Why nature is the best teacher for kids?
“Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box.”
The government report of UK found that more than one in nine children, from at least one year had not set foot in a park, forest, beach or any other natural environment. A fact like this has paved way for outdoor education, but is it really a new concept?
The concept of outside learning just slept in the lap of Western concept of learning between the walls; otherwise people in ancient times embraced the concept of outdoor education for more than 200 years.
A recent study found that three-quarters of UK children spend less time outside than prison inmates.
Finally, after a long sleep, outdoor learning woke up and this time there are no signs of it to sleep soon. Education is not something to be surrounded by walls from all the four sides, it’s high time to break the walls and witness the world outside the school which is richly inspiring and source of all our learning.
Why switching to outdoor learning is need of an hour?
Nature is the best school which demands no fees in return of enormous learning. The active and outdoor learning not only implant seeds of knowledge in mind of kids but also improves their physical and mental health.
The physical activity releases endorphins which are real booster for self-esteem amongst children. In a 1983 study on behavior problem, it was found that boys with behavioral problems show more self-reliance after participating in three two-week wilderness hikes.
When an outdoor learning takes place, it injects enthusiasm about learning and ingredients of motivation in kids. A study proves the increased level of motivation in students taking a part in an environment-based education programme.
Education does not only mean a good academic score, a real education takes into factor an overall development of a child as a good human being. Outdoor learning gets full score in infusing these characteristics in a child from a young age.
Learning becomes more relevant
Giving wings to learning and taking it out of the classroom, provides myriad opportunities to bring reality and relevancy into context, making learning easy, valuable and practical.
The difficult topics which are hard to get fit in mind become easy to understand in the world outside the classroom, where children feel more motivated and enthusiastic.
For instance, children will easily grasp the knowledge of Singapore’s dance culture when a trip to dance theatre is organized where they can apply their bookish knowledge and learn techniques from professional artists, thereby implementing the same.
The knowledge about the dance culture can be acquired from the book but the same knowledge becomes more relevant when implemented practically. Learning by doing is a fun way for students to fix the concept permanently in their mind.
Better Academic score
Most of the parents are worried about their kid’s academic results and hence put lots of pressure on their tiny, creative mind. What if outdoor learning boosts up their academic score too?
You may be satisfied with results of a study, according to which students from 11 schools scored higher than students of traditional systems in 72% of assessments in everything from math and science to attendance after studying on an outdoor curriculum basis.
The best roadmap for overall development of a child is the perfect assortment of indoor and outdoor learning, however outdoor learning will always have an upper edge over learning in a box named classroom.
A study was conducted to compare outdoor studies with indoor studies and the authors found that the quiz scores were better after the outdoor classroom science lesson compared to the quiz delivered after the indoor lesson for most students.
Give wings to creativity and imagination
“Young kids that learn and play outside get direct experience of weather and the seasons and wildlife – things that are only possible outdoors – and they get to assess risks, solve problems and develop creativity,” said Lucy Hellier, WWT learning project manager.
Breaking the shackle of classroom learning give wings to children mind which becomes free to explore and find creative solutions to all the questions floating in their mind.
Learning outside the classroom not only mean wandering around the school grounds, but organizing trips to museums, zoos and farms can be of great interest for many kids. Such experiences last long in their minds.
For example, instead of learning Mathematics in classroom, take them out in nature and implement the theoretical knowledge practically. You will be amazed to see the extent of imagination amongst the kids when they will ask many creative questions. Be sure to have answers to all their unique queries.
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
Wilson Tan is the Director at Best Home Tuition Agency – ChampionTutor and as well as blog writer. He has been in the teaching industry of last 15 years. He is very much connected with technology.