Nature-Smart Kids Get Higher Test Scores. These kids have higher APIs … and regular play time on outdoor playground equipment helps!
The American Institutes for Research® conducted a study, submitted to the California Department of Education, on the influence of residential outdoor education programs. The focus was on at-risk youth, 56% of whom reported never having spent any time in a natural setting. These kids were compared with students who experienced the outdoor education program.
The results were statistically significant.
Major findings were: 27% increase in measured mastery of science concepts; enhanced cooperation and conflict resolution skills; gains in self- esteem; gains in positive environmental behavior; along side gains in problem-solving, motivation to learn, and classroom behavior.
This report is available on the Sierra Club web site. http://www.sierraclub.org/youth/california/outdoorschool_finalreport.pdf