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New Research on Children and Nature Focuses on Education

About the Author

Susan Sachs Lipman (Suz) has more than 25 years experience as a writer, editor, social media manager, community builder, and advocate for getting children into nature. She is the author of Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which was named a TIME magazine Top 10 Trend of 2012. She has written for the New York Times Motherlode blog, the Christian Science Monitor’s Modern Parenthood blog and others. Suz serves as the Director of Social Media Promotion and Partnerships for the Children & Nature Network.

There is a wealth of research to bolster the need for children to spend time in nature. Now visitors to the C&NN web site can access a round-up of selected research and studies that focus on nature in education and educational settings. These studies, along with others, were originally published by C&NN in four volumes, and have now been condensed so people can easily access the key ideas.

The studies are grouped into these general areas:

  • Overviews about children’s contact with nature, particularly in educational settings
  • Studies about the relationship between children’s outdoor behavior and school performance
  • Studies about children’s physical activity and weight in relation to their school and outdoor environments
  • Benefits to children from nature contact
  • Examinations of children’s outdoor behavior
  • Types of children’s outdoor spaces and the way they influence children’s experiences
  • Examinations of  children’s environmental knowledge and behavior

Each of these categories features lots of links to exciting articles that provide the latest research and information on such topics as green schools, recess, hands-on learning, natural playgrounds, city parks, school gardens, and walking and biking to school.

There are articles on the role of nature in early childhood, adolescence, and for children with ADHD. There are also links to information about young people’s knowledge of the natural world (hint: they know more about Pokemon characters than common wildlife) and their attitudes toward the environment.

The information is very easy to digest and there are links and resources so readers can delve deeper into any of the topics.

In addition, if you are an educator or administrator looking for further resources and discussion, you will likely find both in the Natural Teachers Network on the C&NN discussion forum. Register now to join exciting discussions with peers.

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