Schools are starting to explore outdoor learning more and more these days. Classroom learning has its pros and cons, but schools are starting to understand that only certain students benefit from it. And employers are also looking at innovating schooling because students who graduate are not employable. Outdoor learning appeals to a variety of learning styles and in a way levels the playing field for different learners. Teachers also feel that by taking classes outdoor, they more room to innovate and make students learn better. Here we look at some of the benefits of outdoor learning.
1. Improved performance
A study conducted in 2006 proved that students who learn in outdoor settings perform better and are more receptive to schools when compared to students in a traditional classroom arrangement. The study goes on to say that students tend to get higher grades due to the hands-on experience that they get.
2. Healthier Kids
An Australian study stated that kids who are exposed to the outdoors tend to be far healthier than their counterparts in traditional classrooms. Traditional classrooms also lead to isolation from the real world which can lead to increased anxiety, depression and learning disabilities. Outdoor classrooms also greatly prevent kids from becoming obese. Childhood obesity is a rising concern as kids tend to focus too much on their academics thereby failing to spend adequate time doing physical activities.
Classrooms are highly competitive environments, and this can thus lead to students feeling a lot of stress. These levels of stress at a young age can be detrimental to their overall development, but this is not the case in outdoor learning. Outdoor learning provides a far safer environment wherein the child secretes greater serotonin, which leads to reduced stress levels. Another key benefit is that dopamine is likely to be secreted in the brain when a person is surrounded by nature instead of concrete walls.
4. Motivated to Learn
Kids love the outdoors but are conditioned for years to be confined in a classroom setting to learn. This conditioning makes kids resent learning and can lead to greater demotivation to schools and studying in general. But in outdoor learning, kids are allowed to express themselves and actively interact with the environment; this can lead to greater motivation to learning in young adults.
5. Environmental Awareness
Most people passed the age of 25 cannot relate to the growing environmental crisis because they have never been in a situation where they had to interact with their environmental surroundings. But by indulging in outdoor learning, kids will develop a greater respect for the environment.