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ERIC Number: EJ822285
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec-10
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Schools Adapting Curriculum to the Outdoors
Manzo, Kathleen Kennedy
Education Week, v28 n15 p1, 12-13 Dec 2008
Daily lessons at the Learning Gate Community School often tap the wonders of nature on the 27-acre campus, with its open fields and overgrown orange groves, and a treehouse overlooking an idyllic pond. Educators at Learning Gate say the outdoor classrooms and lessons are a balm for many of the ills that can hinder students' physical and mental well-being, as well as academic achievement. A growing number of educators and activists agree, and are working to introduce nature-based learning for students as a way to address such concerns as childhood obesity and achievement. However, many experts say that the kinds of opportunities for outdoor learning that are the fabric of the 520-student Learning Gate are rare in schools today. Intensely structured lessons, increasing curricular demands, and health and safety concerns have combined to reduce or eliminate children's time outside, even during recess. Even time spent in after-school programs and at home are increasingly limited to the indoors. A 2005 study in California found that students in schools that incorporated nature-based curricula performed significantly better on science tests than their peers in comparison schools. Other studies have documented improvements in reading achievement at such schools. This article reports on the impact of adapting curriculum to the outdoors and discusses how advocates are promoting the approach for all schools and children.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A