About the Author

Susan Sachs Lipman (Suz) has more than 25 years experience as a writer, editor, social media manager, community builder, and advocate for getting children into nature. She is the author of Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which was named a TIME magazine Top 10 Trend of 2012. She has written for the New York Times Motherlode blog, the Christian Science Monitor’s Modern Parenthood blog and others. Suz serves as the Director of Social Media Promotion and Partnerships for the Children & Nature Network.

Outdoor Education and Play Benefit All Education

A new report from the National Wildlife Federation, Back to School: Back Outside, shows how outdoor education and time is connected with wide-ranging academic benefits including:

  • Improved classroom behavior
  • Increased student motivation and enthusiasm to learn
  • Better performance in math, science, reading and social studies
  • Reduced Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Higher scores on standardized tests (including college entrance exams)
  • Help under-resourced, low-income students perform measurably better in school

This corresponds with research and studies that the Children & Nature Network has synthesized in its report, Children’s Contact with the Outdoors and Nature: A Focus on Educators and Educational Settings.

The report reviews research focused on the physical, mental, and social benefits that contact with the outdoors and nature provides to children. There is a lot of information on the relationships between children’s outdoor-related behavior and their school performance and learning. Topics covered include such important programs and attributes as:

  • Recess
  • School gardens
  • Field trips and hands-on outdoor learning
  • Natural views

Also included in the report are academic benefits from outdoor learning and play, such as:

  • Academic achievement
  • Higher test scores
  • Increased responsibility
  • Community benefit

It’s wonderful to have additional research that strengthens the case that outdoor education and time in nature benefits all education.

 

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