning-making in the classroom.

It is offered not as a How to do it book but as a gallery of beautiful paired images together with provocations to ‘excite and stimulate’. These are set alongside speculations that share our own questions, puzzles and concerns. The book includes an introduction by writer and researcher Mary Jane Drummond and an interview with class teacher Ben Wilson.

It offers a wonderful insight into children's worlds and shows vividly how deeply meaningful learning outside of the classroom can be; it demonstrates that there is no substitute for direct experience in fostering creative and imaginative responses.  

  • Outside/Inside is a beautifully produced little book that, being less than 40 pages, punches well above its weight. It offers a truly inspirational insight into the learning process in a most poetic way, with the children concerned providing the poetry.

    Richard Hickman, Reader in Art Education & Dean of Homerton College, University of Cambridge

  • Provocations are designed to provoke – and for all I had already read about this project from my colleagues in CCI, this book certainly provoked me. I was a teacher of four and five year olds myself, for many years, and very hard work it was too. But here are Ben and Deb and Caroline making it all look so simple – and I want to know why and how. Why weren’t the classrooms I worked in more like this one? How can I account for the quality of what is happening here? How can I describe the crucial differences between this classroom and others I know well?

    Mary Jane Drummond, writer and researcher

  • I used to see the classroom as a space where I planned all the opportunities for the children and set everything up for them. But by continuing to listen to the children, as we did in the woods, we found out that the children create most of the connected classroom activities for themselves, and we are there to support them.

    Ben Wilson, reception class teacher, Cromwell Park Primary School, Hinchingbrooke, Cambridgeshire

Outside/Inside: A gallery of provocations and speculations