Recent research by Plymouth University and Western Sydney University, has found multiple benefits surrounding outdoor learning used with youth. The study believes that outdoor learning can have a significant and positive impact on children’s quality of life, but needs to be introduced more formally into the school curricula.
Varied Benefits of Outdoor Learning
The study highlights the many varied benefits outdoor learning in the natural environment has on children—improvement in behavior, social skills, health and wellbeing, resilience, confidence, academic growth, and sense of place have all been found.
The study also reveals that youth today are dominated by a full curriculum, busier family lifestyles and increased fear within society—decreasing the freedom children have to play, explore and be active in the environment.
Sue Waite, one of the authors of the report states:
“At the moment, if outdoor learning is part of a school’s curriculum, it is largely because the teachers recognize the values of it. With so much focus on academic attainment, there can be pressure on teachers to stay in the classroom which means children are missing out on so many experiences that will benefit them throughout their lives. This report shows that although there is significant research which supports outdoor learning for academic as well as social and personal outcomes, it is only by having that recognized by policy makers that we are likely to achieve universal positive cultural change.”
Change in Childhoods
Over the past 10 years, there have been five significant reviews focused on children learning in natural environments. The framework of the research designed five key outcomes for children: a healthy and happy body and mind; sociable confident person; a self-directed creative learner; an effective contributor; an active global citizen. They have revealed that we are in a time where childhoods are dramatically changing, and children are experiencing limited opportunities for outdoor learning in a formal or informal setting, resulting in negative effects on youth’s health.
Seven Stars Can Help
Seven Stars is an adventure therapy program for 13 to 18-year-old teens. Our students commonly deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, and other behavioral challenges.
Call us today at (844) 601-1167 for more information on our adventure therapy program and how we can help.