As spring moves across the country and the weather begins to warm up, all this sunshine has us wanting to be out frolicking in a field somewhere. With longing eyes staring out the classroom window, the best course of action is to just take the learning where the students want to be: outside! Not only will students love the change of scenery, they will reap the many other outdoor learning benefits!
The Benefits of Outdoor Learning
So, what exactly are the benefits of outdoor learning?
1. Increased Motivation
According to a recent study, students who participate in outdoor education, particularly in science, reported they felt significantly more motivation to learn the material. The students also reported feeling more competent in the material they learned outside afterwards.
2. Decreased Stress
Cortisol is a stress hormone, and students who spend part of their school day learning outside report healthier daily cortisol levels than those who spend the entire school day inside. This means that students who have the opportunity to learn outside have the regular plateaus and dips of cortisol, while those who do not have a steady level of cortisol all day.
3. Better Grades
Multiple studies have documented that students who participate in outdoor education have increased performance in school. This includes better standardized test scores, better attitudes about school, better behavior in school, better attendance, and a general enhancement in student achievement.
4. Healthier Students
Outdoor learning supports healthy child development emotionally, intellectually, and behaviorally. Students feel more confident, independent, creative, empathetic, and improve their decision-making and problem-solving skills. This feeds into their increased school performance.
5. It’s More Fun!
We all need a change of scenery every now and then to keep things interesting. Taking a trip outside can increase student’s enthusiasm for whatever the lesson is. Bonus points if it’s a science lesson that directly relates to the outdoors (like planting an herb garden)!
Take Learning Outside
If you have the chance, bring those stir-crazy students outside for a little outdoor learning. They’ll be more focused, motivated, and enthusiastic, and you as a teacher can enjoy the academic benefits.
What happens when spring moves into summer, however, and students leave the classroom entirely for vacation? Then, you can send them home with an outcome-driven, incentivized summer learning program to keep all those skills they learned during the school year fresh for the next one! Subscribe to our Summer Newsletter to fill student’s summers with exciting enrichment activities from Memorial Day to Labor Day.