If you look at my philosophies page, you will notice that I mention this peculiar reformation system called nature integration. Those who subscribe to nature integration believe that human’s are hurting themselves through their increasing separation from the natural world, a phenomenon journalist Richard Louv labels “Nature Deficit Disorder”.
Here is a quick list of the benefits of including nature integration in your student’s learning experiences.
Reduction of Hyperactivity
In an interview with nature therapy researcher Frances Kuo, she discussed how experiences in nature tend to reduce hyperactivity in children (and adults) who struggle with ADD/ADHD or other attention challenges.
Encouraging the Question Asking Process
Students who are allowed to have self-directed outdoor explorations learn to ask questions about the world around them- a skill which can be applied as a valuable life skill. Students who are able to discover, ask, and answer their own questions tend to be more focused on what they are learning, as well as have a higher retention rate.
Creating Future Scientists
As Louv (and many other researchers) have noted, when asked what got them interested in their fields, almost all scientists will tell of a childhood experience exploring nature with an important adult in their life. While this does not mean that every child who plays outside will become a scientist, it does show the important connection between childhood natural exploration and a care for the earth. Even those who do not grow to become scientists will (usually) continue to explore their passions of the great outdoors, and be leaders in the protection of that world that they hold so dear.
Nature integration is pretty great. Don’t you think?