Early Childhood

Experience the Great Outdoors and Boost Student Learning, Report Says

By Sean Cavanagh — September 23, 2009 1 min read

One of the nation’s best-known environmental organizations has released a report that it believes makes a strong case that providing students with more time outdoors increases their academic preparation and success.

The report, “Time Out: Using the Outdoors to Enhance Classroom Performance,” released by the National Wildlife Federation, offers a compendium of research on the link between outdoor time and student learning. Oftentimes, the key step in getting students outside is turning off the TV or the computer monitor.

The report draws not only from case studies and other documents related to student performance, but also from medical studies and surveys. Limiting outdoor time can reduce students’ attention spans and increase their aggressive behavior, the report says. It can also improve academic performance and maybe even promote better eyesight, according to the document. The report offers tips for parents and policymakers looking for ways to increase the amount of time children spend outdoors.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.