David Suzuki: Why Schools Need Outdoor Learning
Career Path : Education News
Childhood disorders like ADD and ADHD have gradually increased over the past twenty years, meanwhile recess times have gradually been cut down. Are the two related?
Definitely, says David Suzuki, as kids who spend more time outside compared to others are healthier, happier, more creative, less stressed and more alert. Suzuki advocates that nature itself is a teacher, and a classroom. He states that it’s not only children, but teachers who can benefit from more outdoor time.
A study done by the U.K.’s King’s College London showed that educators who spent more teaching time outdoors were more enthusiastic about their work. A teacher at the Toronto District School Board testifies, “Teaching outdoors demands that we respond to the wonder of students and opportunities that arise.” Lessons are versatile, and nature can bring new surprises, which draws out the fascination in students and gets them asking questions”.
Teaching outside can be a critical part of environmental education, biology classes, social sciences, history classes and more. To get involved and learn tips on environmental education outside the classroom, check out #EnviroEd chats on Twitter every Wednesday from 9pm-10pm. The David Suzuki Foundation has its own “Connecting With Nature” guides with lesson plans for grades 4-6 containing ideas for environmental lessons. These guides can be accessed by teachers on the foundation’s website here.