Motivation among pupils with special educational needs when learning activities take place outside the classroom.

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalPaperResearch


Out-of-class experiences seem to motivate most pupils.Teachers experience that pupils tend to strengthn their engagement and motivation.
We have identified a lack of knowledge when it comes to pupils with special educational needs (SEN).
Our research has Outdoor Education with SEN as a point of departure. We are interested in, to which degree we can identify motivation for learning.
We have established a designbased study. We have followed a class with 8 pupils with SEN when they and their teachers are engaged in a ‘learning course’ in cooperation with Gammel Estrup - The Danish Manor Museum. The class has visited The Danish Manor Museum 5 times (Autumn 2018).
We have followed the class when they have prepared the out-of-class activity the day before they went to the museum, we joined the class at the museum and the next day when they evaluated.
Inspired by ethnographic fieldwork we have approached our investigation by participant observation, and we have focused on ‘the pupil perspective’. In addition to this we have interviewed the pupils. For the interviews we have used photos to elicit the pupils thoughts and feelings in connection to the learning activities in and outside the classroom.
We have also completed semi-structured interviews with the head teacher and two of the museum educators.
Our preliminary findings indicate pupils with SEN are:
highly more motivated in learning activities outside the classroom when they get the chance to participate both ‘physical’ and by reflecting communication.
 more motivated in aesthetic and creative processes.
 more motivated when museum educators when way respond to the pupils by curious and openended conversations.
 storytelling and dramaticing can establish motivation.
The same situations can also seem to be fragile for the special educational learners if they feel too challenged.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAnnual Conference - European Teacher Education Network: Innovation in Education - Where are we going? - University of Vic - Central University of Catalonia, Vic, Spain
Duration: 25 Apr 201927 Apr 2019


ConferenceAnnual Conference - European Teacher Education Network
LocationUniversity of Vic - Central University of Catalonia
Internet address


  • learning, educational science and teaching

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