When children have outdoor lessons, their concentration improves in subsequent lessons indoors, new research has found.
iNews reported on a study conducted in the US by psychologist Professor Ming Kuo, where she worked with a school to see what difference having outdoor lessons had on nine and ten-year-old students.
Over the course of ten weeks, an experienced teacher and a more sceptical teacher each held a lesson outdoors and a similar one in a normal classroom. They covered a range of subjects during this period.
Professor Kuo observed that the children were much more attentive and engaged with their schoolwork after having a lesson outside.
“Our teachers were able to teach uninterrupted for almost twice as long at a time after the outdoor lesson, and we saw the nature effect with our sceptical teacher as well,” she asserted.
As well as the researchers making their own observations, they spoke to the teachers about their experiences, and showed photos of the lessons to external observers without telling them which lessons followed time outdoors and which didn’t, and asked them to judge the levels of engagement.
Spending more time out and about surrounded by nature is good for all of us, but especially children. As well as holding lessons outside, it is also great to offer youngsters outdoor pursuits in Derbyshire around the standard curriculum.
This is something children have less opportunity to do than ten years ago, according to research from the Bohunt Trust. The organisation stressed that outdoor education can help children’s self development, as well as boosting their academic achievements.