Resources and Research

Academics

  • K-12 students participating in environmental education programs at school do better on standardized tests in math, reading, writing, and social studies.
  • Short outdoor education programs improve children’s science test scores.
  • Nature provides a rich source of hands-on, multisensory stimulation, which is critical for brain development in early childhood.
  • Environment-based education improves high school students’ motivation to achieve academically.

 

Physical and Psychological Health

  • Children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention-deficit disorder (ADD) show reduced symptoms after playing in natural areas.
  • Children and adults find it easier to concentrate and pay attention after spending time in nature.
  • Living in “high-nature conditions” buffers children against the effect of stressful life events.
  • Views of nature reduce stress levels and speed recovery from illness, injury, or stressful experiences.

 

Behavior and Attitudes

  • K-12 students participating in environmental education programs at school have fewer discipline problems.
  • Short outdoor education programs improve children’s cooperation, conflict resolution, self-esteem, peer relationships, and behavior in class.
  • People who have positive experiences with nature in childhood care more about the environment as adults.
  • Children who participate in outdoor education programs are more likely to engage in positive environmental behaviors such as recycling.
  • Children’s play is more creative and egalitarian in natural areas than in more structured or paved areas.

 

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