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‘It’s given the children a love of wildlife’: the schools letting nature in

The Guardian – Emma Sheppard

“The number of schools using gardens and the natural world to teach students continues to increase. The campaign for school gardening, a programme run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), now has 20,000 school members, with 81% growing plants specifically to attract wildlife and pollinators. “Biodiversity underpins everything,” says campaign manager Alana Cama.” (more)

Outdoor instruction makes students more open to learning

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“‘There is still a conceptual gap between teaching science and environmental education,” says Dr. Ulrich Dettweiler, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Stavanger in Norway, formerly employed at TUM. To close this gap and to get pupils excited about the natural sciences is a goal of the “researcher weeks” at the Berchtesgadener Land student research center. Between 2014 and 2016, approximately 300 students participated in the program which is based on the curriculum for science subjects in secondary level I. Students are prepared for the one-week stay in the classroom. This is then continued on site during the research week, culminating in a two-day research expedition with experiments.” (more)

‘It’s a big world out there’: Teachers take math outside the classroom

Ed Source – Carolyn Jones

“But teachers don’t need to plan extensive field trips to teach math outdoors. A short walk around the block can have the same impact, said Tim Erickson, a math education consultant based in Oakland and author of “Get It Together: Math Problems for Groups, Grades 4-12.” He’s created math lessons that have students heading outside to measure the radius of a sidewalk curb, learn ratios by measuring staircase risers and determine the distance between San Francisco and Los Angeles by measuring a car’s wheel diameter.” (more)

Students more engaged and attentive following outdoor lesson in nature

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A study recently published in open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology has found that 9-10 year-old children are significantly more attentive and engaged with their schoolwork following an outdoor lesson in nature. Strikingly, this “nature effect” allowed teachers to teach uninterrupted for almost twice as long during a subsequent indoor lesson. The results suggest that outdoor lessons may be an inexpensive and convenient way to improve student engagement – a major factor in academic achievement.”(more)

Finding the Beauty of Math Outside of Class

Edutopia – Alessandra King

“A math trail is an activity that gets students out of the classroom so they can (re)discover the math all around us. Whether out on a field trip or on school grounds, students on a math trail are asked to solve or create problems about objects and landmarks they see; name shapes and composite solids; calculate areas and volumes; recognize properties, similarity, congruence, and symmetry; use number sense and estimation to evaluate large quantities and assess assumptions; and so on.”(more)

Outdoor Education a Plus for Lessons in Science and Language Arts

The Santa Barbara Independent – Michelle Howard

“In schools challenged to overcome significant achievement and enrichment gaps, the outdoors offers a level playing field. Educational strategies are always evolving, working to respond to the times while balancing funding and testing trends. And in recent decades, evidence has piled up in support of outdoor education. Social ecologist Stephen Kellert of Yale University sums it up: “Children’s direct and regular experience of the natural world is an irreplaceable dimension of healthy maturation and development.” But we’re not offering regular doses of this essential developmental ingredient today ​— ​schoolchildren spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors.”(more)