“Nature-Smart” Kids Get Higher Test Scores on their APIs.
The American Institutes for Research® has conducted a study recently, submitted to the California Department of Education, on the impact of residential outdoor education programs. The focus was on at-risk youth, 56% of whom reported never having spent time in a natural setting. Comparing the impact on students who experienced the outdoor education program versus those in a control group who had not had the outdoor learning experience, 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; and gains in problem-solving, motivation to learn, and classroom behavior. (Original Research)
“Effects of Outdoor Education Programs for Children in California.” American Institutes for Research: Palo Alto, CA: 2005. Available on the Sierra Club web site. http://www.sierraclub.org/youth/california/outdoorschool_finalreport.pdf