I remember the conversation like it was yesterday.
It would be a typical day in late spring. I was in my classroom teaching science. The weather was warm, sunny and inviting. A hand would rise and the polite voice would ask, “Can we go outside for class today? Please, Mr. Eberwein.” Most sunny days the question repeated itself. What the students probably didn’t realize is that I wanted to be outside as well. However, my lessons just didn’t fit well with being outdoors so the answer was often a NO.
But, IS there some evidence that supports the idea that learning outside is beneficial — that being immersed in our natural surroundings is actually helpful while learning curriculum?
We have all heard anecdotal support for learning outside — that being in nature is calming and centering — things like going on nature hikes, being in outdoor classrooms, or taking field trips to the beach or old growth forests all are great experiences. But, I haven’t seen the empirical evidence to support that notion.
Now, three researchers have reviewed hundreds of other studies to find an answer to the question of whether being in nature makes a difference to learning.
As we head into the doldrums of the long, dark days of January I thought I’d write about the importance of sleep. We know that sleep is important and that we could all likely use more of it. However, here are some points that are worth noting again. An article from Nov 2019 lists the Top 10 Reasons for getting a good night’s sleep:
Sleep keeps your heart healthy
Sleep may help prevent some cancers
Sleep reduces stress
Sleep reduces inflamation
Sleep makes you more alert
Sleep improves your memory
Sleep may help you lose weight
Napping makes you smarter (THIS one I really like!)