April 2022 Newsletter – Nature-Based Learning: Benefits of Nature-Based Learning

Benefits of Nature-Based Learning

Researchers have long studied the benefits of nature for both adults and children. In 2019, a team of researchers, led by Ming Kuo, associate professor at the University of Illinois, reviewed hundreds of studies related to the benefits of exposure to nature.

The results of the review identified several positive benefits that nature has on students in the following areas:

  • Physical activity and fitness
  • Self-discipline and motivation
  • Stress reduction
  • Resilience
  • Attention and perseverance
  • Engagement and enjoyment
  • Cooperation and teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Exploration
  • Independence
  • Critical thinking
  • Leadership
  • Environmental stewardship or caring for the planet

These studies align with the many studies on the benefits of nature for adults that have documented the stress-reducing and health-promoting effects of spending time in nature.  The fact that so many areas are positively impacted by nature reinforces the idea that it is possible to enhance student outcomes through nature-based learning.

Even if individual children do not experience all of the benefits, the potential that children will experience some of these benefits makes the effort worthwhile. For example, if nature can help reduce stress in a child’s life, they will be better able to engage in learning experiences and interact with peers, even if they never become a steward of the environment.  And when that child’s stress is reduced, they are likely to be less disruptive in the classroom, creating a more calm and safe learning environment for all children.

You can learn more about the finding of the research review here:  Do Experiences with Nature Promote Learning? Converging Evidence of a Cause-and-Effect Relationship.

For the main article Nature-Based Learning, CLICK HERE

For the article Materials for Nature-Based Learning, CLICK HERE

For the article Nature-Based Learning Tips, CLICK HERE

For the article Director’s Corner – Supporting Staff as They Enhance Nature-Based Learning Opportunities, CLICK HERE