ERIC Number: EJ867632
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 2
Biochemistry De-Natured--How Unstructured Outdoor Play Can Support Later Learning
White, Harold B.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v37 n6 p369-370 Nov-Dec 2009
The concurrent improvement in average grades earned by college graduates would seem to indicate better quality students, although some observers attribute that to grade inflation. From the author's perspective derived from almost four decades of teaching at one institution, students are intellectually as good as ever; however, the author sees a big decrease in their common knowledge and awareness of natural history and the out-of-doors that often provide the context for future learning. A substantial proportion of today's college students spent their free time as children indoors watching television or interacting with a computer screen in air-conditioned comfort during the summer and with central heating in the winter. They grew up separated from what were everyday experiences a generation or two ago. In this article, the author contends that students' experiences in unsupervised outdoor play in their childhood lay the groundwork for future learning in any science. The author stresses that students would have an easier time with biochemistry if it were not "denatured," and urges teachers to help students make connections between the classroom and the world outside.
Descriptors: College Graduates, Grade Inflation, Academic Achievement, Epistemology, Folk Culture, Outdoor Education, Play, Leisure Time, Low Achievement, Informal Education, Problem Based Learning, Discovery Learning, Experiential Learning, Biochemistry, Relevance (Education)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A