Why Outdoor Learning?

In this document, explore resources including research, speakers, and news articles that support making the case for outdoor learning in schools.

Highlights of Research Supporting Outdoor Learning

Research Conducted by Dr. Julie Ernst from University of Minnesota Duluth investigating the impacts of Nature Preschool on children's Creative Thinking, Curiosity, Resiliency, Executive Functioning, Learning Behaviors, and Peer to Peer Interactions.

Dr. Cathy Jordan is Professor of Pediatrics and the Associate Director for Leadership and Education at the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. She is also the consulting Director of Research for the Children & Nature Network.

Cathy presents on "what the research says regarding nature-based education as a whole and what this means when thinking about the whole child and their return to school this fall after COVID-19."

Why now in response to Covid-19?

In response to Covid-19, the Minnesota Department of Health's 2020-2021 Planning guide for Schools states "Getting outside for fresh air and movement is important to support physical and mental health on a daily basis"

American Academy of Pediatrics' COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry

encourages schools to "utilize outdoor spaces when possible."