Go outdoors and use the Golf area in a pedagogical way – creativity, learning and health in the unlimited classroom


Golf courses could contribute to better teaching by offering a variety of green surfaces for outdoor teaching. This gives opportunities to vary learning environments that complement the indoor classroom as the site of teaching activity.

Smedsby school in Motala, the pilot school, and its 15 teachers were part of an outdoor education intervention and training at Motala Golf Course during 2017-2018. A second qualitative study was carried out post-intervention, with questions about the teachers’ experiences of teaching their pupils at the golf course. The results from the questionnaire, with open questions for the teachers to answer, showed that outdoor education makes pupils happier and more active. The outdoor teaching also had a positive effect on classroom teaching, with more motivated and focused children. The pupils wanted more outdoor teaching, on the golf course or similar areas. This is because the outdoor learning experience is a break from the predictable meeting with the same learning environment that often constitutes classroom teaching. The outdoor learning situation seems to support indoor learning in the classroom, but this second qualitative study indicates that it takes time for some teachers and pupils to understand that the outdoor environment is actually a learning environment. This phenomenographic study will continue and the results will be analysed during 2019. The study also includes documentation by the teachers on their reflections about the outdoor didactic questions: Where, when, what, how and why.  

The pedagogic model and  ́rucksack ́ describe some teaching methods used on the golf course. They include some hand-out material and activities for outdoor teaching related to water, forest and other places close to the golf course. The findings described in the handbook are based on experiences from working with the teachers and their implementation in their everyday teaching of their pupils. The staff at the golf club have been very supportive and provided information about the golf course for teachers and pupils. The Swedish Golf Federation has produced an inspiration video - see below!  The project has been very praised, both nationally and internationally.

Skolans utomhusundervisning med golfbanan som klassrum
Tillgång på urbana grönområden och tätortsnära natur krymper ständigt som en konsekvens av exploatering och förtätning av våra städer. Bristen på tillräckligt stora lämpliga ”gröna” ytor nämns ofta i diskussionen kring utomhusundervisning.  I det här projektet studerar vi om och hur golfbanan kan användas som klassrum för undervisning inom alla skolans ämnen i årskurs 1-6. Under hösten 2017 får lärarna vid tre tillfällen bekanta sig med sitt nya ”klassrum”, Motala GK, och i vår är det dags för elevernas att komma ut i naturen på golfbanan. Genom att skapa en ökad tillgänglighet och delaktighet med skolor i lokalsamhället kan golfanläggningar erbjuda fler barn och unga tillgång till en värdefull när-natur och på så sätt förstärka golfens roll i samhället. Barnen och deras föräldrar är också potentiella nya golfare.

Anders Szczepanski

Anders Szczepanski, ass prof outdoor education Dr. (Fil lic) Spetsa AB, owned by Linköping university. Tel.+46 (0)13 281991, +46 (0)709 756803,e-mail: anders.szczepanski@liu.se

For more information about Spetsa AB: Helene Nord, Vd/CEO. Tel. +46 (0)13-288925, helene.nord@spetsa.se

Category: Multifunctional golf facilities
Status: Ongoing
Project period: 2017-2019

Fundings (kSEK)

  2017 2018 2019 Total
STERF 83 115 20 218
Other 0 0 0 0
Total 83 115 20 218


Project objectives

•    Investigate the most suitable methods for outdoor learning on golf courses during all four seasons
•    Identify themes and subjects based on the curriculum for primary schools (LGR 11) that are suitable for outdoor learning on golf courses
•    Develop a pilot model and practical guidelines for outdoor teaching on golf courses in compulsory school years 1-6
•    Connect the outdoor learning activities to the norms and value in the Swedish (LGR 11) guidelines and curriculum and to the Swedish right and public access to nature  
•    Evaluate the ways of learning and experiences by teachers and pupils through interviews and open questions in a phenomenographical study over time 2017-2018

Film about the project (English)

 Film om projektet (Swedish)