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Posts Tagged ‘outdoor learning’

The Value of Outdoor Learning for Youth

At Trackers Northwest, the experienced staff teaches youth practical skills for outdoor activities, such as camping and adventure treks. Moreover, these outdoor learning classes help youngsters understand the interrelationship between the ecology of the land and its inhabitants.

Research indicates that outdoor learning contributes to improved physical health, enhances learning, increases interpersonal skills, and promotes overall well-being.

Children involved in outdoor learning increase their physical activity and fitness, and these habits extend into adulthood. Activities within green space reduce crime activities and help children focus. Children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) show a decrease in symptoms.

Outdoor learning programs have been shown to increase problem-solving skills and promote creative thinking. Students in programs such as Trackers Northwest perform better academically, as measured by grade point averages and test performance. Additionally, these students are less likely to show disruptive classroom behavior. Furthermore, students in outdoor learning programs demonstrate greater enthusiasm for learning.

Youth who participate in outdoor learning activities show improved perceptions about themselves and demonstrate stronger interpersonal skills. Studies find that children in these programs express emotional stability, assertiveness, self-reliance, motivation, and maturity. These youth demonstrate social competence through cooperative behaviors and effective interpersonal communication skills.

Finally, outdoor learning programs also help children learn important lifestyle skills. When youth have opportunities to interact with nature, they are more inclined to develop ethics concerning environmental sustainability and conservation and to participate in recycling and volunteer activities.

About Trackers Northwest: Since 2004, Trackers Northwest has conducted urban learning programs, youth summer camps, and outdoor adventure programs in Oregon and Northern California. Founders Molly and Tony Deis emphasize the importance of family and community building within Trackers Northwest programs. Prior to starting Trackers Northwest, Tony Deis taught outdoor education and designed programs in collaboration with Greenspaces, the Audubon Society of Portland, Portland State University, and Metro Regional Parks.

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Outdoor Education and Children: A Formula for Success in School, By Trackers Northwest

The correlation between outdoor education and youth-related behavior and academic improvement has long been recognized and supported. However, researchers continue to flesh out this argument and identify benefits that apply to today’s children and adolescents. In recent years, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and Children & Nature Network (CN&N) have produced reports that conclude that youth who spend time outdoors often score higher on standardized tests.

The NWF’s “Back to School: Back Outside” report noted a wide range of academic benefits stemming from regular outdoor play, exploration, and learning. The study stated that those benefits include better classroom behavior, increased motivation and enthusiasm for learning, and stronger performance in social studies, reading, math, and science. The NWF report went on to identify that outdoor time led to reduced cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The CN&N study, titled “Children’s Contact with the Outdoors and Nature: A Focus on Educators and Educational Settings,” examined and noted the importance of recess, field trips, outdoor learning, and similar opportunities to academic achievement, increased responsibility, and higher test scores.

About Trackers Northwest: Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Trackers Northwest offers survival courses and outdoor education to families, youths, and adults.