Taking Learning Outdoors:Connecting Students and the Curriculum With Nature




Merritt, Pamela

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Many children in today’s society are spending less and less time outdoors. A growing number of them are becoming increasingly connected to electronic devices. This decision has resulted in a lack of time in a natural environment, which has led to their disconnection from nature. For many, this detachment has become what Louv, (2008) has termed a “nature deficit disorder.” This paper will examine the literature that documents the positive impact that outdoor learning experiences have on student learning. The goal of my project was to create an approach that combined the curriculum with formal and informal learning opportunities in a natural classroom environment. I was motivated by the lack of a relationship with nature that many of my students displayed. My intent was to provide authentic nature-based experiences with cross-curricular connections that would be the foundation for enhanced student learning while reconnecting them to the natural world. Keywords: nature, student learning, natural classroom, nature-based experiences



nature-based experiences, natural classroom, student learning, cross-curricular connections, nature