We all know that we feel better when we get fresh air, but how does teaching outdoors benefit students? And, does learning in an outside environment boost academic performance? Unsurprisingly, the answer is yes.
May 16, 2022
We all know that we feel better when we get fresh air, but how does teaching outdoors benefit students? And, does learning in an outside environment boost academic performance?
Unsurprisingly, the answer is yes. The studies from nearly 20 years ago recognised the importance of outdoor learning and this is still relevant today.
An American study based on 255 school children over 4 schools looked at whether working in an outdoor environment would improve test results and other variables such as social and personal skills.
One group of 127 students were given an outdoor education routine and the other was used as control group. The study found that not only did the outdoor group raise their test scores by 27%, they also had significantly higher ratings than the control group for; self-esteem, conflict resolution, problem solving and motivation to learn.
The study concluded that outdoor learning not only improves learning outcomes but also improves social and personal skills.
Does outdoor learning reduce students’ stress levels?
Outdoor learning has been proven to reduce stress in young learners. According to a study in 2003, “green plants reduce stress among students”. Learning environments that are filled with plants, greener views and access to natural play areas demonstrated lower levels of stress. So taking your learning outside or even bringing more greenery into your classroom can help reduce your students’ stress levels.
Can learning outside learning improve students’ physical health?
Learning outside means that students are exposed to fresh air, Vitamin D and time away from their screens. All of these can contribute to an improvement in a student’s physical health. Some schools start the day with a run in the playground or playing field (especially in boy heavy) classes which gets rid of excess energy and improves concentration.
So outdoor learning definitely has its benefits for student learning. Can you find ways to incorporate more outdoor time in your teaching? Simply moving your discussions outdoors on a nice day can go a long way to improving your student’s wellbeing and ability to learn.