Here’s more news from Natural England by way of relevant evidence and reports, policy agenda developments, large scale delivery sector initiatives, resources and news items from the UK and abroad, with a focus on schools, education and learning. This supports the Strategic Research Network for People and Nature to develop better coherence and collaboration in research and to improve links between research, policy and practice in these areas.
Exploring geographical, curricular, and demographic factors of nature use by children in urban schoolyards in Raleigh, NC, USA.
Zhang, Stevenson, & Martin – Urban Forestry and Urban Greening
Surveys completed by 14 teachers and 199 students in Raleigh, NC (USA) showed that children were less aware of nature-rich spaces on their schoolgrounds compared to traditional playgrounds and athletic fields. The children also spent less time in the nature-rich spaces. Environmental education training on the part of the teachers positively predicted student awareness of gardens and children exploring woodlands.
Typifying conservation practitioners’ views on the role of education
A Brias‐Guinart, K Korhonen‐Kurki, M Cabeza – Conservation Biology
We interviewed practitioners from 15 conservation organizations in Madagascar to typify implicit pathways of change and assess whether emerging pathways echo theoretical advances. Five pathways were drivers of change: increasing knowledge, changing emotional connection and traditional cultural practices, fostering leaders, diversifying outcomes, and influencing community and society. These pathways reflect existing social-psychological theories on learning and behavioral change.
My Parents Taught… Green Was My Growth! The Role of Intergenerational Transmission of Ecological Values in Young Adults’ Pro-Environmental Behaviors and Their Pro-social Mechanisms
M Scopelliti, D Barni, E Rinallo – International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
We aimed to analyze the role of variables in predicting different PEBs, within a comprehensive framework. In a cross-sectional exploratory study, an online questionnaire was administered to175 young Italian adults. Validated scales to measure the above variables and socio-demographics were included. The results showed a different pattern of predictors for each PEB. Overall, the importance of the emotional connection with nature and environmental identity in predicting PEBs has clearly emerged. Finally, the role of intergenerational transmission of ecological values in PEBs, with differences between the influence of fathers and mothers, is outlined.
Outdoor and Sustainability Education: How to Link and Implement Them in Teacher Education? An Empirical Perspective
N Lausselet, I Zosso – Competences in Education for Sustainable Development
This chapter explores the nexus between place, connection, and sustainability and how this can be addressed within teacher education. It starts by identifying (a) a set of characteristics for transformative outdoor education (TOE) that has the potential to contribute to sustainability education (SE) and (b) the related competences that teachers might need. It then shows how these competences are developed in two courses provided by the largest teacher education institution in French-speaking Switzerland.
Methodological Considerations for Movement Education Interventions in Natural Environments for Primary School Children: A Scoping Review
L Petrigna et al – International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
This review aims to report on what previous scientific research has been carried out, and eventually, to propose standard operating procedures for future interventions. Conclusions: Learning in nature is a feasible intervention that, despite the high heterogeneity of interventions, demonstrates positive outcomes in the learning sphere of children.
How to encourage parents to let children play in nature: Factors affecting parental perception of children’s nature play
M Van Truong, T Hosaka, M Nakabayashi – Urban Forestry & Urban Greening
- Most parents recognized the importance of children’s nature play.
- Simultaneously, parents’ perceived incident concerns are a major barrier against children’s nature play.
- Nature relatedness and childhood nature experience did not mitigate the level of incident concerns.
- Today’s parents were less likely to let children play freely in nature, which was significantly related to incident concerns.
- Mitigation of parents’ incident concerns is key to enhancing their support to their children to play freely in nature.
First Person: How the pandemic helped one school embrace its green identity
J Potts – Phi Delta Kappan
Eastwood Elementary School is a LEED Gold Certified facility and a National Green Ribbons Schools winner in suburban Morgantown, West Virginia. Over the course of the school’s eight-year existence, the faculty has worked to become green not only in name and in terms of its facility, but also in its instructional practice. The school made many efforts to reach this goal, yet the staff worried that fully embracing environmental education would take too much time away from core content. Teacher Jennifer Potts describes how the need for social distancing and increased ventilation during the COVID-19 pandemic led the staff to spend more time outdoors and see opportunities to integrate environmental education & outdoor learning into regular lessons
Teaching traditional indoor school lessons in nature: The effects on student learning and behaviour
M Francis Norwood, A Lakhani, E Kendall – Agris
This study investigates the effect that lessons in nature have on disadvantaged young people’s behaviour and learning compared to lessons in a standard classroom over one school term. Three classes were taught in a standard indoor classroom for 5 weeks; then two of those classes relocated to a green outdoor classroom for the remaining 5 weeks; researcher observations of redirect rates, teacher ratings of behaviour, and academic grades were analysed. Students (13–14 years old) spent more time on-task in outdoor classrooms at the rate of an extra 20 s per teacher redirect, and this effect lasted over several weeks. Although engagement was better, this did not translate to better grades; reasons for this discrepancy are discussed.
The Comparison of Outdoor and Indoor play on Visual Perception and IQ of Preschool Children
Z Fathirezaie, E Yousefi – Motor Behaviour
The purpose of this study was to compare the play in different environments (natural and indoor spaces) on visual perception skills and IQ of preschool children. The results show that there was a significant difference between the two groups in the overall children’s visual perception and among the subscales of visual perception, eye motor coordination, figure-ground, position in space, special relationships and also in intelligence. The scores of children playing naturally outdoors were higher than those of children playing indoors
A systematic literature review to identify evidence-based principles to improve online environmental education
EG Merritt, M Stern, RB Powell, T Frensley – Environmental Education Research
We conducted a systematic literature review to identify program characteristics from digital environmental education experiences that are associated with one or more elements of environmental literacy. In this paper, we synthesize the results and present 12 guiding principles that show promise in enhancing outcomes related to environmental literacy in online programs for K-12 students. These principles, which are defined and illustrated with examples from the literature, include: social-ecological connections, relevance, social interactions, role models, autonomy, active involvement, challenge, use of multiple modalities, positive framing, preparation, feedback and reflection.