Assess the Quality of an Outdoor Learning Environment

You have learned many indicators of quality outdoor environments. Now, let’s apply this knowledge by evaluating an outdoor environment using an assessment tool.
Step 1: Download the Tool
For this assignment, you will be using a portion of NAEYC’s Standards and Accreditation Criteria and Guide for Assessment (specifically, Standard 9B).
Download the pages corresponding to this section here.
Step 2: Observe and Rate an Environment
Next, using Standard 9B of the NAEYC Observable Criteria Tool, observe and rate an outdoor environment. Because learning can happen anywhere, you may choose to observe either your program’s outdoor space or a public outdoor space (such as a park or playground). Observe the environment and children for a minimum of one hour to gain an accurate understanding of the space.

Remember to remain as objective as possible.
Step 3: Write an Action Plan
Based upon your findings from using NAEYC’s Self-Assessment tool, create an action plan that identifies one area of improvement that you feel would make the most significant positive impact on the outdoor space or an area you feel is a safety concern. The action plan should include the following:
Identified area of improvement (using the tool’s language)
Your desired outcome/goal
Potential challenges
Tasks
Measurement of progress
Timeframe to accomplish goal
List of materials needed
Brief justification of how your action plan will move your program toward quality improvement
You may choose to follow the example and format below or create your own template for your action plan:

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Step 4: Write a Proposal Letter
Using the information compiled in your action plan, write a proposal letter to implement change. If you have selected a public space to observe, write your proposal letter as if you were going to present it to town officials. If you have chosen an early childhood education setting to observe, write your proposal letter to either the center director, administrator, or the program owner.
For this assignment, you will submit your action plan and proposal letter NOT the checklist form you completed to gather information for this assignment.

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